Union membership in the U.S. construction industry across all occupations declined slightly in 2022, from 12.6 percent to 11.7 percent, according to an annual report recently issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). Union representation in the industry also declined, from 13.6 percent to 12.4 percent. Still, union membership in construction remains considerably higher than the 6.0 percent rate across industries in the private sector. Union membership in general in the U.S. fell to its lowest rate on record at 10.1 percent, reports BLS.
President Biden ended 2022 with a bang by signing two new pieces of legislation into law that will impact many employers and their pregnant and breastfeeding workers: (1) the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and (2) the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act). These changes were part of the Omnibus Spending Bill signed into law on December 29, 2022. Employers should become familiar with the changes and review their policies and practices to adjust for the new laws. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
AGC of America will be holding a Collective Bargaining Seminar during the AGC Annual Convention. The day-long seminar will take place from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The seminar is part of AGC’s Annual Convention, but AGC members and chapter staff not attending the convention may attend for a separate registration fee.
According to the latest Contractor Compensation Quarterly (CCQ) published by PAS, Inc., construction support staff wages are to rise by an average 4.5%. The prediction is based on data gathered from over 209 companies in the 19th edition of PAS’s Construction Support Staff Salary Survey. This is up from the actual increase of 4.4% for 2021. Looking forward, PAS thinks 2023 support staff increases will likely mimic 2022 activity, unless construction conditions change.
In a decision issued on Dec. 16, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board reinstated its prior standard providing off-duty workers employed by contractors more expansive rights to access publicly accessible areas of the workplace for the purpose of engaging in union organizing activity.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that the $15-an-hour minimum wage for federal contractors under Executive Order (EO) 14026 will increase to $16.20 for 2023 because of inflation. AGC filed comments on the DOL’s original proposed rule implementing the EO.
Special Collective Bargaining Seminar Offered for Union Contractors
Before the National Labor Relations Board’s (“Board” of “NLRB”) December 13 decision in Thryv, Inc., the Board’s traditional make-whole remedy for employee losses suffered as a result of an employer’s unfair labor practice was generally limited to back wages and/or reinstatement of employment. Following the decision, employers may be required to pay for a broader range of damages. In the Thryv case, which involved an employer’s alleged unfair labor practices relating to bargaining over a reduction in force, the Board dramatically broadened its interpretation of the scope of employer liability under the National Labor Relation Act (“Act’). It held that, in addition to back wages and reinstatement, affected employees may also recover “for all direct or foreseeable pecuniary harms” resulting from employer violations of the Act.
On December 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the availability of 64,716 H-2B visas for the entirety fiscal year 2023.
AGC recently submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) proposed rule to establish a new test for determining who is an independent contractor versus an employee under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When the proposal is finalized, it would rescind a Trump administration final rule clarifying the standard for employee versus independent contractor status under the FLSA. AGC opposes the creation of this new standard for independent contractor classification and urged the DOL to withdraw this proposed rule.