Labor & HR

February 18, 2014
AGC is seeking presentations for one of its most sought-after annual conferences, the Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference.  For 2014, the conference will be located in Phoenix, Ariz., Oct. 15-17. A Federal Construction HR Workshop will be held Oct. 15, in conjunction with the Conference.
February 10, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (LA, MS, TX) has overturned a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision prohibiting employers from requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements containing waivers of the right to pursue class action and collective action claims in court or arbitration. As reported earlier, the NLRB ruled that such a requirement interferes with employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to engage in protected concerted activity. The court disagreed, finding that the NLRB failed to give proper weight to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).
February 10, 2014
AGC held its annual webinar to train construction contractors about the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts on Dec. 5 and 10, 2013.  Archives of each session of the two-part series titled “Davis-Bacon:  Understanding, Influencing, and Complying with Federal Prevailing Wage Requirements” are available for purchase and immediate viewing from AGC’s online bookstore. 
February 10, 2014
Once again, HR and Training Professionals in the Construction Industry will come together in October for AGC’s Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference. The Conference will take place Oct. 15-17 in Phoenix, Ariz. at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Information about the event is located on the AGC website. Registration will open in the Spring.
February 6, 2014
On Feb. 5, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) re-issued a proposed rule that would expedite the election process in union representation cases, likely to unions’ advantage. The rule appears to be identical to a rule proposed back in 2011.  A shortened version was finalized and took effect in 2012, but was invalidated by a court on procedural grounds shortly thereafter.  The NLRB recently withdrew its appeal of the court’s decision and formally rescinded the rule.
February 5, 2014
The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and Horizon Actuarial Services have released a second edition of their Inventory of Construction Industry Pension Plans.  The Inventory provides historical data from all multiemployer pension plans in the construction industry.  It includes analyses of key trends in plan demographics, cash flows, investments, funding, costs, and expenses. One of the enhancements of the new edition is inclusion of plan features by specific craft.
February 4, 2014
Most construction contractors predict that the demand for construction services will either grow or remain stable in virtually every market segment this year, and many firms plan to start hiring again, according to AGC’s recently released survey results conducted as part of Optimism Returns: The 2014 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook.  The survey results reflect a generally upbeat outlook for the year, even as firms worry about growing worker shortages, rising costs, and the impact of new regulations and federal budget cutting.
February 4, 2014
Union representation in the construction industry rose to 14.9 percent (967,000 workers) in 2013 from 13.7 percent (850,000 workers) in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports.  Union membership in the industry also rose, from 13.2 percent (820,000 workers) in 2012 to 14.1 percent (915,000 workers) in 2013.  Total employment in construction increased by a significantly larger margin during the year – rising over 4 percent, from 6.205 million workers to 6.474 million. 
February 3, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) new rules will go into effect on March 24, 2014.  Both rules increase the affirmative action requirements of direct federal contractors and subcontractors with regard to veterans and individuals with disabilities (IWD). 

February 3, 2014
On Jan. 27, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the time spent by employees donning and doffing (putting on and taking off) certain protective gear is not compensable under Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This ruling will significantly impact the ability of employees to seek compensation for the donning and doffing of certain items in the unionized setting. Additionally, the Court made comments about the de minimis doctrine which could well impact employers in the nonunionized environment. Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.

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