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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Labor & HR

April 23, 2010
As employers struggle keep business operating expenses low, the number of unpaid internships has increased in recent years, causing the federal government to express concern that employers may be unknowingly violating wage and hours laws when using unpaid interns.  While the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to enforce wage-hour laws, the agency is digging deeper with the announcement of its desire to eliminate the unlawful use of unpaid interns by "for-profit" companies.  The problem is that most "for-profit" companies that use unpaid interns may not be aware they are violating wage and hour laws, leading DOL to issue guidance on the subject. 
April 23, 2010

On April 1, 2010, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis unveiled "We Can Help," a new campaign designed to educate workers on their workplace rights and encourage them to report employers that are violating those rights.  This effort is being spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage & Hour Division (WHD), which is responsible for enforcing some of our nation's most comprehensive federal labor laws on topics including the minimum wage, overtime pay, and the payment of prevailing wages for government service and construction contracts, to name a few.

April 22, 2010
A Double-Header - May 18 & 20 - 2:00pm-3:30pm ET May 18: Independent Contractor vs. Employee May 20: Exempt vs. Non-exempt The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have announced in recent months that the construction industry will be the primary target for audits and other enforcement activities when it comes to worker misclassification.  As a result, construction HR professionals have been burdened with the responsibility of properly classifying workers and protecting construction companies from these enforcement activities. 
April 22, 2010
 The AGC Labor and Employment Law Council - a network of labor lawyers who represent AGC members and chapters - held its 26th Annual Construction Labor Law Symposium on April 16 in Washington, DC.  Attorneys and chapter labor relations managers from across the country attended.
April 21, 2010
On March 18, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act to encourage employers to hire workers who were previously unemployed for at least 60 days immediately prior to hiring.  Consisting of two parts, a "tax holiday" and an "additional business tax credit," employers may claim these credits beginning on April 1, 2010, with a special catch-up period in the second quarter of 2010 for qualifying first quarter wages paid after March 18.
April 20, 2010
Since the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the original law that offered a 65 percent premium subsidy to help certain individuals pay for continuing health coverage (also known as COBRA), the eligibility period and qualifications required for individuals to receive the subsidy have been extended several times and will likely be extended again.
April 14, 2010
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has issued a final rule implementing Executive Order 13502 on the use of project labor agreements  (PLAs) on federal construction projects, giving contracting agencies broad discretion to determine whether to impose a PLA mandate on a project, when the PLA should be executed, and what terms the PLA will contain. 
April 6, 2010
On Saturday, March 27, the first day of the congressional recess for Easter, President Obama made several recess appointments to federal agencies, including a controversial appointment to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that could have a significant impact on federal labor law. 
April 1, 2010
AGC's Open Shop Committee held an active roundtable discussion at a meeting during the Annual Convention on March 17.  Contractors and Chapter staff from across the country shared recent experiences regarding labor relations and labor-related government affairs in their respective areas.
April 1, 2010
It's true that the building trades have heightened influence in Congress and the administration these days, AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) President Mark Ayers (left) acknowledged to a standing-room-only audience at a forum presented by AGC's Union Contractors Committee during the Annual Convention, and they're using that influence to encourage the enactment of policies that address one central goal:  "to provide a significant jump-start to the U.S. construction economy."  While these policies have been "mischaracterized as "special interest giveaways," Ayers stated, the true objective is "getting our members and our signatory contractors back to work." 


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