Labor & HR

August 4, 2009
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), responsible for ensuring that contractors doing business with the federal government do not discriminate and take affirmative action, recently opened registration for its 2009 National Forum (Forum).  The Forum will be held on September 9, 2009, in the Washington, D.C., area.  The specific location has not yet been announced.
July 22, 2009
The rate of union representation in the construction industry increased modestly in 2008 for the second consecutive year following a steady decline in the decade preceding 2006.  Using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) reports in its latest biennial report on union representation trends that the percentage of workers represented by a union in 2008 was 16.2 percent.  This compares with 14.4 percent in 2007 and 13.6 percent in 2006, according to BLS data.
July 21, 2009
On July 14, 2009, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued a notice of proposed rulemaking implementing President Obama's Executive Order 13502, by creating new FAR contract clauses to be included in Federal contracts should an agency choose to require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on a particular Federal construction project.  Comments are due on August 13, 2009.
July 17, 2009
AGC held a regional meeting with the National Construction Alliance II (NCAII) on July 13 in Chicago, IL.  About 50 members and staff from various collective bargaining chapters in the Mid-America Region of AGC's Executive Leadership Council attended, along with Operating Engineers General President Vince Giblin, Carpenters General President Doug McCarron, Union Contractors Committee Chairman Jim Clemens, AGC Union Contractors Committee Staff Associate Denise Gold, and NCAII Executive Vice President Ray Poupore.
July 16, 2009

Construction HR professionals have been burdened with the responsibility of properly handling reductions-in-force (RIFs), lay-offs and furloughs; sometimes at a moment's notice.  These situations can be difficult to handle legally, practically, and emotionally.

July 10, 2009
Resolving a thorny issue faced by employers finding themselves threatened with a discrimination claim regardless of what action they take, the Supreme Court on June 29 held that an employer that acts in a race-conscious fashion to avoid being sued under a disparate-impact theory, must have something more than a good-faith belief that such a suit was likely - otherwise, it has violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 
July 9, 2009
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), responsible for ensuring that contractors doing business with the federal government do not discriminate and take affirmative action, will soon begin conducting compliance reviews of construction contractors who receive funding and grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). 
July 9, 2009

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 8 announced the Administration's intent to "push ahead with full implementation" of a rule requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify system to verify employees' authorization to work in the U.S.  The E-Verify rule will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards government-wide beginning September 8.  At the same time, DHS announced its intent to issue a new regulation rescinding a rule establishing procedures for employers to follow upon receipt of a "no-match letter" from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS.

July 8, 2009
The minimum wage established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will increase from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. The increase is the final phase of a three-part phase-in mandated by legislation enacted in 2007.  The first phase took effect on July 24, 2007, increasing the hourly rate from $5.15 to $5.85.  The second phase took effect on July 24, 2008, increasing the hourly rate from $5.85 to the current rate of $6.55.
July 8, 2009

In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun fulfilling its promise of investigating employers who hire illegal workers by initiating two major steps: conducting audits of employers' I-9 forms and preparing for increased monitoring of the E-Verify System.

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