Labor & HR

June 11, 2010
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Ill., Ind., Wis.) has upheld an arbitration award against the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC) for violating a most-favored nation (MFN) clause resulting in substantial damages to a residential and commercial roofing contractor.  
June 11, 2010
A provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) requiring employers to provide a private location for nursing mothers to express breast milk may have flown under the radar for many employers.  The requirement amends Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and may pose challenges for many construction companies with nursing mothers working on a construction jobsite.  While many portions of the PPACA have specific effective dates, this portion does not and employers must comply with the requirement immediately.
June 11, 2010
In an effort to increase voluntary compliance, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it began randomly questioning 1,200 sponsors of 401(k) plans as a part of a compliance check program administered by its Employee Plans Compliance Unit.  Sponsors of the selected plans were expected to receive a letter that was mailed the week of May 17, 2010, describing the program and directing them to a secure website where they will have 90 days to complete an online compliance questionnaire.  The IRS says it will use the information gathered for education, outreach and enforcement actions.
June 11, 2010
In response to the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, a new law created to encourage employers to hire workers who were previously unemployed for at least 60 days immediately prior to hiring, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued revised 2010 W-2 and W-3 forms, along with an updated list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for employers. 
June 11, 2010
Recently, the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the addition of new and revised Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses (elaws Advisors) used to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws.  According to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, "the new online advisor harnesses technology to help take the mystery out of the new rules."  The new tools address H-1B classified workers, union elections, disability nondiscrimination laws and veterans' assistance. 
June 11, 2010
Several new laws and enforcement initiatives pose challenges for employers seeking to control costs in a difficult economy.   While many employers rely on independent contractors and exempt employees as a legitimate method of minimizing human capital costs, many circumstances must be considered when classifying workers as independent contractors or exempt employees to avoid legal pitfalls.  AGC's two-part webinar series, "Worker Misclassification: What Every Contractor Needs to Know," provided training for contractors on these topics and is now available for purchase in AGC's online bookstore. 
June 10, 2010
October 18-20, 2010 - Scottsdale, Arizona Registration is now open for AGC's 2010 HR Professionals Conference and Training & Development (T&D) Conference.   For 2010, the conferences will be co-located in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the T&D Conference beginning on the morning of October 18, lasting through mid-day on October 19, and the HR Professionals Conference beginning on the morning of October 19, and concluding at noon on October 20. There will be one joint session on the morning of October 19.
May 28, 2010
The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM) is conducting a series of surveys regarding the use of project labor agreement (PLAs) on various projects.  CFM is asking contractors to respond to the questionnaire for certain projects in Houston, Texas, Palo Alto, Calif., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, by June 4.  AGC encourages interested contractors to complete the survey and provide CFM with a clear idea of the impact that a government-mandated PLA would have on the construction of federal projects.
May 27, 2010
On Friday, May 21, 2010, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) held a Stakeholder Forum to discuss some of the issues and regulations that fall under their purview.  AGC attended the event and participated in sessions that addressed topics with a potential effect on the construction industry.  The Wage and Hour Division is using the theme of "Plan, Prevent, and Protect" to become a more effective enforcement agency.  Success will be measured by baseline investigations in industries where they believe violations are most likely to occur.  Construction is listed as one of the top industries on which they will focus.   A WHD official expressed that while there are no numerical targets for enforcement, results will be measured on an ongoing basis.
May 24, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards on May 20 issued a final rule implementing Executive Order 13496, which requires federal contracting agencies to include in most contracts a new clause requiring contractors and subcontractors to post notices informing employees about their rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").  The rule, which takes effect on June 21, establishes the content of the notice, clarifies flow-down requirements, and sets forth penalties and procedures for noncompliance. It applies only to contracts directly with the federal government and related subcontracts, not to federally assisted contracts made with other nonfederal government entities.

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