Labor & HR

May 15, 2009
On April 30, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a shift in its workforce enforcement priorities from the prosecution of illegal aliens working in the United States to the prosecution of employers who knowingly hire them.  According to a fact sheet distributed by DHS, only 135 of 6,000 arrests related to worksite enforcement in 2008 were employers.  As a result, DHS issued new guidelines to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with instructions to immediately "focus its resources in the worksite enforcement program on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration." 
May 14, 2009
The National Labor Relations Board has held that Laborers Local 79 violated the National Labor Relations Act when it threatened a real estate developer that it would picket and "shut down" the developer's job site unless demolition work was performed by a union contractor. 
May 13, 2009
The cost of construction-industry collective bargaining agreement (CBA) terms and conditions as a percentage of wages and fringes was unchanged in 2008 at 6.4 percent, according to the Construction Labor Research Council's (CLRC) latest Cost of Terms and Conditions in Collective Bargaining Agreements report.  The dollar cost of these items increased, as the cost of many contract terms is directly related to wage rates, which increased. 
May 12, 2009
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a collective bargaining agreement that "clearly and unmistakably" requires union members to arbitrate claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is enforceable as a matter of federal law.  The case is 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 129 S.Ct. 1456 (April 1, 2009).
May 5, 2009
The AGC Labor and Employment Law Council - a network of labor lawyers who represent AGC members and chapters - held its 25th Annual Construction Labor Law Symposium on April 24 in Washington, D.C.
April 16, 2009
The federal government has agreed to even further delay implementation of the E-Verify rule for federal contractors.  Contracts and solicitations issued prior to June 30, 2009, will not contain the mandate.  Click here for the Federal Register notice.
April 2, 2009

On April 3, 2009, employers were required to begin using a new I-9 form to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees and employees with expiring employment authorizations, according to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The new form is available for downloading on the USCIS Web site.

March 12, 2009
What companies are required to offer the COBRA subsidy? COBRA generally applies to plans sponsored by employers with more than 20 employees. Many states have similar requirements for small plans providing benefits through an insurance company. The premium reduction is available for plans covered by these state laws.
March 12, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), generally known as the economic stimulus package, will temporarily require employers to disregard breaks in healthcare coverage lasting more than 63 days when issuing certificates of creditable healthcare coverage.  The act also temporarily increases pre-tax transportation benefits though December 2010.

February 23, 2009

There is no doubt that the economy is affecting the construction industry across the board. From highway infrastructure to building, construction companies across the country are feeling the pinch of the recession, so much so that many are seriously considering cut-backs and layoffs.  Caterpillar, Inc., the world's leading maker of heavy equipment used in construction, recently announced job cuts that will ultimately terminate nearly 20,000 positions.  Depending on each company's financial situation, layoffs for some are inevitable, but for many companies there are several ways that employers can cut costs to put off or avoid lay-offs.

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