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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Human Resources & Labor

November 13, 2017

Operating Engineers Local 18 has lost another battle in its war to regain jurisdiction over operation of forklifts and skid steers, this time in circuit court.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (KY, MI, OH, TN) on October 31 upheld decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) that members of the Laborers were entitled to the work and ordering Local 18 to cease striking, threatening to strike, and maintaining grievances against the employers involved.

November 13, 2017

The Senate has confirmed Peter B. Robb to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a four-year term.  Robb is presently a management-side labor and employment lawyer with the law firm Downs Rachlin Martin in Vermont.  His prior employment includes serving as chief counsel to an NLRB member. 

November 2, 2017

Of all the accommodations considered reasonable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), perhaps the most frustrating is when an employee requests additional time off after their 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave ends. This is particularly true since the ADA, unlike the FMLA, provides no statutory or regulatory parameters indicating the amount of additional leave employers must provide. However, a federal appeals court has just handed employers a milestone victory in one such legal battle that might ease the frustration levels for some.

November 1, 2017

On November 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) appealed a Texas judge’s decision to toss out an Obama administration rule that would have nearly doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. The Trump administration DOL is defending its authority to create an overtime rule, but not the salary limit set by the Obama administration. The agency filed its notice to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and once docketed, the agency — through the Department of Justice — will file a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance while the DOL undertakes further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be.

October 12, 2017

Construction-industry collective bargaining negotiations settled so far this year resulted in an average wage-and-benefit increase of 2.6 percent or $1.44, according to the latest Settlements Report issued by the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC).  Settlements reported between January and September 2017 resulted in an average first-year wage-and-benefit increase of 2.8 percent or $1.62.  For newly negotiated multiyear agreements, the average second-year increase was 2.9 percent or $1.69.  Settlements this year maintain an upward trend that has continued since 2011.

October 12, 2017

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently approved the Save Local Business Act, which would clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The changes are significant and have the potential to disrupt the long-standing standards in labor law and the well-settled subcontracting practices in the construction industry. Due to the significance of the changes, AGC delivered a letter to Congress in advance of the committee action encouraging support of the legislation. 

October 12, 2017

Represents Construction Industry before White House, DOL & DOT

September 28, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) now has a full complement of five members with a Republican majority for the first time in roughly a decade.  This follows from the September 27 swearing in of Republican William J. Emanuel as a Board member for a term ending on August 27, 2021.  Emanuel is the second Trump nominee to join the Board, following Republican Marvin E. Kaplan’s swearing in on August 10 for a term ending on August 27, 2020.

September 26, 2017

On September 25, AGC submitted comments to the U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on the 2016 changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. In line with AGC’s regulatory recommendations, this RFI is the first step the DOL is undertaking to revisit the overtime rule that dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempt employees. AGC and its members were concerned that imposing such a large and immediate increase might result in unintended consequences, particularly for small construction companies, construction employers in lower‐wage regions, and construction personnel.

September 15, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that the agency will support Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts in a number of ways, including by relaxing federal contractors’ requirements on a temporary basis. As part of the initiative, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will be temporarily suspending certain requirements on federal contractors to allow “businesses involved in hurricane relief the ability to prioritize recovery efforts.”

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