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.
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.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extends the time period allowed for employees to seek compensation for unequal pay practices was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 29, 2009. The act is retroactive to May 28, 2007, and applies to all claims of pay discrimination on or after that date.
Just as many in the construction industry gain a full understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, changes to the law took effect on January 1, 2009. These changes, known as the ADA Amendments Acts (ADAAA), broaden the definition of "disabled," and potentially expose employers with 15 or more employees to increased financial liabilities.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.
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