Latest Developments in Construction Labor Law Covered at LELC’s Annual Symposium
The AGC Labor and Employment Law Council (LELC) recently held its 31st Annual Construction Labor Law Symposium in Washington, DC. Attorneys and chapter labor relations managers from across the country learned about the latest developments in labor and employment law and their impact in the construction industry.
The event began with a pre-symposium Federal Contractor Labor Laws Workshop covering the onslaught of new mandates for employers with federal and federally assisted construction contracts. A panel of LELC-member attorneys provided information on new and revised executive orders, presidential memoranda, and regulations such topics as Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (a.k.a. “Blacklisting”), minimum wage for federal contractors (a.k.a. “10.10 Rule”), affirmative action for veterans and individuals with disabilities, the equal pay report, pay transparency, human trafficking, and false claims.
The symposium took place the next day, kicking off with a presentation by Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith, the third-highest ranking official in the U.S. Department of Labor. She said that the Department is engaged in enterprise-wide enforcement, meaning investigating all worksites of a given employer. In construction, particularly in the enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act, the Department is also engaged in project-wide enforcement, meaning investigating all contractors at a given worksite. The goal is to “get [the contractors] into compliance, not to debar them,” she said, adding that the Department wants general contractors to pay more attention to their subcontractors’ compliance. She acknowledged the existence of problems with wage determinations and said that the Department is trying to improve the process but that increased contractor participation in the agency’s wage surveys is critical. Among other topics, Solicitor Smith also commented on misclassification of independent contractors and the “active program” that her office has to enforce the law in this area.
Hon. Robert Giannasi, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Chief Administrative Law Judge, provided the Charles E. Murphy Keynote Address. He shared his views on attorney best practices in handling cases before an NLRB administrative law judge, providing useful guidance to labor law practitioners.
LELC members delivered presentations on many other timely subjects, such as: implications of the NLRB's "Quickie Elections Rule” and "micro-unit" decisions in the construction industry; implications of the NLRB’s pending joint-employer cases for construction employers; the meaning of the term “supervisor" under the National Labor Relations Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Title VII; recent developments in labor antitrust law; practical Tips for Handling Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and workers’ compensation issues in the construction industry; developments in multiemployer pension reform; and the duty to bargain under the NLRA.
Handouts from the symposium and pre-symposium workshop are posted in the Labor & HR Topical Resources area of AGC’s website, organized by topic. Click here for information on where to find each handout. You must first login to the AGC website at www.agc.org as an AGC member to access the documents.
The LELC is a private network of labor lawyers who represent AGC members and chapters. The LELC provides its annual symposium and other activities to facilitate the sharing of information and the best possible representation of AGC affiliates. To ensure that your in-house and outside labor and employment lawyers stay on the cutting edge, make sure that they are members of the LELC. To view a list of current LELC members, click here. For a searchable directory of LELC members, click here. For information about LELC membership, click here, or contact Denise Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5326.
NLRB Chief ALJ Robert Giannasi
Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith
Workshop Panelists Robert Roginson, Shafeeqa Giarratani, David Fortney, and Andrew Stephenson
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