AGC's Human Resource and Labor News - November 30, 2010 / Issue No. 6-10 (Print All Articles)

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Dec. 8-9 Davis-Bacon Webinar Offers HRCI Recertification Credits and Compliance Manual Discount

AGC’s upcoming webinar, “The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts: The Ins and Outs of Federal Prevailing Wage Law,” has been pre-approved to offer three general recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), the internationally recognized leader in human resource certification.

AGC’s upcoming webinar, “The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts: The Ins and Outs of Federal Prevailing Wage Law,” has been pre-approved to offer three general recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), the internationally recognized leader in human resource certification. Credits can be used towards PHR, SPHR, or GPHR recertification.  The two-part webinar will be held on December 8 and 9, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time each day, and will allow time for registrants to ask questions online.

For new federal contractors, new staff of long-time federal contractors, or anyone in need of a refresher course, this webinar will expose participants to the latest information on Davis-Bacon compliance issues in a contractor-friendly manner.  Timothy Helm, head of Davis-Bacon enforcement for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s Government Contracts Team, will partner with attorney and Davis-Bacon compliance expert Deborah Wilder of Contractor Compliance and Monitoring, Inc., to give an insightful presentation on wage determinations, site of work issues, coverage of truck drivers, apprentices and helpers, fringe benefit requirements, overtime issues, certified payrolls, subcontractor reporting, enforcement initiatives and more.  PHR-certified Ezekiel Arvizu, Corporate Compliance/Diversity Representative for Sundt Construction will moderate the webinar, addressing the most common compliance issues faced by contractors.

Webinar registrants can co-order AGC’s new Davis-Bacon Compliance Manual – Third Edition for a special discounted price, or purchase the compliance manual independently.

For additional information, visit www.agc.org/DBwebinar or download the webinar flyer.  For more information on HRCI, visit www.hrci.org.

This webinar has been approved for 3 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.


Co-located HR Professionals and T&D Conferences Attract Record Attendance

More than 150 attended the 9th Annual HR Professionals Conference and the 4th Annual Training & Development Conference, which ran back-to-back with a joint keynote session last month in Scottsdale, Arizona.

More than 150 attended the 9th Annual HR Professionals Conference and the 4th Annual Training & Development Conference, which ran back-to-back with a joint keynote session last month in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In addition to the keynote address on coaching for leaders given by Kelly Riggs, attendees had ample opportunities to participate in roundtable sessions, hear presentations by industry experts on a wide variety of topics, network at social events, and, most importantly, connect with their construction industry peers from across the nation.

AGC Past President Doug Pruitt of Sundt Construction opened the T&D conference with a moving speech about the importance of training and development at the company level and the importance of construction companies engaging with their local educational communities to help increase the high school graduation rate and increase the potential pool of future workers.

In his address, Mr. Pruitt challenged the group to "find the individual and collective courage" to challenge conventional wisdom to maintain a commitment to training even during poor economic times, something the construction typically does not do. He noted that "even with the very high unemployment rate in the construction industry today, the tremendous labor shortage we experienced a few short years ago is just around the corner and we will be staring it in the face once again."

Mr. Pruitt also announced the winners of the 2nd AGC Education Excellence Awards.

The first full day of the HR Professionals Conference offered a unique mix of both plenary and breakout sessions on drug testing and substance abuse management, the benefits and risks of using social networking and smartphones in the workplace, training and relying on field supervisors as an extension of HR, and a roundtable discussion where attendees were able to share best practices for keeping morale high during tough financial times.

Highlights during the HR Professionals Conference occurred when two AGC-member companies shared their experiences with the attendees.  Maggie Doyle of Hensel Phelps Construction shared, from beginning to end, steps her company took to successfully perform an internal I-9 audit, as well as their response to an I-9 audit requested by the federal government.  Christy Uffelman of Mascaro Construction closed the conference with a high-energy, interactive session on communicating feedback, while sharing her company's success with rolling out a new performance management system.

AGC would like to thank our generous sponsors, without whom the conferences would not have been possible: the National Center for Construction Education & Research, PAS, Inc., HireTouch by Imagetrend, and eMars.

Due to the success of the co-located conferences - nearly half of each conference's registrants attended both - plans are being made to co-locate the 2011 HR Professionals and now, the Training, Education & Development Conferences. An announcement will be made once dates and a location have been selected.


Open Shop Contractors to Meet During AGC Convention

AGC of America’s Open Shop Committee will meet during AGC’s 92nd Annual Convention on March 21 at 1:30 p.m.  The meeting will feature an update on labor law matters relevant to open-shop contractors and a roundtable discussion of local developments, covering such topics as project labor agreements, card check, and bannering.  The session is open to all Convention registrants.  Come share and hear the latest information, experiences, and concerns of open shop contractors across the country.

AGC of America’s Open Shop Committee will meet during AGC’s 92nd Annual Convention on March 21 at 1:30 p.m.  The meeting will feature an update on labor law matters relevant to open-shop contractors and a roundtable discussion of local developments, covering such topics as project labor agreements, card check, and bannering.  The session is open to all Convention registrants.  Come share and hear the latest information, experiences, and concerns of open shop contractors across the country.

The Convention will take place March 21-25, 2011, at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held in conjunction with the CONEXPO/CON-AGG tradeshow, offering free CONEXPO admission with your Convention registration -- making it more of a can't-afford-to-miss program.

Learn more about the Convention and register now at http://convention.agc.org/Early-bird registration ends Dec. 31, 2010, so register today and save!


Carpenters and Operating Engineers General Presidents to Speak at AGC Convention

New Perspective from Two General Presidents, a session at AGC of America’s 92nd Annual Convention featuring the leaders of two of the nation’s largest and most powerful construction trade unions:  Douglas McCarron, general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and Vincent Giblin, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers.  The Convention runs March 21-25, 2011, at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, NV.  The session will be held on March 21at 10:30 a.m. and is open to all Convention registrants.  It will take the place of a Union Contractors Committee meeting.

New Perspective from Two General Presidents, a session at AGC of America’s 92nd Annual Convention featuring the leaders of two of the nation’s largest and most powerful construction trade unions:  Douglas McCarron, general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and Vincent Giblin, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers.  The Convention runs March 21-25, 2011, at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, NV.  The session will be held on March 21at 10:30 a.m. and is open to all Convention registrants.  It will take the place of a Union Contractors Committee meeting.

All Convention registrants are also invited to attend an AGC Charities event at the Carpenters International Training Center featuring Pro-Bowl Quarterback and Monday Night Football Announcer Ron Jaworski.  The event will include a reception and tour of the impressive, 345,000-square foot training facility, which includes over 40 classrooms and 300 dorm rooms.  It will take place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on March 24, with buses leaving from the Bellagio at 3:15 p.m.  Tickets for this spectacular event are $50 each and benefit AGC Charities, Inc.

Learn more about the Convention and register now at http://convention.agc.org/.  Early-bird registration ends Dec. 31, 2010, so register today and save!


AGC Files Comments on FASB Multiemployer Disclosure Draft; FASB Delays Implementation

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) on November 10 decided to delay the effective date of a final standard requiring additional disclosures about employer participation in multi-employer pension plans.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) on November 10 decided to delay the effective date of a final standard requiring additional disclosures about employer participation in multi-employer pension plans. 

In an Exposure Draft (ED) issued in September, FASB proposed that additional disclosures for public entities would begin for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2010, and proposed a one-year deferral for private entities.  After receiving more than 300 comment letters, FASB decided to delay issuance of the final rule, likely until the second quarter of 2011.  FASB stated that it “will decide on an effective date at a future meeting, after it has substantially concluded its redeliberations.”

AGC submitted comments on November 1, the closing date of the comment period, urging FASB to withdraw the ED and reconsider the proposal.  AGC’s concerns with the ED are extensive.  The draft under-appreciates the costs associated with compliance and overestimates the relevancy of the information that would be provided if the ED were to go into effect as written.  Any information included will be neither timely nor accurately reflective of the financial impact of participating in a multiemployer plan.  The draft significantly underestimates the complexity of the relationship between employers and multiemployer plans, as well as the importance of the construction industry exemption that makes almost any liability merely theoretical rather than material.

AGC also joined a group of employer organizations in submitting supplemental comments to FASB.  In addition, AGC and several AGC chapters signed onto a business community letter led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  To read all of the comment letters submitted to the FASB, including several submitted by AGC chapters and member companies, click here.

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org.


Federal Government Makes Changes and Issues Guidance on Grandfathered Health Plans

On November 17, 2010, three federal government agencies, together, issued an amendment to the interim final regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, allowing group health plans to switch insurance companies and still maintain their grandfathered status.  Prior to the amendment, group health plans that switched insurance companies lost their grandfathered status under the Act.

On November 17, 2010, three federal government agencies, together, issued an amendment to the interim final regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, allowing group health plans to switch insurance companies and still maintain their grandfathered status.  Prior to the amendment, group health plans that switched insurance companies lost their grandfathered status under the Act.

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury had previously clarified, through frequently asked questions (FAQs), that for a plan that is continuing the same plan policy, there are only six changes that would cause the plan to lose its grandfathered status. These causes still exist, with the exception of the plan having to continue the same policy.  The changes include:

  • Elimination of all or substantially all benefits to diagnose or treat a particular condition;
  • Increase in a percentage cost-sharing requirement;
  • Increase in a deductible or out-of-pocket maximum by an amount that exceeds medical inflation plus 15 percentage points;
  • Increase in a co-payment by an amount that exceeds medical inflation plus 15 percentage points (or, if greater, $5 plus medical inflation);
  • Decrease in an employer’s contribution rate towards the cost of coverage by more than 5 percentage points; and
  • Imposition of annual limits on the dollar value of all benefits below specified amounts.

Regarding wellness plans associated with group health plans, grandfathered status can also be lost if penalties are imposed rather than rewards.

The FAQs also note that each case is analyzed on a “benefit-package-by-benefit-package” basis; therefore, if one health plan loses its grandfathered status, the grandfathered status of other plans offered by the same company will not be affected.

For more information on the Affordable Care Act, including a link to the FAQs, compliance assistance webinars, and a fact sheet, visit the Department of Labor website.


IRS Defers 2011 Form W-2 Health Care Reporting Requirement; Draft Form Released

On October 12, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will defer, for one year, a health care reform law requirement that employers report the cost of coverage on employees' W-2 wage and income statements.  The postponement was made in order to provide employers the time necessary to make changes to payroll systems and procedures in accordance with the new reporting requirement.

On October 12, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will defer, for one year, a health care reform law requirement that employers report the cost of coverage on employees' W-2 wage and income statements.  The postponement was made in order to provide employers the time necessary to make changes to payroll systems and procedures in accordance with the new reporting requirement.

The announcement came at the same time the agency released a 2011 draft Form W-2, which already includes the codes that employers will use to report the cost of health care coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan.  Rather than issuing a new form, the IRS will allow employers to choose whether or not to include the information in 2011.

The IRS also noted that the W-2 reporting requirement is only for informational purposes and the amounts that are reported will not be taxable.

AGC will continue to monitor any new developments and will share guidance from the IRS, and a final version of the 2011 Form W-2 once they are made available.


EEOC Issues Final GINA Regulations

On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published final regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  GINA prohibits employers from making employment decisions on the basis of genetic information and family history and also prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information and family medical history regarding applicants, employees and former employees.

On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published final regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  GINA prohibits employers from making employment decisions on the basis of genetic information and family history and also prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information and family medical history regarding applicants, employees and former employees.

The regulations, which go into effect on January 10, 2011, address many issues such as the definition of family medical history, family members, genetic tests, genetic services and participation in clinical research.

GINA, which was signed into law during the Bush administration and became effective nearly one year ago, prompted the EEOC to change its "Equal Opportunity is the Law" poster, requiring a revised poster be displayed by all covered employers beginning on November 21, 2009.  In addition to the posting requirement, recordkeeping requirements also exist under GINA, requiring employers that possess employees', former employers' or applicants' genetic information to treat the information as confidential medical records, with limited disclosure exceptions.  Employers must keep such information on separate forms and in separate medical files, including electronically.

For a concise listing of information and resources on the EEOC, the ADAAA, and GINA, visit the "EEO" section of AGC's Labor and HR Topical Resources page.


Web-Based Toolkit Aims to Help Employers Hire Veterans

A new web-based toolkit that helps guide employers through the process of hiring military veterans is now available. The free toolkit was created to assist and educate employers who are looking to include veterans and wounded soldiers in their recruitment and hiring initiatives.

A new web-based toolkit that helps guide employers through the process of hiring military veterans is now available. The free toolkit was created to assist and educate employers who are looking to include veterans and wounded soldiers in their recruitment and hiring initiatives.

Debuting at a time when the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has vowed to increase its enforcement regarding veterans and disabled workers, the toolkit is part of DOL's "America's Heroes at Work" initiative and features a step-by-step process to help businesses design a veterans hiring initiative. The process includes:

  • Creating an educated and welcoming environment for veteran employees;
  • Recruiting veterans, wounded soldiers, and military spouses;
  • Learning how to accommodate qualified veterans and wounded soldiers in the workplace; and
  • Promoting an inclusive workplace to retain veteran employees.

The toolkit also includes a reference list of online resources to help organizations with hiring efforts including links to veterans' employment service organizations, places to receive consultations on workplace accommodations and answers to common employer questions about hiring veterans and wounded soldiers.


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