AGC's Human Resource and Labor News - September 8, 2011 / Issue No. 5-11 (Print All Articles)

Back to Graphical Version | Search back issues


Register Now for Oct. 17 Union Contractor Events

All AGC chapter staff and members involved in collective bargaining or other labor relations matters for union contractors are encouraged to attend the first AGC-Basic Trades Forum since 2007 and the chance to communicate to top leaders of the basic trades and the building trades about the challenges union contractors are facing in the current environment.  Click here to register online now.

All AGC chapter staff and members involved in collective bargaining or other labor relations matters for union contractors are encouraged to attend the first AGC-Basic Trades Forum since 2007 and the chance to communicate to top leaders of the basic trades and the building trades about the challenges union contractors are facing in the current environment.  Click here to register online now.

Labor leaders expected to attend include:

  • Terry O’Sullivan, General President, Laborers
  • Walter Wise, General President, Iron Workers
  • Mark Ayers, President, Building & Construction Trades Dep’t, AFL-CIO
  • Sean McGarvey, Secretary-Treasurer, Building & Construction Trades Dep’t, AFL-CIO
  • Earl Hurd, Treasurer, Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons
  • And more!

This town-hall style forum will feature a moderated question-and-answer session plus, time-permitting, questions from the floor.  Topics expected to be addressed include:

  • Multiemployer pension plan underfunding and defined benefit plan sustainability
  • Jurisdictional disputes
  • Cost-competitiveness and market share
  • Health care cost management
  • Your concerns – as submitted on your registration form!

Afterward, all AGC members and chapter staff attending the AGC-Basic Trades Forum are invited to an AGC Union Contractors Committee Strategic Planning Meeting.  The meeting will include a discussion of the AGC-Basic Trades Forum, a discussion of the results of an AGC collective bargaining chapter survey that will be conducted later this month, and a strategic planning session building on the survey results to discuss how AGC and the committee can best serve AGC’s union contractors today.

The tentative schedule of events is as follows:

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.           Early Arrivals Breakfast & Briefing (AGC only)
9:15 – 9:30                    Break
9:30 – 11:30                  AGC-Basic Trades Forum (with labor)
11:30 – 12:00 p.m.       Break
12:00 – 1:00                  Lunch & Debrief of Forum (AGC only)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.            Union Contractors Committee Strategic Planning Session (AGC only)

All events, including breakfast and lunch, are offered without charge.

The location of all events will be The Madison hotel, which is in the heart of downtown Washington at 1177 15th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.  A small block of rooms has been saved for meeting attendees.  To reserve a room at the pre-tax group rate of $179 per night, call the hotel at (800) 424-8577 by September 27 and tell the reservations clerk that you are attending the Associated General Contractors of America event.  To reserve a room online, click here.  The hotel may require a deposit which is refundable if the reservation is cancelled at least 24 hours prior to scheduled arrival.

Meeting registration is available by fax or online.  Click here to register online.  Click here to download a form for registration by fax, which allows for easy registration of multiple attendees.  Please register by September 27.  There is no registration fee for these events.

If you have registration questions, call Crystal Yates at (703) 837-5437.  If you have other questions about the events, contact Denise Gold at (703) 837-5326 or goldd@agc.org.


NLRB Strengthens its Permissive Position on Union Bannering

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in the second of two bannering cases brought by the San Diego Chapter AGC, finding lawful a union’s display, at business locations of secondary employers, of banners announcing a “labor dispute” and seeking to “shame” the employers or to persuade the public not to patronize the employers.  The ruling is the final Board decision in a series of bannering cases originating in 2003-2004.  The Board first ruled a year ago, and in each case since then, that such activity did not constitute picketing and did not “threaten, coerce, or restrain” the secondary employers as proscribed by the National Labor Relations Act.

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in the second of two bannering cases brought by the San Diego Chapter AGC, finding lawful a union’s display, at business locations of secondary employers, of banners announcing a “labor dispute” and seeking to “shame” the employers or to persuade the public not to patronize the employers.  The ruling is the final Board decision in a series of bannering cases originating in 2003-2004.  The Board first ruled a year ago, and in each case since then, that such activity did not constitute picketing and did not “threaten, coerce, or restrain” the secondary employers as proscribed by the National Labor Relations Act.

In the present case, the Chapter charged that the union had unlawfully promoted consumer boycotts of several project owners (the secondary employers) to stop doing business with general contractors that subcontract work to open-shop firms.  The Chapter’s case was consolidated with three other cases involving similar facts.  The consolidated case differed from the earlier cases in several ways.  For example:  one of the banners omitted any reference to any “labor dispute” and simply accused the secondary employer of being a “greedy corporate citizen;” in two instances, customers of the secondary employers reacted to the bannering as if it were picketing, characterizing the activity as just that, and curtailing their business with the secondary employer; in several locations, the banners were just 15 feet from the driveway entrances to the secondary employer, and, in another instance, the banner was just 8 feet from an outdoor dining area; and, in several locations, accompanying handbillers were more mobile and more aggressive than they had been in the earlier cases.  The NLRB examined these differences in the facts of this particular case but held that they did not warrant a different result.  The Board was also unpersuaded by an administrative law judge’s decision finding the bannering in the present case to be unlawful.

The Chapter and other parties in the case are deciding whether to appeal.  None of the other cases in the series have been appealed to date.

For more information on union bannering, visit AGC’s Labor & HR Topical Resources page at www.agc.org/topicalresources, and select the main category “Unions/NLRA” and the subcategory “Union Bannering.”


FASBís Approval of New Multiemployer Plan Disclosure Standard Represents Victory for AGC

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on July 27 announced its approval of a new financial disclosure standard for employers with multi-employer pension plans.  AGC is very proud of the successful, painstaking efforts by our Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee and our Construction Industry FASB Coalition in getting the most dangerous provisions of the originally proposed standard removed, including disclosures about withdrawal liability and retiree health and welfare benefits (though the latter might be addressed in a future initiative).

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on July 27 announced its approval of a new financial disclosure standard for employers with multi-employer pension plans.  AGC is very proud of the successful, painstaking efforts by our Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee and our Construction Industry FASB Coalition in getting the most dangerous provisions of the originally proposed standard removed, including disclosures about withdrawal liability and retiree health and welfare benefits (though the latter might be addressed in a future initiative).

The new disclosures will include:

  • The amount of employer contributions made to each significant plan and to all plans in the aggregate.
  • An indication of whether the employer’s contributions represent more than five percent of total contributions to the plan.
  • An indication of which plans, if any, are subject to a funding improvement plan.
  • The expiration date(s) of collective bargaining agreement(s) and any minimum funding arrangements.
  • The most recent certified funded status of the plan, as determined by the plan’s “zone status” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.  If the “zone status” is not available, an employer will be required to disclose whether the plan is:  
    • Less than 65 percent funded;
    • Between 65 percent and 80 percent funded; or
    • Greater than 80 percent funded.
  • A description of the nature and effect of any changes affecting comparability for each period in which a statement of income is presented.

FASB expects that the revisions will be finalized in September.  For public entities, the enhanced disclosures will be required in fiscal years ending after December 15, 2011.  For nonpublic entities, the enhanced disclosures will be required in fiscal years ending after December 15, 2012.

For background information on this issue, including AGC’s involvement, click here, here, here, and here.


Register for the HR and TED Conferences and Federal Contracting HR Workshop Ė Hotel Discount Ends Sept. 9

There is still time to register for AGC’s 2011 HR Professionals Conference, Training, Education & Development (TED) Conference, and Federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop, but the hotel discount ends Friday, Sept. 9, so act fast.

There is still time to register for AGC’s 2011 HR Professionals Conference, Training, Education & Development (TED) Conference, and Federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop, but the hotel discount ends Friday, Sept. 9, so act fast.

Both conferences will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Kansas City, Mo., with the TED Conference beginning on Oct. 3, lasting to midday on Oct. 4, and the HR Professionals Conference beginning on the morning of Oct. 4, and concluding at noon on Oct. 5.  There will be one joint session on the morning of Oct. 4 with a keynote address by Jay Forte, president of Humanetrics, LLC, on how HR and training professionals drive results in the workplace.

New this year is the Federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop, which will be held Oct. 5-6, directly after the HR Professionals Conference.  This workshop is designed to help HR HRHHRRstaff responsible for compliance on federal and federally-assisted projects by providing practical information and best-practice advice from experts and peers experienced in the area.  Attendees can register for this workshop for a discounted price in conjunction with the HR Professionals Conference, or independently.

Find complete session descriptions, schedule, registration, and hotel information at www.agc.org/HR_TED.


NLRB Imposes New Posting Requirement Affecting Most Employers

Starting November 14, 2011, employers have yet another poster to post along with other employee notices.  The new poster informs employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and is mandated by a final rule published by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the August 30 Federal Register.  The rule establishes the size, form, and content of the notice, and remedies for noncompliance.

Starting November 14, 2011, employers have yet another poster to post along with other employee notices.  The new poster informs employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and is mandated by a final rule published by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the August 30 Federal Register.  The rule establishes the size, form, and content of the notice, and remedies for noncompliance.

Who Must Post the Notice

The rule applies to nearly every private-sector employer.  It excludes businesses that the NLRB generally does not assert jurisdiction over, which are those that have only the smallest impact on interstate commerce.  For retail businesses and home builders, that usually means those with a gross annual volume of less than $500,000.  For other employers, including commercial construction contractors, the threshold is $50,000.  The rule applies regardless of whether the employer’s workforce is unionized or not.

What’s in the Notice

The notice includes information about employees’ rights under the NLRA (such as the right to join a union, bargain collectively, discuss wages and benefits, and to strike and picket), examples of unlawful employer and union conduct, and information on how to contact the NLRB. The content is very similar to that of the notice required by most federal contractors pursuant to federal contract clauses mandated by a Department of Labor (DOL) regulation issued in May 2010.  Employers in compliance with the DOL requirement will be deemed to be in compliance with the NLRB requirement.  Accordingly, federal contractors need only post the DOL notice – not both the DOL notice and the NLRB notice – at jobsites covered by the DOL rule.

How the Notice Must be Posted

The rule requires employers to physically post the notice “in conspicuous places where they are readily seen by employees, including all places where notices to employees concerning personnel rules or policies are customarily posted.”  The poster must be at least 11 inches by 17 inches in size and must be in the format, type size, and style prescribed by the NLRB.  In addition to physical posting, employers must also electronically post the notice on an intranet or internet site if the employer customarily communicates with employees about personnel rules and policies through such sites.  The electronic posting requirement will be met if the employer displays “no less prominently than other notices to employees” either an exact copy of the poster, downloaded from the NLRB’s website, or a link, reading ‘‘Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act,’’ to the NLRB’s website that contains the poster.  

In workplaces where 20 percent or more of the employer's workforce is not proficient in English but speak the same foreign language, the employer must post the notice in the language employees speak.  If the workforce includes two or more groups totaling at least 20 percent of the workforce who speak different languages, the employer must either post the notice in each of those languages or, at the employer's option, post the notice in the language spoken by the largest group of employees and provide each employee in each of the other language groups a copy of the notice in the appropriate language.  If an employer requests from the Board a notice in a language that is not available, the employer will not be liable for non-compliance until the notice becomes available in that language.

How to Get the Poster

According to an NLRB fact sheet, the poster will be available on the Board’s website by November 1.  To make printing easier, the website will offer two format options:  a one-page, 11-by-17-inch version and a two-page 8½-by-11-inch version that must be printed in landscape format and taped together to form the 11-by-17-inch poster.  The NLRB will also provide printed copies of the poster upon request, at no charge.

What Are the Penalties for Failure to Post?

An employer that fails to post the notice may be found to have committed an unfair labor practice.  Under some circumstances, the NLRB will toll the statute of limitation for an employee’s filing of an unfair labor practice charge.  If the NLRB finds that the failure to post was “knowing and willful,” then it will deem the employer to have an unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case.  The NLRB expects, however, that few violations will be found for failures to post the notice.  It stated in the preamble to the rule that it “anticipates that most employers that fail to post the notice will do so because they are unaware of the rule, and that when they learn about the rule, they will post the notice without the need for formal administrative action or litigation.”  If a charge is filed alleging failure to post, the rule provides that the NLRB regional director “will make reasonable efforts to persuade” the employer to promptly post the notice.  If the employer does so, “the Board expects that there will rarely be a need for further administrative proceedings.''  The Board noted that it lacks the statutory authority to impose fines.

How the Final Rule Differs from the Proposed Rule

The NLRB received over 7,000 public comments on the proposed rule issued last December, including AGC-joined coalition comments raising various concerns.  The Board made only a few changes in the final rule, but those changes did include some improvements.  For example, the final rule drops proposed requirements to provide the notice by e-mail, text message, and voice mail, and to post the physical notice in color. The final rule also adds language to the notice clarifying that employees not only have the right to engage in statutorily protected activity but to refrain from engaging in such activity as well.

For more information, contact Denise Gold, Associate General Counsel, at (703) 837-5326 or goldd@agc.org.


AGC Urges NLRB to Withdraw "Quickie Election" Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) should withdraw a proposed rule to amend procedures in union representation cases, AGC argued in comments August 22, 2011.  AGC submitted the independent comments in addition to signing onto comments submitted by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) in order to detail how the proposed rule would impact the construction industry.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) should withdraw a proposed rule to amend procedures in union representation cases, AGC argued in comments submitted August 22, 2011.  AGC submitted the independent comments in addition to signing onto comments submitted by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) in order to detail how the proposed rule would impact the construction industry.

Dubbed by some opponents as the “quickie election” or “ambush election” rule, the regulatory proposal would change the NLRB’s procedures in cases where a union files a petition for an election to determine whether it will become the collective bargaining representative of a unit of workers.  The changes would speed up the process, limiting employers’ opportunity to communicate with workers about union representation, enhancing unions’ opportunity to communicate with workers, and otherwise making it easier for unions to organize open shop contractors or to shore up relationships with union contractors that have pre-hire agreements.  Among the changes proposed, the proposed rule would:  shorten the time between the filing of the petition and the holding of the election, eliminate pre-election hearings, expand the information that employers must disclose about employees to include e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, and render post-election review by the Board discretionary.

CDW’s comments assert, among other things, that the shortening of the pre-election time period subverts the policies and purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, that the disclosure of employee e-mail addresses and phone numbers would cause undue interference with business operations and employee privacy rights, that deferral of hearings until after election defeats the purpose of such a hearing, and that the requirement of a pre-hearing statement of position constitutes a denial of due process for employers.  AGC is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which submitted comments focusing on various substantive and procedural deficiencies in the proposal rule.

AGC’s supplemental comments explain how the proposed rule would have a particularly difficult application and detrimental impact in the construction industry.  This is due to a number of unique aspects of the industry, including the complexity of bargaining unit and voter eligibility determination, and the decentralized nature of the workplace.  Regarding the proposed mandatory disclosure of employee e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, AGC pointed out that recent cases have illustrated how construction unions might misuse such information.  AGC also advised that the proposed rule might lead to unintended consequences in the realm of increased litigation and backlash legislation.

AGC also provided an abbreviated letter for members to send to the NLRB on their own via AGC’s online Legislative Action Center.  The deadline for submitting comments was yesterday.

AGC will continue to monitor and report on developments.  Given the extraordinary number of public comments submitted, the NLRB is not expected to issue a final rule very quickly.

For more information, contact Denise Gold, Associate General Counsel, at goldd@agc.org or (703) 837-5326.


U.S. Department of Labor Improves Enforcement Database

The U.S. Department of Labor announced enhancements to its online enforcement database designed to improve public access to and understanding of the department’s enforcement actions.  The updated website includes a number of new features, including map displays of inspection and violation data, as well as the ability to view individual inspection records and the enforcement history of a particular company.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced enhancements to its online enforcement database designed to improve public access to and understanding of the department’s enforcement actions.  The updated website includes a number of new features, including map displays of inspection and violation data, as well as the ability to view individual inspection records and the enforcement history of a particular company.

These improvements to our online enforcement database are part of our commitment to open, transparent enforcement,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “By making this information available and easy to use, we’re helping to ensure a level playing field for employers who follow the law.”

In addition to mapping capabilities, the updated site allows users to easily view important agency metrics; perform keyword searches; filter data by year, violations or penalties; and export search results or an entire data set into downloadable formats.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces the Acceptance of Electronic Certified Payrolls for Davis-Bacon

On June 7, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”), the division of the Army responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation's water and related environmental resources, issued a Procurement Instruction Letter to its contracting officers giving the authority to use electronic systems for processing certified payroll records in Corps construction projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act.  The letter was issued to offer guidance and to “encourage the use of an electronic, commercially available system to process and submit Davis-Bacon certified payrolls to the Government.”

On June 7, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”), the division of the Army responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation's water and related environmental resources, issued a Procurement Instruction Letter to its contracting officers giving the authority to use electronic systems for processing certified payroll records in Corps construction projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act.  The letter was issued to offer guidance and to “encourage the use of an electronic, commercially available system to process and submit Davis-Bacon certified payrolls to the Government.”

The Davis-Bacon Act requires contractors performing on direct federal and some federally-assisted construction contracts to certify the accuracy of and submit weekly payroll statements to contracting officers of federal construction contracts.  According to Kim D. Denver, Director, National Contracting Organization of the Army Corps of Engineers, the use of electronic software to process certified payroll reports “creates greater accuracy and efficiencies in reporting for both the contractor and the government.”

Currently, the Corps lists four vendors that currently provide electronic payroll systems compliant with requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, including eMars Compliant Client Software, on which AGC members and their subcontractors can receive up to 15% off of the web-based software solution to comply with the payroll reporting requirement.  The other three companies listed include Elations Systems, LCPtracker and Hill International.

For additional guidance and compliance assistance tools related to the Davis-Bacon Act, purchase AGC’s new Davis-Bacon Compliance Manual for Federal & Federally Assisted Construction – Third Edition,  or visit AGC’s Labor & HR Topical Resources web page and select the main category “Compensation” and the subcategory “Davis-Bacon Act.”


VETS-100/100A Filing Deadline for Federal Contractors Extended to Nov. 30

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a one-time extension of the deadline for covered federal contractors to file the VETS-100 and VETS 100-A reports because of technical problems with a newly proposed electronic reporting system.  The reports detail the number of qualified covered veterans in the contractors’ workforces, by job category and hiring location, as well as the number of new hires during the 12-month reporting period who are qualified covered veterans.  DOL had planned to begin accepting electronic submissions of the reports beginning on August 1, 2011.  The new system is expected to be available beginning on October 1, extending the reporting deadline to November 30.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a one-time extension of the deadline for covered federal contractors to file the VETS-100 and VETS 100-A reports because of technical problems with a newly proposed electronic reporting system.  The reports detail the number of qualified covered veterans in the contractors’ workforces, by job category and hiring location, as well as the number of new hires during the 12-month reporting period who are qualified covered veterans.  DOL had planned to begin accepting electronic submissions of the reports beginning on August 1, 2011.  The new system is expected to be available beginning on October 1, extending the reporting deadline to November 30.

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, requires certain federal contractors and their subcontractors to file VETS-100 and/or VETS-100A reports with DOL by September 30 of each year, following a calendar year in which the contractor held a government contract or subcontract.  Which report to file depends on when the contract that triggers the reporting requirement was entered into or modified.  Contractors with a current government contract or subcontract in the amount of $25,000 or more that was entered into prior to December 1, 2003, must file the VETS-100 report, while contractors with a government contract or subcontract in the amount of $100,000 or more that was entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003, must file the VETS-100A report.  Contractors must file both the VETS-100 and VETS-100A reports if they have covered contracts or subcontracts entered into before December 1, 2003, and also have covered contracts or subcontracts entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003.

A separate report that is often confused with the submission of the VETS-100 and VETS-100A reports is the EEO-1 report, which summarizes workforce demographics in general.  The EEO-1 report is not affected by the extended deadline and must still be submitted by covered contractors by September 30, 2011.

For more information on the VETS-100 report, VETS 100-A report and EEO-1 report, visit the Labor and HR Topical Resources page on the AGC website.  The primary category is “EEO.”  The secondary category is “Affirmative Action EEO.”


AGC Launches New Website on Government-Mandated PLAs

AGC has launched a new website to provide its members with a comprehensive resource on government mandated project labor agreements (PLA).  Included on the website is AGC’s position on PLAs, a library of every letter AGC has sent to the Administration, the Congress and the Federal agencies, as well as additional resources on what impact PLAs have on the construction industry.

AGC has launched a new website to provide its members with a comprehensive resource on government mandated project labor agreements (PLA).  Included on the website is AGC’s position on PLAs, a library of every letter AGC has sent to the Administration, the Congress and the Federal agencies, as well as additional resources on what impact PLAs have on the construction industry.

The site also provides a link to our Legislative Action Center where AGC members may go to write a letter to their representatives and senators expressing their opposition to the utilization of government-mandated PLAs on federal construction projects. 

The new site will continually be updated with new and relevant information regarding the use of PLAs on federal projects and AGC members are encouraged to visit it regularly.

For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5376 or giamberm@agc.org.


USCIS Expands E-Verify Self-Check to 16 Additional States and Launches Spanish Version

On August 15, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that “Self Check,” a free online service of E-Verify that allows individuals to check their own employment eligibility status, is now available in Spanish and accessible to residents in 16 additional states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. This announcement expands on the initial launch of Self Check in March 2011 for residents who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

On August 15, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that “Self Check,” a free online service of E-Verify that allows individuals to check their own employment eligibility status, is now available in Spanish and accessible to residents in 16 additional states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. This announcement expands on the initial launch of Self Check in March 2011 for residents who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

E-Verify Self Check was developed to address employer concerns regarding the inaccuracy of information in the E-Verify system that led to an increased number of tentative nonconfirmations.  As explained in a February 16 Federal Register notice, E-Verify Self Check enables individuals to check their work authorization status prior to employment and facilitate correction of potential errors in federal databases that provide input into the E-Verify process.  If the information provided by the individual matches the information contained in federal databases, a result of “work authorization confirmed” is displayed to the individual.  If the information is a mismatch, E-Verify Self Check will provide the individual a result of “Possible mismatch with SSA” or “Possible mismatch with immigration information.”  It also provides instructions on how to request correction of these potential errors in records contained in these federal databases should the individual choose to do so before any formal, employer run E-Verify query process.

USCIS will continue to evaluate and improve the Self Check service, which it intends to expand nationwide by spring 2012.

For an interactive self-guided preview of the E-Verify Self Check system, click here.  Individuals located in the 21 eligible states and the District of Columbia can use E-Verify Self Check now in English by clicking here or in Spanish by clicking here.


DOL Temporarily Suspends Immigration-Related Prevailing Wage Determinations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), which processes prevailing wage determination requests for immigration purposes, recently announced a temporary suspension of new prevailing wage determinations. The suspension, which does not affect regular prevailing wage determinations, will allow the OFLC to focus its resources on reissuing approximately 4,000 H-2B prevailing wage determinations before a court-ordered deadline of September 30, 2011.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), which processes prevailing wage determination requests for immigration purposes, recently announced a temporary suspension of new prevailing wage determinations. The suspension, which does not affect regular prevailing wage determinations, will allow the OFLC to focus its resources on reissuing approximately 4,000 H-2B prevailing wage determinations before a court-ordered deadline of September 30, 2011. 

The court order, resulting from a decision in CATA v. Solis, where a U.S. District Court ordered DOL to reissue new H-2B prevailing wage determinations, was ordered on June 15, 2011.   Prevailing wage determinations have been suspended since then while DOL works on reissuing the H-2B determinations.  As a result, DOL issued the following statement:

“The OFLC’s National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule [was] published on August 1.  All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order.  The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended.  Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed.”

For H-1B professional temporary worker applications, prevailing wage determinations are optional, but they are mandatory for temporary labor certification applications, which are part of the H-2B nonprofessional temporary worker application process, and permanent employment certification (PERM) applications, which is necessary for green card applications.  A filing date for PERM applications, for which DOL is required to issue a prevailing wage determination, establishes the employee’s priority date, which is his or her “place in line” for an immigrant visa under the annual quota system.  Because a PERM application cannot be filed, the suspension may delay the filing date for many new or recently submitted PERM applications by a few months.  Although for professional temporary worker applications, the delay in filing PERM applications may also have an immediate impact on H-1B non-immigrant workers approaching the end of their maximum six years of H-1B eligibility. To obtain extensions of H-1B status beyond the sixth year, it is necessary to have a PERM application on file for at least one year, or to have obtained approval of an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition.   

For additional guidance on prevailing wage issues and immigration compliance, visit the Labor and HR Topical Resources section of the AGC website.


Immigration-Related Compliance Assistance Training for Employers to Take Place in September-October

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be conducting immigration-related compliance assistance webinars for employers throughout the month of September, while AGC plans live, in-person training for employers at its 10th Annual HR Professionals Conference.   Both events promise to be interactive, giving participants the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be conducting immigration-related compliance assistance webinars for employers throughout the month of September, while AGC plans live, in-person training for employers at its 10th Annual HR Professionals Conference.   Both events promise to be interactive, giving participants the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

USCIS’s webinar topics include:

  • Form I-9:  Employment Eligibility Verification – an overview of the Form I-9 process, including step-by-step instructions on how to complete each section, retention and storage;
  • E-Verify Self Check – an overview of the new “Self Check” program, a voluntary service that allows individuals to check their own employment eligibility;
  • E-Verify Overview – an overview of the E-Verify program, including how the program works, key features, how to enroll, employer responsibilities, and a demonstration of the program;
  • Federal Contractor E-Verify – a general overview of the E-Verify program for federal contractors that have been awarded a federal contract with the FAR E-Verify clause; and
  • E-Verify for Existing Users – a detailed overview of the E-Verify program specifically for existing users.  Topics include Form I-9, user roles, case alerts, how to handle a tentative nonconfirmation and common user mistakes.

Pre-registration is not required, but a maximum of 125 participants will be allowed to log-in to each webinar.  A complete schedule and log-in instructions are available on the USCIS website.

For those who prefer live, in-person training, AGC’s 10th Annual HR Professionals Conference, which will be held October 4-5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, will offer two sessions dedicated to immigration-related issues.  Ken Lovesee, a DHS special agent, will conduct a session called Before You Sign Form I-9.  This session is a hands-on document review workshop that will train employers on ways to identify fraudulent documents used to complete Form I-9.  While this session is intended to education HR professionals, it also doubles as a train-the-trainer session, offering techniques that HR professionals can take back to project superintendents or other field workers who actually complete and sign Form I-9 on behalf of the company.  In addition, for the first time, AGC will host a Federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop, which will be held October 5-6 at the same location.  During the workshop, immigration lawyer David Whitlock of Elarbee Thompson will discuss E-Verify for Federal Contractors.

To register for the HR Professionals Conference and/or the Federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop, visit www.agc.org/HR_TED.

For additional immigration-related guidance and compliance assistances tools, visit the Labor and HR sesction of the AGC website.  The primary category is “Other Legal Issues.”  The secondary category is “Immigration.”


For more information or to contact us directly, please visit agc.org | © AGC, 2004 – All rights reserved