AGC's Human Resource and Labor News - January 24, 2013 / Issue No. 1-13 (Print All Articles)

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Federal Court Finds Michigan PLA Law Preempted by NLRA

A federal district court has struck down a state statute restricting the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on the basis that the statute was preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

A federal district court has struck down a state statute restricting the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on the basis that the statute was preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

In July 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law the Michigan Fair and Open Competition in Government Construction Act (“2011 Act”).  Two building trades councils in Michigan challenged the legality of the statute in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  In February 2012, the court permanently enjoined the 2011 Act.  The court found that the law was regulatory and was preempted by the NLRA.  The 2011 Act was deemed overbroad because it restrained not only government entities but also private contractors, effectively banning PLAs on all state government construction projects.  The decision is currently on appeal.

Meanwhile, in June 2012, the state legislature and governor responded to the February 2012 court opinion by enacting a revised version of the statute (the “2012 Act”).  The 2012 Act omits the restriction on the use of PLAs by private actors but still precludes government agencies form requiring or prohibiting their contractors and subcontractors to adhere to a labor agreement.  It also contains other limitations on governmental units common in state and prior federal restrictions on government-mandated PLAs.  The building trades councils sued again in the same court as before.

The court found that the revisions were insufficient and enjoined the 2012 Act as well.  Section 8 of the NLRA allows for PLAs in the construction industry, and Section 7 makes an employee’s right to negotiate and secure a PLA protected concerted activity, noted the court.  The effect of the 2012 Act “is to inhibit the right of construction industry workers to enter into effective PLAs with the State and its subdivisions despite Congress’ intent for PLAs to be permissible.”  The 2012 Act “upsets the balance of power Congress established in the construction industry.”  It conflicts with the NLRA and is preempted by it, said the court.

The court also found that revised statute continued to be tantamount to regulation.  While a state’s regulatory activity is subject to preemption, its proprietary conduct is not.  A state is engaging in proprietary conduct when “it seeks to serve its own needs by functioning as a market participant” (as in the purchase of construction services).  To determine whether state action amounts to market participation, a court considers: (1) whether the action furthers a state’s interest in efficient procurement of goods or services, or addresses conduct unrelated to that interest; and (2) whether the action seeks to set a broad policy in the state, or is sufficiently narrow to foreclose that inference.  Examining those considerations in the present case, the court found that the 2012 Act did not amount to market participation.

This case raises interesting issues that could impact other laws restricting PLAs and even those requiring PLAs.  AGC will closely monitor any appeal and report on significant outcomes.

Mich. Bldg. & Constr. Trades Ccl v. Snyder, Case No. 12-13567 (E.D. Mich., 11/15/12).


Free Members-Only AGC Webinar on Multi-Employer Pension Reform January 29, 2013

Learn About Recommendations for Legislative and Regulatory Changes to System

Learn About Recommendations for Legislative and Regulatory Changes to System

For over a year, AGC has participated in the National Coordinating Committee of Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) Retirement Review Security Commission to develop draft recommendations for legislative and other changes to the current multi-employer pension plan system. The Commission has worked to develop these recommendations to ensure that the system provides reliable retirement income to workers while reducing financial risks to contributing employers.

The Commission was a labor-management, cross-industry group of stakeholders. Specific recommendations were put forth in the following areas:

  • Technical corrections and other changes to the Pension Protection Act;
  • New tools for plans near insolvency;
  • Facilitation of new, more flexible plan designs; and
  • Other new tools and changes to the law.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. EST, AGC will host a free webinar with presenters involved in the Commission, including AGC of America’s Commission representative and NCCMP staff, all of whom will review the Commission’s proposal and its potential impact on the construction industry.  By participating in this webinar, union contractor members will learn about the proposal and potential legislative changes after the Pension Protection Act sunsets in 2014, and how to help advance reform efforts.

For more information or to register for the free AGC member-only webinar, please click here.


Collective Bargaining in 2012 Yields Average 1st-Year Increase of 2%

Construction-industry collective bargaining negotiations settled during 2012 resulted in an average first-year increase in wages and benefits of $0.88 or 2.0 percent, according to the year-end Settlements Report issued by the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council.  For newly negotiated multi-year contracts, the average negotiated second-year increase was $1.08 or 2.3 percent, and the average third-year increase was $1.13 or 2.4 percent.

Construction-industry collective bargaining negotiations settled during 2012 resulted in an average first-year increase in wages and benefits of $0.88 or 2.0 percent, according to the year-end Settlements Report issued by the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council.  For newly negotiated multi-year contracts, the average negotiated second-year increase was $1.08 or 2.3 percent, and the average third-year increase was $1.13 or 2.4 percent.

While comparison to prior years’ data is approximate due to recent changes in CLRC methodology, the report notes that 2012 increases, as percentages, are higher than 2011 increases for the first contract year, the same for the second contract year, and lower for the third contract year.  Zero-percent increases in 2012 were “negotiated much less often than in 2011,” CLRC reports.  Increases in the range of 2.1 – 2.5 percent were most common in 2012.

The lowest percent average increase by region was in the South Central region (AR, LA, MN, OK, TX) at 1.1 percent, and the highest was in the New England region (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) at 3.4 percent.  By craft, the lowest average percent was negotiated by the Boilermakers at 0.4 percent, and the highest was negotiated by both the Millwrights and the crane operators (Operating Engineers) at 2.7 percent.

The full report is available via the link embedded above and, along with other CLRC reports, via AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library at www.agc.org/topicalresources (under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreements Data”).  It contains additional data and charts, as well as information about custom research and CLRC’s consulting services.

For more information, please contact Denise Gold, Associate General Counsel, at goldd@agc.org.


Court Dismisses Carpenters’ RICO Lawsuit Against Building Trades

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has dismissed a controversial lawsuit brought by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters international and certain subordinate bodies and individual members (Plaintiffs) against the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department and named labor officials (Defendants).

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has dismissed a controversial lawsuit brought by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters international and certain subordinate bodies and individual members (Plaintiffs) against the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department and named labor officials (Defendants).

The 246-page complaint alleged that the Defendants engaged in an “unlawful extortionate conspiracy” in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and Washington state law. The Plaintiffs asserted that the Defendants – in response to Carpenters’ incursion into other trades’ jurisdiction – have embarked on a campaign of economic pressure, acts of vandalism, and threats of violence to force the Carpenters to re-affiliate with the Building Trades.

The complaint also alleged that certain Defendants violated the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) by terminating the Carpenters’ Solidarity Agreement with the AFL-CIO’s Metal Trades Department without due process.

To establish a RICO violation, a plaintiff must prove five elements:  “(1) conduct (2) of an enterprise (3) through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity (known as predicate acts) (5) causing injury to plaintiff’s business or property.”  The court examined each of Plaintiffs’ various claims of racketeering activity and found that Plaintiffs failed to adequately plead injury and predicate acts to advance their case.  Because the state law claims were merely state law equivalents to the federal RICO claims, those claims failed for the same reasons.

The court also dismissed the LMRDA claim.  The LMRDA prohibits a labor organization from suspending or expelling a member for reasons other than nonpayment of dues unless the member has been “(1) served with written specific charges; (2) given a reasonable time to prepare his defense, and (3) afforded a full and fair hearing. “  The court found that the Carpenters lacked associational standing to bring the claim on behalf of its members.  The Plaintiffs who are individual Carpenters members did have standing to bring the claim, according to the court.  However, they failed to properly plead a demand for the relief sought – which was restoring Plaintiffs’ rights and privileges as members of the MTD and its councils.

United Bhd. of Carpenters v. Bldg. & Constr. Trades Dep’t, Case No. 12-CV-0109 (E.D. Wash., 12/4/12).


Federal Labor Agencies Update Regulatory Agendas

At the end of December, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its 2012 Statement of Regulatory Priorities, commonly known as the regulatory agenda. Initially, the agendas were scheduled to be released last fall, but were delayed presumably due to the November elections.  While agencies often do not adhere to the target dates listed, the agenda is a good indicator of issues the agency wants to address in 2013, which includes several regulations of concern to the construction industry.  Respectfully, neither agency announced any new regulations in the newly-released agendas.  However, the agency did provide notice of several updates

At the end of December, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its 2012 Statement of Regulatory Priorities, commonly known as the regulatory agenda. Initially, the agendas were scheduled to be released last fall, but were delayed presumably due to the November elections.  While agencies often do not adhere to the target dates listed, the agenda is a good indicator of issues the agency wants to address in 2013, which includes several regulations of concern to the construction industry.  Respectfully, neither agency announced any new regulations in the newly-released agendas.  However, the agency did provide notice of several updates.

NLRB

The NLRB listed the “quickie elections rule” as a long-term action on its agenda, presumably due to pending legal challenges to the rule.  The rule expedites the election process in union representation cases and otherwise revises procedures to unions’ advantage.

The agenda did not address the NLRB’s notice posting rule as a priority.  The rule requires nearly all private-sector employers to post certain notices about employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  It is also being challenged in court.

For more information on both the quickie elections rule and the notice posting rule, please click here.

DOL

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
In 2010, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it is working on a Compensation Data Collection Tool to identify contractors violating sex and race-based compensation discrimination laws. AGC submitted comments explaining why the use of a tool such as this one should be modified or not required at all.  The new agenda suggests that details about the tool will emerge in April 2013 in the form of a proposed rule, hopefully with AGC’s suggested modifications.

Also expected in April are final rules on the affirmative action requirements of direct federal contractors as they relate to veterans and to individuals with disabilities.  AGC has been active in trying to modify or block both rules. One analysis conducted by AGC uses data provided by AGC members that estimates the cost of compliance as 20 to 30 times more than the cost estimated by OFCCP.  In addition, AGC co-sponsored a study that concludes that comprehensive rules of this nature are unnecessary.  For more information on these rules, click here.

The agenda also mentions a plan to issue a proposed rule that would establish a new method for meeting affirmative action goals and requirements for minorities and women in construction – the first change to the process since 1980. A proposed rule is projected for October.

Office of Labor-Management Standards
The Office of Labor-Management Standards’ (OLMS) attention continues to focus on finalizing a “persuader rule.”  The proposed rule – issued in June 2011 – would limit the “advice” exception under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act so that all consultation with labor lawyers and/or consultants will be subject to disclosure to the Labor Department.  This rule could significantly impact employers’ ability to obtain guidance on their rights and responsibilities during a union organizing drive and to obtain assistance in preparing for communications with employees about their own rights and responsibilities.   A final rule is projected for April 2013. For more information on the persuader rule, click here.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA did not offer a time line for drafting a silica rule or recordkeeping rule to require employers to identify musculoskeletal disorders separately on OSHA 300 log forms. The top priority for OSHA continues to be an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) rule.  I2P2 would require employers to implement and frequently update an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to address safety and health hazards, beyond those that are currently regulated.  OSHA currently has voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.  AGC has encouraged OSHA to remove the requirement that companies develop company-wide safety programs to address these unregulated hazards. Instead, AGC has recommended that OSHA provide simple guidelines to employers to develop and implement an effective safety and health program that focuses on the regulated hazards that are significant threats in the workplace.  A proposed rule is expected in December 2013.


Review of 2012 W-2s Necessary After Fiscal Cliff Deal Increases Transit Benefits

A provision in the fiscal cliff deal has increased the monthly limitation regarding the fringe benefit exclusion amount for transit passes and transportation in a commuter highway vehicle from $240 to $245 for the 2013 tax year.  The legislation also allows for a retroactive increase to include tax year 2012.  As a result, the 2012 exclusion amount was increased from the $125 limit that had previously been established to the new $245 limit.

A provision in the fiscal cliff deal has increased the monthly limitation regarding the fringe benefit exclusion amount for transit passes and transportation in a commuter highway vehicle from $240 to $245 for the 2013 tax year.  The legislation also allows for a retroactive increase to include tax year 2012.  As a result, the 2012 exclusion amount was increased from the $125 limit that had previously been established to the new $245 limit.

Employers that have not furnished Forms W-2 for tax year 2012 should take into account the increased exclusion amount when calculating the amount of wages reported on Forms W-2.  Employers that have already filed 2012 Forms W-2 will need to file Forms W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, to take into account the increased exclusion for transit benefits.

Additional guidance to help employers calculate the amount of wages reported on Forms W-2  can be found on the IRS website.


Care for Adult Children under FMLA Clarified

On Jan. 14, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) clarifying the definition of “son or daughter” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The guidance specifically addresses the needs for parents who request leave to care for an adult child, eighteen years of age or older, with a mental or physical disability.

On Jan. 14, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) clarifying the definition of “son or daughter” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The guidance specifically addresses the needs for parents who request leave to care for an adult child, eighteen years of age or older, with a mental or physical disability.

Also discussed in the AI is the correlation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and its revised definition of disabled along with the use of FMLA leave to care for an adult child who becomes disabled after serving in the military.

Furthermore, the guidance explains that the age of a son or daughter at the onset of a disability is not relevant in determining a parent’s entitlement to FMLA leave.

For more information on the FMLA, visit AGC’s Labor and HR Topical Resources webpage.  The primary category is “Leave.”  The secondary category is “Family and Medical Leave Act.”


U.S. Transportation Department Issues Guidance on State-Approved Recreational and Medical Marijuana Use

In response to some states passing initiatives to permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance recently issued a memo about its drug-use policy for safety-sensitive transportation employees.  Construction industry workers covered by the policy include truck drivers and other safety-sensitive transportation workers.

In response to some states passing initiatives to permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance recently issued a memo about its drug-use policy for safety-sensitive transportation employees.  Construction industry workers covered by the policy include truck drivers and other safety-sensitive transportation workers.

The memo, in a very direct way, explains that “state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program,” which does not authorize the use of certain drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. The memo further clarifies that Medical Review Officers (MROs) will not consider a drug test negative even if a physician has recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana” in states where its use has been approved.

Download a copy of the memo here.


AGC to Host Webinar on the Affordable Care Act

HR professionals cannot make tough company decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) alone.  As a result, many are guiding construction company owners and executives through the decision-making process to minimize the impact of the ACA on business operations.  AGC’s upcoming webinar series, The Affordable Care Act: The Impact of Health Care Reform on Your Construction Business, will provide those with a seat at the table the information necessary to make critical business decisions that will affect the company for years to come.  The webinars will be held on Feb. 5, 7 and 12.  Each webinar will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.  Registration for all three days is just $99 for AGC members.

HR professionals cannot make tough company decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) alone.  As a result, many are guiding construction company owners and executives through the decision-making process to minimize the impact of the ACA on business operations.  AGC’s upcoming webinar series, The Affordable Care Act: The Impact of Health Care Reform on Your Construction Business, will provide those with a seat at the table the information necessary to make critical business decisions that will affect the company for years to come.  The webinars will be held on Feb. 5, 7 and 12.  Each webinar will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.  Registration for all three days is just $99 for AGC members.

This webinar series will provide answers to such questions as:

  • How will health care reform affect our bottom line?
  • Should we pay the tax penalty or provide health care coverage?  Which is cheaper? Which is better?
  • If we provide coverage, how much will insurance costs increase?
  • Should we consider reducing employee hours to 30 hours per week?
  • How will all of this affect our company in the long run?

On day one of the webinar, there will be an overview of all the key implementation dates of the ACA, the overall impact of the law on health plans, and the impact of the individual mandate on business – an often disregarded issue for employers.

Day two will cover “Play or Pay” – the employer mandate provision that raises the most questions for employers. Small businesses and those with seasonal employees will especially benefit from learning the process for determining if a company must comply with the mandate. Vital tax and payroll issues will also be discussed.

For those who decide to “play”, on day three, participants will get an inside look at the future of the insurance marketplace, including how insurance providers are adapting their plans and cost structures as a result of the new requirements, as well as techniques to use when shopping around for health insurance plans.

AGC is planning a separate event, as part of the 2013 HR Professionals Conference, specifically for HR professionals who need to dig deeper into the compliance issues of the Affordable Care Act.  Details will be available soon.

Now is the time to take action by creating a strategy to address these critical issues.  For more information or to register, please visit the AGC website.


IRS Proposes Regulations for Affordable Care Act “Pay or Play” Mandate

On January 2, 2013, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This provision goes into effect on January 1, 2014, although there is some transition relief for plans that do not operate on a calendar-year basis.  The IRS also released a series of questions and answers highlighting the key provisions in the NPRM.  The proposed regulations explain how employers should determine if they are subject to the employer mandate of the Act – the so called “pay or play” rules, how to determine which employees are considered “full-time employees,” and how the employer penalty would be calculated and paid.  While this rule is not yet final, it is considered by the IRS to be guidance for employers and can be relied upon through 2014.  The proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register.

On January 2, 2013, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This provision goes into effect on January 1, 2014, although there is some transition relief for plans that do not operate on a calendar-year basis.  The IRS also released a series of questions and answers highlighting the key provisions in the NPRM.  The proposed regulations explain how employers should determine if they are subject to the employer mandate of the Act – the so called “pay or play” rules, how to determine which employees are considered “full-time employees,” and how the employer penalty would be calculated and paid.  While this rule is not yet final, it is considered by the IRS to be guidance for employers and can be relied upon through 2014.  The proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register.

One of the most noted clarifications in the proposal is the requirement for large employers to offer coverage not only to full-time employees but to their dependents as well.  While the cost of coverage for the employee must not exceed 9.5% of the annual household income for the purchase of his or her own coverage, this is not a requirement for coverage offered to dependents – a relief for employers who do not wish to pay for dependent coverage.  It is important to note that spouses are not considered dependents under this definition and are not required receive an offer of coverage.

The NPRM also clarifies the definition of “large employer” and explains how multiple employers within a one controlled group should determine if they must comply with the requirements of the law, and if so, how penalties will be assessed for non-compliance.  Additional topics covered include:

  • Changes in employment status from part-time or seasonal to full-time;
  • Treatment of rehired employees and others with service breaks;
  • Counting paid leave for the purposes of determining “full-time” status;
  • Counting hours worked by foreign employees;
  • Penalty assessments for employers when employees fail to pay their portion of the insurance premium;
  • Safe harbors for determining affordability; and
  • Transition relief options for employers.

The IRS is accepting comments on the proposed regulations through March 18, 2013.  As a member of a cross-industry coalition that has been heavily influencing the implementation of the ACA, AGC will continue to address the effects of this law on the construction industry during this regulatory process. 

AGC members with specific concerns or questions are encouraged to contact Tamika C. Carter, AGC’s director of construction HR, at cartert@agc.org or 703-837-5382.


Group Health Plans Undergo Strenuous Labor Department Audits

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has expanded its compliance review regimen to include a review of compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and wellness programs.   As a result, EBSA has broadened the list of documents it requests during a compliance review.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has expanded its compliance review regimen to include a review of compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and wellness programs.   As a result, EBSA has broadened the list of documents it requests during a compliance review.

EBSA auditors are looking for information and documentation concerning the ACA’s employer shared responsibility requirement and other provisions of the health care reform law.  Specifically, they are looking for information such as the plan’s grandfather status, coverage for adult children, lifetime and annual limits, and claims and appeals procedures.

Wellness plans are also being reviewed.  For example, EBSA wants to see how wellness programs are designed along with the required notices that have to be provided with the programs.  These reviews will allow EBSA an inside look at how employers are complying with the laws the agency is tasked to enforce.

For a sample audit letter and to see the list of requested documents, click here.


Prepare Your Workforce for Flu Epidemic

The 2012-2013 influenza season started early and is now an epidemic.  As a result, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that employers communicate with employees about the importance of getting vaccinated and reducing the spread of flu.

The 2012-2013 influenza season started early and is now an epidemic.  As a result, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that employers communicate with employees about the importance of getting vaccinated and reducing the spread of flu. 

The CDC advises employers to work with employees on reducing the spread of flu by urging those with flu-like symptoms and those with high risks of infection to telecommute.  In addition, the CDC encourages employers to prepare for school closures and child care issues in advance.  For the construction industry, this can be problematic since contracts are awarded and paid based on anticipated completion dates, and the possibility of reduced staff after a potential influenza outbreak may mean reduced production capacity.

Although construction employers are limited in what they can do to stop the spread of influenza, the CDC has recommended action steps employers should take to help mitigate the impact of the epidemic.  Employers are advised to:

  • Review or establish a flexible influenza pandemic plan and involve your employees in developing and reviewing your plan;
  • Conduct a focused discussion or exercise using your plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected before flu season;
  • Have an understanding of your organization’s normal seasonal absenteeism rates and know how to monitor your personnel for any unusual increases in absenteeism through the fall and winter.
  • Engage state and local health department to confirm channels of communication and methods for dissemination of local outbreak information;
  • Allow sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs;
  • Develop other flexible leave policies to allow workers to stay home to care for sick family members or for children if schools dismiss students or child care programs close;
  • Share your influenza pandemic plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available to them;
  • Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts; and
  • Add a “widget” or “button” to your company Web page or employee Web site so employees can access the latest information on influenza.  Widgets and buttons can be downloaded at www.cdc.gov/widgets/.

Other CDC resources for employers include a toolkit for promoting the seasonal flu vaccine and posters and flyers that can be posted around the workplace.  Additional resources are also available in OSHA’s Flu Pandemic Guide.


Don’t Miss the Jan. 31 Early-Bird Deadline for AGC’s Annual Convention - March 5-9 in Palm Springs, CA

The AGC Annual Convention and Constructor Expo - March 6-9, 2013, in Palm Springs, Calif. - is the ideal opportunity to see what AGC can do for you and your business, as well as to learn from industry peers and experts on how they are overcoming today’s challenges.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build your connections, grow your business, and get involved.  Register now before the early-bird registration discount ends on January 31.

The AGC Annual Convention and Constructor Expo - March 6-9, 2013, in Palm Springs, Calif. - is the ideal opportunity to see what AGC can do for you and your business, as well as to learn from industry peers and experts on how they are overcoming today’s challenges.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build your connections, grow your business, and get involved.  Register now before the early-bird registration discount ends on January 31.

The schedule includes a number of sessions addressing labor and employment topics such as those described below.  Visit http://convention.agc.org to find out about the many other sessions and events drawing you to Palm Springs!

Open Shop Contractors to Hear Legal Update & Hold Roundtable

AGC’s Open Shop Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 5, 3:00-4:30 p.m.  The tentative agenda will include an update on the latest (often labor-friendly) developments coming out of the National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor, and other government agencies affecting employers in the construction industry.  It will also feature a roundtable discussion of the current labor-related activities of concern to open shop contractors around the country.

Terry O’Sullivan Delivers State of the (Laborers) Union Address

The Laborers’ International Union of North America touts itself as “the most progressive, aggressive and fastest-growing union of construction workers.”  On Wednesday, March 6, at 1:45 p.m., Laborers’ General President Terry O’Sullivan will speak at a Convention session sponsored by AGC’s Union Contractors Committee.  O’Sullivan – who is known as a candid, fiery speaker and as an innovator among the newest generation of labor leaders – will share his perspectives on the state of construction labor relations today and on his union’s current initiatives.  The session is open to all Convention registrants and will be of interest to both union and open shop contractors alike.

Tomorrow’s Skilled Workforce Needs – Bridging the Gaps

High levels of unemployment through the recession have masked how the industry’s changing demands could lead to significant skilled worker shortages.  In order to remain competitive in the marketplace, contractors will need a workforce with new skills, but they may be ones that help attract a younger generation to the industry.

On Thursday, March 7, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Harry Bernstein of McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC) and Eddie Clayton of Southern Company will talk about these issues.  Sharing key contractor findings from MHC’s Construction Industry Workforce Shortages: Role of Certification, Training and Green Jobs in Filling the Gap SmartMarket Report, they will unlock and break down the results of their study that include details on specific shortage areas, skill gaps, green job skills and opportunity, and the role of training and professional certifications in helping firms remain competitive.  MHC will also share relevant key data from its 2012 research on BIM, green building and other key trends to provide a futurist look at how the industry is transforming – and transforming its workforce needs along with it.

What Every Contractor Needs to Know about the New Health Care System

On Thursday, March 7, at 11:30 a.m., the Convention will feature a special session on the Affordable Care Act and the decisions it will require contractors to make.  Which contractors will have to “pay or play”?  What is a “Grandfathered Health Care Plan,” and why does it matter whether a plan falls into that category?  How does the new law apply to collectively bargained plans, including multiemployer plans?  Will contractors still have the option of offering different coverage to their office and field staff?  What are these new “Exchanges” and how will they work?  Can a contractor set up its own Exchange?  Come and learn the answers to these questions and to hear about the guidance that the federal government is finally starting to provide.

 

 


Combined Construction HR and Training Professionals Conferences Set for Oct. 16-17 in Chicago

After four years of hosting the HR Professionals Conference back-to-back with the Training, Education and Development (TED) Conference, AGC will combine the two conferences for 2013.  With construction companies working with fewer staff, the decision to combine the conferences is a result of the increase in the number of individuals who are fulfilling both roles.  The event will be known as AGC’s Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference.  It will be held in Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 16 and 17 and will provide two full days of sessions for HR and for training professionals.  Registration and hotel information will be available at http://www.agc.org in the coming months.

After four years of hosting the HR Professionals Conference back-to-back with the Training, Education and Development (TED) Conference, AGC will combine the two conferences for 2013.  With construction companies working with fewer staff, the decision to combine the conferences is a result of the increase in the number of individuals who are fulfilling both roles.  The event will be known as AGC’s Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference.  It will be held in Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 16 and 17 and will provide two full days of sessions for HR and for training professionals.  Registration and hotel information will be available at http://www.agc.org in the coming months.

The conference will continue to offer unique opportunities for HR, training, education, and workforce development professionals in the construction industry.  Sessions for training professionals will cover the most cutting-edge techniques in training and development currently in use and envisioned for the future in the industry.  The HR sessions will help HR professionals in the industry remain up to date and compliant with employment laws and best practices.  Some sessions will interest both HR and training professionals alike.

Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details.  We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!


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