AGC's Human Resource and Labor News - August 10, 2017 / Issue No. 05-17 (Print All Articles)

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10 Reasons to Attend AGC’s 2017 Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference

Each October, construction industry professionals in HR, training and workforce development gear up for the industry’s premier learning and networking event, AGC’s Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference, and this year is no different. The 2017 event will be held Oct. 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Here are the top 10 reasons to attend this year’s event.

Each October, construction industry professionals in HR, training and workforce development gear up for the industry’s premier learning and networking event, AGC’s Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference, and this year is no different.  The 2017 event will be held Oct. 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.  Here are the top 10 reasons to attend this year’s event.

  1. The pre-conference and interactive Strategic Management Workshop, sponsored by FMI, will help participants understand their firm’s top business challenges and align HR and training with strategic corporate goals. This year’s session, “How to Get a Seat at a C Suite Table” presented by Andrew Patron and Sal DiFonzo, will identify proven succession planning tactics, discuss proactive talent development approaches, define compensation concepts, and facilitate industry thinking around organizational development.

  2. This year’s conference has been pre-approved for 7.25 recertification credits toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). For those who are SHRM-certified, inputting sessions manually is a great option for obtaining credit toward your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification.  Just print and maintain a copy of the conference agenda for future reference.

  3. Sessions for training professionals will cover the most cutting-edge techniques in training and development currently in use and envisioned for the future of the industry while the HR-related sessions will help HR professionals in the industry remain up to date and compliant with employment laws and best practices.

  4. Training and workforce development professionals will appreciate sessions on “Creating Internal Subject Matter Experts: The Key to Training Success”, “The Change Order: Rethinking Training and Development”, and “Training Your Next Generation of Leaders & Creating a Winning Succession Plan.”

  5. HR professionals will appreciate sessions on the “On the Top of Camelback Mountain, Or Headed to the Desert Floor? Labor & Employment Law in Year One of The Trump Administration”, “Re-Thinking Recruiting in the Construction Industry: Best Practices and Trends in 2017”, “Health Care for Contractors: Lessons in Managing Risk and Costs”, “New Challenges in Workplace Drug Abuse”, and “The Big Pay Disconnect. Yes, Money Matters.”

  6. Lunch on Thursday isn’t just lunch – it’s a roundtable discussion! Pre-register for one of six roundtable lunch discussion tracks to talk through specific challenges faced by construction training and HR professionals today, with timely, effective and proven solutions.

  7. There will be great networking opportunities, including the HR and TED Forums Networking Dinner Wednesday evening and a reception Thursday evening which are both open to all attendees.

  8. Not to be missed this year are the Conference’s four anchor sessions.  During the opening session of the conference, innovation and creativity guru Jeff Tobe, author of Coloring Outside the Lines, will kick off the conference with his session on the “Four Pillars of Engagement.”  Derrick Duplessy, the founder of the Purpose Rockstar podcast and Executive Director of the Duplessy Foundation, will close the first day of the conference with his session on self-discovery, exploring how attendees can maximize their potential as humans. On the final day of the conference, Andy Patron of FMI will unveil and moderate a panel discussion on the results of their 2017 Talent Development survey of leading construction firms. And to close out the conference, Seniye Groff & Tim Sissel from Fortis Construction will discuss building an on boarding program from the ground up. This session will be informative for anyone trying to identify performance gaps and devise an organizational solution that uses process and training solutions to the table.

  9. Learn about products and services that are uniquely catered for use by construction training and HR professionals in the conference exhibit hall.  This year’s exhibitors are BirdDog HR, NCCER, PAS Inc., and FMI. Breakfast on Thursday and Friday will showcase demos of products and services offered by some of our sponsors.

  10. Take advantage of the $100 early-bird discount when registering before September 11.

See full session descriptions, schedule, and registration information at www.agc.org/hr_ted or contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or Carly Trout at carly.trout@agc.org.


AGC Urges Labor Department to Rescind “Persuader Rule”

AGC of America submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor on August 10 in support of the Department’s proposed rule to rescind the controversial “persuader rule” issued during the Obama Administration.

AGC of America submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor on August 10 in support of the Department’s proposed rule to rescind the controversial “persuader rule” issued during the Obama Administration. 

The “persuader rule” expands the reporting obligations of labor relations “consultants” – which is broadly defined – who conduct activities to persuade employees about their rights to join a union or bargain collectively, as well as the reporting obligations of employers who receive assistance from such consultants.  By narrowing the “advice” exemption to the reporting obligations, the rule requires reporting even when the consultant communicates only to the employer and has no direct contact with employees, if an object of the communications is to “persuade” employees.  The rule was issued last year but was enjoined by a federal district court on a nationwide basis prior to implementation. 

AGC’s comment letter reiterates the concerns that AGC raised during the original rulemaking.  These concerns include various legal and practical problems, as well as the anticipated damaging impact in the construction industry.  The letter asserts that the Department should promulgate rules that encourage employers to seek expert advice rather than rules, like the “persuader rule,” that hinder them from doing so.   

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


Labor Department Requests Input on Revising Overtime Rule

On July 26, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally published a Request for Information (RFI) on the 2016 changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. In line with AGC’s regulatory recommendations, this RFI is the first step the DOL is undertaking to revisit the overtime rule that dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempt employees. AGC and its members were concerned that imposing such a large and immediate increase might result in unintended consequences, particularly for small construction companies, construction employers in lower‐wage regions, and construction personnel.

On July 26, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally published a Request for Information (RFI) on the 2016 changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. In line with AGC’s regulatory recommendations, this RFI is the first step the DOL is undertaking to revisit the overtime rule that dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempt employees. AGC and its members were concerned that imposing such a large and immediate increase might result in unintended consequences, particularly for small construction companies, construction employers in lower‐wage regions, and construction personnel.

In 2016, the DOL released a final rule implementing changes to the overtime regulations.  The most significant change was a doubling of the standard salary threshold for exempt employees – from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  The changes were set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016, but a district court in Texas blocked the Obama administration's rule. In its decision, the court noted that DOL, by setting the salary threshold so high in the rule, improperly made it the primary focus in determining whether an employee is exempt. The Trump administration abandoned the Labor Department's initial appeal of the court striking down the salary threshold, but appealed the decision's conclusion that the DOL did not have the authority to set a salary threshold to determine whether an employee qualifies for exemption.

Still awaiting the court’s decision, the DOL ultimately decided to go forward and seek public input on the rule now to assist in the development of a future notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).  Specifically, the RFI requests comments on questions related to the salary level test, the duties test, inclusion of non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy a portion of the salary level, the salary test for highly compensated employees, and automatic updating of the salary level tests. The deadline to submit comments is September 25, 2017. 

AGC will continue to provide input to the DOL on the impact further changes might have on the construction industry and will notify members of any developments. 

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.


Trump Administration Releases New Details on Regulatory Agenda

Silica, WOTUS, Paid Sick Leave, Local Hiring and More

The Trump administration released new details on its regulatory and deregulatory plans. Issued July 20, the 2017 Spring Unified Agenda provides some answers and many questions about the future of major regulatory issues facing AGC contractors.

The Trump administration released new details on its regulatory and deregulatory plans. Issued July 20, the 2017 Spring Unified Agenda provides some answers and many questions about the future of major regulatory issues facing AGC contractors. On the positive side, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its goal to issue a new rule on the definition of waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act by the end of this year and kicked the can on new stormwater regulations as well as lead paint rules for public and commercial buildings. Also, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signaled the withdrawal of regulatory efforts to further address: the establishment of an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2);  noise in construction; combustible dust; and preventing back over injuries and fatalities.  On the negative side, OSHA did not provide any details on plans for its silica standard, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council provided its plan to issue a final rule to cement the direct federal contractor paid sick leave regulation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) punted on any effort to withdraw the local hiring proposed rule and has still left in place the existing pilot program.  

On the whole, the Trump administration has slowed the federal regulatory machine. In the first five months of 2017, the administration’s regulatory efforts produced quantifiable annualized cost savings estimated at $22 million, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs due to rules finalized during last five months of fiscal year 2016. AGC remains engaged in the legal fight against the silica rule, and will push back on DOT and the FAR Council decisions on local hiring and paid sick leave, respectively. For more details, read the 2017 Regulatory Road Ahead.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@ac.org or 703-837-5325.


Revised Form I-9 Now Available

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Instructions for how to download Form I-9 are available on the Form I-9 page. Employers can use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through Sept. 17. On Sept. 18, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of 07/17/17 N. Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Instructions for how to download Form I-9 are available on the Form I-9 page. Employers can use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through Sept. 17. On Sept. 18, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of 07/17/17 N. Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

Revisions to the Form I-9 instructions:

  • The name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices was changed to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
  • Removal of “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.”

Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9:

  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) was added to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
  • All the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) have been combined into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents except the Social Security card have been renumbered. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

All changes are included in the revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), which is intended to be easier for users to navigate. 

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.


First Trump Nominee Joins NLRB

Marvin E. Kaplan was sworn in today as a member of the National Labor Relations Board for a term ending on Aug. 27, 2020. The U.S. Senate confirmed Kaplan along party lines on Aug. 2, bringing the Board one step closer to a Republican majority expected to be more employer-friendly than the Obama-appointed Board. The five-member board had been operating with a Democratic majority of two, a Republican minority of one, and two vacancies since Pres. Trump took office.

Marvin E. Kaplan was sworn in today as a member of the National Labor Relations Board for a term ending on Aug. 27, 2020.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Kaplan along party lines on Aug. 2, bringing the Board one step closer to a Republican majority expected to be more employer-friendly than the Obama-appointed Board.  The five-member board had been operating with a Democratic majority of two, a Republican minority of one, and two vacancies since Pres. Trump took office. 

AGC welcomes the addition of Kaplan to the Board given his substantial and diverse labor policy background.  Kaplan was serving as Chief Counsel of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission when nominated.  Previously, he spent almost seven years on Capitol Hill, first as counsel to the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and then to the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee.  Prior to that, he served as a Special Assistant in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management and Standards.

Pres. Trump has nominated William Emanuel, a management-side attorney with the law firm Littler Mendelson, for the remaining Board vacancy.  The timing of his confirmation hearing is uncertain but expected to take place soon. 


AGC Calls on GSA to Withdraw PLA Preference Policy

Also Recommends Change Order & Other Reforms

On July 24, AGC urged the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to rescind its project labor agreement (PLA) bid preference policy in the association’s detailed response to GSA’s request for regulatory reform. GSA is the only major federal construction agency to include such a bid preference in its procurement process.

On July 24, AGC urged the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to rescind its project labor agreement (PLA) bid preference policy in the association’s detailed response to GSA’s request for regulatory reform. GSA is the only major federal construction agency to include such a bid preference in its procurement process. 

Additionally, given the problems GSA and other federal owners have with timely execution of change orders, AGC also recommended that the agency establish timelines—based on dollar thresholds—for contracting officers to follow on executing change orders. AGC also put forth language that would help prevent contracting officers from denying change order proposals based on insignificant paperwork mistakes, which can be used as a means to reset the clock.   

AGC also recommended that GSA—as a member of the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council—issue a rulemaking to put in place the counting of lower tier small business subcontractors and allow the agency to use CM-at-Risk in a way that more closely resembles private sector use of the procurement and project delivery method. 

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or 703-837-5325


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