Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 3, 2015
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On the Inside
ENVIRONMENT
Judge Issues Injunction Against Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. Rule
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Uses August Recess to Urge House to Take Up Long-Term Transportation Bill
LABOR
National Labor Relations Board Expands Definition of “Joint Employer”
AGC EVENTS
Early Bird Discount for AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference Ends Tomorrow
Register for First Ever AGC Utility Infrastructure Conference at ICUEE
Take Advantage of AGC Highway Contractors Conference Early Bird Rates: Register Today!
ENVIRONMENT
Judge Issues Injunction Against Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. Rule
Step Halts Implementation for 13 States
 

A federal judge blocked a controversial rule that redefines the scope of Clean Water Act protections for 13 states. However, the rule, which went into effect Aug. 28, 2015, still applies to the other 37 states that were not part of the lawsuit, creating confusion for construction companies working in multiple different states. 

This particular lawsuit was brought by Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.  The U.S. District Court Judge who issued the ruling said that the challenging states are "likely to succeed" in their lawsuit because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appeared to exceed its Clean Water Act authority in determining its jurisdiction.  As a result, the judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the rule from implementation in those states. "The risk of irreparable harm to the States is both imminent and likely," he wrote, adding that, "on the whole, the greater public interest favors issuance of the preliminary injunction."

EPA officials are still evaluating its further legal options. In addition, there are still multiple other ongoing lawsuits challenging the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.

AGC discussed this and other issues relating to “Waters of the U.S.” with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency at the AGC Contractors Environmental Conference this week.

For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org or Scott Berry at berrys@agc.orgReturn to Top

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TRANSPORTATION
AGC Uses August Recess to Urge House to Take Up Long-Term Transportation Bill
If You Haven’t Contacted Your Rep, There is Still Time!
 

Throughout the month of August, AGC chapters and members have been visiting with their Congressmen, urging them to pass a long-term, fully funded transportation bill when they return to Washington in September. If you have not yet contacted your Congressman, now is the time to do so. 

The Senate completed action on a six-year transportation bill before the August recess, and the House has indicated that it will work on its version of a bill when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day. AGC has heard reports that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a transportation hearing on Sept. 17, although this has not been made official. With the current short-term extension of highway & transit programs expiring at the end of October, it is important you continue to pressure your Congressman to focus on passing a long-term bill and avoid another short-term extension. Resources to help you schedule in-person meetings can be found on the Hardhats for Highway “Meet with Congress” page. 

For more information, talking points and additional social media materials, please visit Hardhats for Highways or contact Brynn Huneke at brynn.huneke@agc.org or (703) 837-5376.  Return to Top

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LABOR
National Labor Relations Board Expands Definition of “Joint Employer”
Decision Could Prove Very Problematic for Construction Firms
 

The National Labor Relations Board issued a disappointing but anticipated decision on Thursday that relaxes the standard for determining when two companies constitute “joint employers” under the National Labor Relations Act.  As reported here, AGC submitted a joint amicus brief with other employer groups in the case last year.  The brief urged the NLRB to maintain the current standard, under which separate entities are considered joint employers only if they share direct control over, or co-determine, essential terms and conditions of employment.  The brief also urged the Board to refrain from relaxing the standard to the point where indirect or potential control would be enough.  Consistent with the current Board’s penchant for expanding employer liability, the NLRB changed the standard to require consideration of whether an employer has exercised indirect control over terms and conditions of employment through an intermediary, or reserved the right to do so. 

The question in the case, Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., was whether Browning-Ferris Industries and a company it used to supply labor are joint employers of the supplied workers or whether the labor supplier is the sole employer.  Companies that are joint employers may be held jointly responsible for any unfair labor practices and collective bargaining obligations related to the workers.  The Board concluded that the two companies were indeed joint employers based on its findings of indirect and direct control that Browning-Ferris possessed over essential terms and conditions of employment of the supplied workers as well as Browning-Ferris’s reserved authority to control such terms and conditions.

AGC will provide further guidance after completing a full analysis of the case.  An appeal is expected but not certain at this time.

For more information, please contact Denise Gold at goldd@agc.org or Jim Young at youngj@agc.org Return to Top

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AGC EVENTS
Early Bird Discount for AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference Ends Tomorrow
Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend Knowing you Saved $80!
 

Jointly sponsored by AGC and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the 19th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference will be held Nov. 4-6, 2015 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev. This three-day conference offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The 32 interactive sessions will cover the latest industry issues and their financial implications.

Register by Friday, Sept. 4 for special “Early Bird” discounts.  Additional discounts are available for subsequent registrations from the same firm.  Participants may earn up to 20 continuing professional education (CPE) credits for attending. 

For more information, please visit meetings.agc.org/agc_cfma or contact Brynn Huneke at brynn.huneke@agc.org Return to Top

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Register for First Ever AGC Utility Infrastructure Conference at ICUEE
Deadline to Reserve Your Hotel Room is Fast Approaching
 

AGC will host its first ever Utility Infrastructure Conference, Sept. 29–Oct. 1 in Louisville, Kentucky. Join other contractors, owners and key industry constituents involved in every aspect of utility infrastructure construction for high-quality education sessions, the premier utility construction equipment expo, and networking opportunities.

This year’s conference will be co-located with the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), which is the largest industry event focused exclusively on the utility infrastructure market, with over 17,000 industry professionals attending ICUEE 2013. All conference sessions will take place inside the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sessions will focus on subjects such as the utility construction economic outlook, the challenges and opportunities in managing a multigenerational workforce, and how OSHA’s new Confined Space Entry final rule will impact utility construction contractors. AGC will also host a legislative & regulatory update on the Expo Demo Stage and will partner with the Common Ground Alliance for an Underground Damage Prevention lunch.

For more information, please visit meetings.agc.org/utility or contact Scott Berry at berrys@agc.org. Return to Top

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Take Advantage of AGC Highway Contractors Conference Early Bird Rates: Register Today!
More Information at meetings.agc.org/highway
 

Get up-to-date information on a variety of issues that will impact the highway and transportation construction markets over the next year. The 2015 AGC Highway Contractors Conference will be held Nov. 5-7, 2015, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.  Industry professionals from companies involved in building highway, bridge, transit, airport runway and rail projects will benefit from this conference.  The conference will feature presentations and discussions on major trends in highway construction, including:

  • Washington Legislative & Regulatory Update
  • State & Local Funding Initiatives
  • Social Media in Advocacy
  • Construction Technology
  • Use of Drones in Construction
  • Risk Management

For more information, please visit meetings.agc.org/highway or contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

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