Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org June 8, 2017
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On the Inside
LABOR
U.S. Secretary of Labor Withdraws Joint Employer, Independent Contractor Informal Guidance
SAFETY
OSHA Schedules Special ACCSH Meeting to Fix Crane Operator Certification
INFRASTRUCTURE
President Trumpís Infrastructure Week
LABOR
U.S. Secretary of Labor Withdraws Joint Employer, Independent Contractor Informal Guidance
 

In line with AGC’s regulatory recommendations, on June 7, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors. Both pieces of guidance together took an expansive interpretation of employment and threatened the traditional relationship between contractors and their partners. AGC and its members were concerned that these interpretations would make compliance more complicated, leading to unnecessary enforcement efforts and increased costs to projects.

The 2015 Labor Department memo aimed to address the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The Department’s position was that most workers qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its broad definition of "employ." Then, in 2016, the Department issued a second memo establishing new standards for determining joint employment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). The intent was to hold companies jointly accountable for FLSA and MSPA violations of their subcontractors, staffing agencies, joint venture partners, and the like through use of an “economic realities” analysis.

AGC continues to identify opportunities where AGC and the Department of Labor (DOL) can partner on its mission to keep American workers safe and healthy while stimulating economic growth and creating new high quality jobs. Specifically, AGC advises that DOL can achieve these goals through regulatory reduction and streamlining, strengthening the symbiotic partnership between DOL and the construction industry and enhancing present regulatory compliance education and collaboration initiatives.

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

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SAFETY
OSHA Schedules Special ACCSH Meeting to Fix Crane Operator Certification
 

On July 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold an Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) meeting to consider a proposed rule extending the enforcement date for crane operator certification for one year – to Nov. 10, 2018.  The proposal also extends existing requirements for employers to ensure that crane operators are trained and competent to operate the equipment safely. 

OSHA has determined that two of the four organizations that offer third-party certifications have programs that do not meet the “type AND capacity” requirements currently contained within the standards. These organizations currently offer certification by type but not by capacity. Operators in possession of this certification would be deemed “noncompliant” according to the agency.  To address the potential disruption and uncertainty this interpretation has caused, OSHA has proposed to extend the compliance and enforcement date by another year. In Sept. 2014, OSHA issued a similar extension for crane operator certification requirements and employer requirements for operator training and competency by three years to Nov. 10, 2017. 

The meeting will be held by teleconference only and is open to the public.  The tentative meeting agenda topics include:

  • Presentation on OSHA’s proposed rule to extend the enforcement date for the crane operator certification requirements and the existing employer duty in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standards.
  • ACCSH’s consideration of, and recommendation on, OSHA’s Proposed Rule to extend the enforcement date for the crane operator certification requirements and the existing employer duty in the Cranes and Derricks standards.
  • Public comment period

 AGC is a member of ACCSH and supports the proposed extension to allow OSHA to address the “type AND capacity” issue while also addressing operator qualification.  However, we believe the agency should allow contractors the flexibility to qualify operators under a performance standard.  To participate in the meeting, the dial-in number is 1 (888) 604-9368 and the passcode is 8521818.  AGC will continue to monitor the status of any further updates on the rule as they become available. 

For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.orgor (703) 837-5410. Return to Top

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INFRASTRUCTURE
President Trumpís Infrastructure Week
 

President Trump turned his focus to infrastructure this week by dedicating a series of events to addressing America’s infrastructure.  The events included announcing his plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control, holding a rally in Cincinnati – attended by several AGC members – highlighting the need to improve the Inland waterways system and discuss his broader infrastructure plan, a meeting with governors and mayors, and finally, a Roads and Rail Regulatory event at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

AGC continues to be encouraged by the president and his administration’s commitment to improving our nation’s infrastructure and we look forward to working with them and Congress to ensure that any infrastructure package provides increased federal funding and additional financing along with a regulatory environment that ensures the greatest return on any new investments.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892. Return to Top

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