February 19, 2019
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
2019 ASM Scholarships
Bid Opportunity For A MassDOT Project In Dorchester, MA
Calling All Sponsors
Are you following ASM on Social Media?
Improve Your Health And Safety Program Through A FREE Research Study!
Acadia Insurance Declares Over $1 Million In Dividends For ASM Members
Member News
Welcome New Member
LAN-TEL’s Mobile Action Command Unit (MACU) Deployed at New England Patriot’s Victory Parade
E.M. Duggan Receives Two Awards
Legal
Paid Family And Medical Leave
Don’t Exclusively Rely On The Relationship – Prequalify Your Subcontractors Or Risk Your c. 149A Trade Bid
OSHA Delays Enforcement Of Crane Operator Documentation Requirements For ‘Good Faith’ Employers
Accessing the ASM Hotline
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Calendar








Upcoming Events

February 28 -  Webinar: Update on Paid Family Leave with David B. Wilson

March. 14 - Young Professionals: Celtics game vs Sacramento King

March 22 - Safety Roundtable : Incident Investigation

Save the Date: May 14 - Update on Paid Family Leave- Waltham

Save the Date: July 15 - ASM Annual Golf Tournament, The International, Bolton MA.

Just Announced-Save the Date- November 7- ASM Biennial Gala, Granite Links, Quincy

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2019 ASM Scholarships

Applications are now being accepted for eight ASM 2019 Scholarships totaling $10,000. Four $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to ASM Member employees and immediate family members (spouse/child), who are enrolling in an accredited college or university. In addition, 2- year community college students are eligible to apply. Also, four $500 trade school scholarships will be awarded.

Click here for more information.


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Bid Opportunity For A MassDOT Project In Dorchester, MA

Bid opportunity for a MassDOT project in Dorchester, MA

https://www.associatedsubs.com/resource/resmgr/for_enews/BOSTON-608843-106188-CDSP_5.pdf

https://www.associatedsubs.com/resource/resmgr/for_enews/BOSTON-608843-106188-CDSP_6.pdf

https://www.associatedsubs.com/resource/resmgr/for_enews/BOSTON-608843-106188-CDSP_7.pdf

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Calling All Sponsors

ASM is looking to reach new industry partners. We have sponsorship packages for all budgets.

Click here for our 2019 Sponsorship Opportunities

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Are you following ASM on Social Media?

Please take a moment to like the ASM Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 



 

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Improve Your Health And Safety Program Through A FREE Research Study!

This research study aims to help small to medium subcontractors by conducting a FREE needs assessment for your company and deliver a custom plan and resources to improve your health and safety policies, programs, and practices.

To learn more, click ARM FOR SUBS  for more information!


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Acadia Insurance Declares Over $1 Million In Dividends For ASM Members

Acadia Insurance is a proud supporter of the Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts and is pleased to announce that the endorsed all lines insurance program, will return over $1 million in dividends to qualifying members in the most recent series of dividend valuations as of December 31, 2018.

Acadia’s Safety Group Dividend Program provides business insurance for Workers Compensation, Commercial Automobile, Property and Liability (Package), Umbrella Liability and Inland Marine Equipment coverage lines.  This Program is available exclusively to ASM members and can be accessed through all Acadia appointed agencies.  Dividend valuations are conducted annually for three plan years under review, offering qualifying members three opportunities to earn a premium dividend for each qualifying plan year.

The ASM Dividend Program has returned over $7 million in all lines dividend to qualifying members since the Program’s inception in 2003.  For more information, please contact an Acadia agent or John Varitimos, Acadia Marketing Director, at 508-263-2505  john.varitimos@acadia-ins.com.  To find an Acadia agent near you, please visit their website at www.acadiainsurance.com

 *Dividends are based upon experience, are subject to Board approval, and the terms and conditions of the program are not guaranteed.  The amount of dividends paid in the past are not indicative of what may be payable in the future.


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Member News
Welcome New Member



ASM welcomes its newest member Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group.
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LAN-TEL’s Mobile Action Command Unit (MACU) Deployed at New England Patriot’s Victory Parade

ASM / NECA contractor provides state-of-the-art surveillance for event

LAN-TEL Communications Mobile Action Command Unit (MACU) was deployed at the New England Patriots’ Victory Parade on February 2nd to assist the City of Boston with security and surveillance measures.  

The state-of-the-art MACU is equipped with highly-advanced video surveillance, an exterior shooter detection system, as well as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.  It also provided surveillance at the Red Sox parade last October and the Boston Marathon, and is increasingly being utilized to provide security support for Boston and surrounding communities.

“We are pleased to have assisted the New England Patriots, the City of Boston, and all public safety personnel, in helping Patriot fans safely celebrate the Super Bowl victory,” said Joe Bodio, CEO of LAN-TEL Communications. “We believe we are the only private company in the Commonwealth to offer a mobile command unit to assist municipalities and private companies with large-scale events. Studies show that surveillance at events is of paramount importance to help ensure safety and our capabilities offer highly advanced security technology.”

LAN-TEL Communications, based in Norwood, is a prominent low-voltage contractor for the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The company is the security system provider for the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) and other Greater Boston-area municipalities, having provided hundreds of wireless video security system installations throughout the region and integrating them into respective area headquarters.


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E.M. Duggan Receives Two Awards

ACH R The News named ASM Member E.M. Duggan 2018 Best Contractor to Work for in the East Region.

Contractor names E.M. Duggan Contractor of the Year Award.

 

 


 

            

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Legal
Paid Family And Medical Leave

As everyone is aware, the new Paid Family and Medical Leave law goes into effect this year. Regulations are currently being drafted. We urge all members to contact ASM with questions or concerns that you may have. ASM will be hosting a webinar on February 28th and a live program on May 14th on this topic.

In the meantime, take some time to familiarize yourself with the new law. Below is some of the information released by the new Department of Family and Medical Leave.

Overall Timeline

 

Draft regulations available (Jan. 23, 2019)

DRAFT DFML Regulations regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave law are available to review.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development will be holding public listening sessions throughout the Commonwealth with respect to the draft regulations.

Regulations published for public comment and hearing (March 29, 2019)

Final regulations promulgated and employer contributions begin (July 1, 2019)

  • Employers begin paying contributions to the Department of Family and Medical leave

    • Employers remit these contributions on behalf of employees (and, in some instances, 1099 contractors) from payroll deductions. Larger employers with 25 employees or more are responsible for paying a share of the medical leave contribution.

  • Self-employed individuals may opt-in and begin paying contributions

Most benefits available (Jan. 1, 2021)

  • Paid family leave benefits will be available for bonding with a new child, and servicemember-related events

  • Paid medical leave benefits will be available for serious personal health conditions

All benefits available (July 1, 2021)

  • Paid family leave benefits will be available for the care of a family member with a serious health condition

Contribution rate split for employers with 25 or more employees

 

Visual breakdown explained

Employers with 25 or more employees will be required to remit a contribution to the Department of Family and Medical Leave of 0.63 percent of eligible payroll. This contribution can be split between employee payroll deductions and an employer contribution and will support both types of leave.

Family leave-

Up to 100 percent of the family leave contribution can be deducted from employee wages.

Medical leave-

Up to 40 percent of the medical leave contribution can be deducted from employee wages. Employers are responsible for contributing the remaining 60 percent. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all employers and businesses required to comply with the PFML law?

Businesses that employ 1 or more individuals are subject to the PFML law and must submit contributions on behalf of workers and covered individuals. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees or covered individuals must submit contributions on behalf of their workers to cover the portion of PFML contribution due from employees and covered individuals. These businesses are not required to pay the employer portion of the contributions for family and medical leave. Cities, towns, districts, and political subdivisions or their instrumentalities are exempt unless they opt in.

I'm already offering family and medical leave benefits. Am I exempt from the state contribution?

You will be able to apply for annual exemptions from making contributions for both medical leave and family leave if you offer a private plan option that is at least as generous as what is required under the PFML law. If your business receives this exemption your employees will not be covered by the state PFML plan.

Are self-employed individuals required to comply with the PFML law?

No. You may elect to pay contributions to get coverage under the PFML law, but participation is entirely voluntary. Independent contractors who contract with a business that issues 1099s for more than 50% of its workforce are treated as “covered individuals,” and their contributions will be remitted to the department by that business just like the business’s employees.

What are the conditions for enrollment as a self-employed individual?

You must opt into the PFML program for an initial period of at least 3 years and must make contributions for at least 2 full quarters before applying for benefits.  Self-employed individuals who opt in are responsible for paying the full contribution amount.

What is the contribution rate and how is it collected?

The contribution rate is 0.63% on the first $128,400 of an individual’s annual earnings. You are responsible for remitting the full contribution to the department but may deduct from an employee’s wages to cover the employee’s share. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees in Massachusetts must remit contributions to the department on behalf of their workers but are not required to pay the employer share of the contribution for family and medical leave. Businesses that issue 1099s for more than 50% of their workforce must remit contributions for their 1099 workers (“covered individuals”) as well as their employees. If your business has 25 or more workers in total, you must pay the employer share of the contribution for family and medical leave for both employees and covered individuals.

How much can I deduct from pay to cover the employee or covered individual PFML contribution share?

  • Up to 40% of the total medical leave contribution required for an individual

  • Up to 100% of the total family leave contribution required for an individual

Employers and businesses with fewer than 25 workers in Massachusetts must remit contributions to the department on behalf of their workers but are not required to pay the employer share of the contribution for family and medical leave.

How is the .63% total contribution rate apportioned between medical and family leave contributions?

The apportionment between family and medical leave contribution rates will be determined each year based on projected benefit costs for each benefit year. The first year’s contribution breakdown will be determined in the coming months and published before July 1, 2019.

When must I begin paying the PFML contribution?

Contributions to PFML begin on July 1, 2019.

When will the PFML regulations be published?

The statutory deadline for the publication of PFML regulations is March 31, 2019.

A draft of these regulations was published on Jan. 23, 2019.

Who is covered by the Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) law?

The PFML law creates a paid family and medical leave benefit that will be available to employees, covered individuals, and self-employed persons beginning in January 2021.

  • If you're an employee who works for a business or a state or federal governmental agency in Massachusetts, you are automatically covered

  • If you’re an independent contractor who contracts with a business that issues 1099s for more than 50% of its workforce, you are also covered and the PFML law refers to you as a "covered individual." Check with any businesses that you work for as a 1099 worker to determine if you are a “covered individual” on this basis.

  • If you're self-employed, you can opt in to obtain coverage

  • If you work for a city, a town, or other local governmental employer, you are covered only if your employer chooses to opt in

Additionally, there is an earnings eligibility requirement for any individual who wants to take paid leave under the law. You must have approximately 15 weeks or more of earnings and have earned at least $4,700 in the 12-month period before you apply for leave.

Am I covered by the PFML law if I'm unemployed?

In some circumstances, yes. PFML benefits are available if:

  • You've been unemployed for up to 26 weeks

  • You have approximately 15 weeks or more of earnings as an employee or covered individual in the year before applying for benefits

You cannot receive unemployment benefits and PFML benefits at the same time.

Are self-employed individuals required to comply with the PFML law?

No. You may elect to pay contributions to get coverage under the PFML law, but participation is entirely voluntary.

Independent contractors who contract with a business that issues 1099s for more than 50% of its workforce are treated as “covered individuals,” and their contributions will be remitted to the department by that business just like the business’s employees.

Under what circumstances am I eligible for PFML benefits?

  • To deal with your own serious medical condition

  • To care for a family member who has a serious health condition

  • To bond with your child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or the first 12 months after the placement of the child with you for adoption or foster care

  • To deal with any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces

  • To care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty

How do I claim these benefits?

Benefits are not available until January 1, 2021.

When must I begin paying the PFML contribution?

Contributions to PFML begin on July 1, 2019.

How much can my employer deduct from my pay to cover the PFML contribution share?

  • Up to 40% of the total medical leave contribution required for an individual

  • Up to 100% of the total family leave contribution required for an individual

Employers and businesses with fewer than 25 workers in Massachusetts must remit contributions to the department on behalf of their workers but are not required to pay the employer share of the contribution for family and medical leave.

When can I begin taking protected Paid Family and Medical Leave?

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, you can start claiming benefits for:

  • Bonding with a child or newborn

  • Servicemember-related events

  • Dealing with a personal serious health condition

Beginning on July 1, 2021, you can start claiming benefits for:

  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition

How much is the benefit?

The weekly benefit amount is calculated as a percentage of your earnings and so will vary for each individual. 

The maximum benefit is $850 per week.

What is the maximum period of paid medical leave available?

Paid medical leave is capped at 20 weeks per benefit year.

What is the maximum period of paid family leave available?

Paid family leave is capped at 12 weeks per benefit year.

What is the maximum period of paid family leave available due to active duty by a family member?

Paid family leave arising from a covered service member’s call to active duty is capped at 26 weeks per benefit year.

What is the maximum combined amount of paid family and medical leave I can take?

The maximum amount of combined family and medical leave that an individual may take is capped at 26 weeks per benefit year.

When will the PFML regulations be published?

The statutory deadline for the publication of PFML regulations is March 31, 2019. 

A draft of these regulations was published on Jan. 23, 2019.


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Don’t Exclusively Rely On The Relationship – Prequalify Your Subcontractors Or Risk Your c. 149A Trade Bid

Corwin & Corwin LLP

In a recent decision, the Attorney General rejected an HVAC trade contractor’s eleven-million-dollar low bid because it failed to prequalify its subcontractors using similar criteria as the awarding authority on a c. 149A project. This decision highlights the importance of trade contractors ensuring that each of its potential subcontractors are prequalified using similar criteria as the awarding authority and that records of the process are kept.  

The Cambridge Housing Authority (“CHA”) solicited bids for a Construction Manager-at-Risk project involving the renovation of 298 units at an existing apartment building. CHA, in accordance with c. 149A, required each trade contractor to be prequalified according to specific criteria.  Similarly, each trade contractor was required to submit an Affidavit with its bid certifying that each of its subcontractors had been prequalified using similar criteria to CHA’s.    

The evidence presented at the Attorney General’s hearing, demonstrated that the second-lowest trade contractor (“Protester”) established subcontractor prequalification criteria nearly identical to the Awarding Authority’s requirements and solicited bids from multiple potential subcontractors.  Protester then assembled the responses in a spreadsheet and rejected potential subcontractors who did not satisfy the established pre-qualification criteria.  The lowest trade contractor, (“Lowest Bidder”) admitted that it didn’t establish or enforce pre-qualification criteria for the selection of its subcontractors, but rather, simply relied on its favorable past relationships and work experience with each.  Both trade contractors submitted affidavits affirming that they had established and used CHA’s prequalification criteria with their subcontractors.  

Lowest Bidder argued that, although it took no formal steps to establish and carry out a prequalification process, favorable work history and relationships with its subcontractors satisfied any applicable prequalification requirements.  Basing its decision on the statutory language and the importance of getting current and updated information on each sub-trade subcontractor for each project, the Attorney General’s Bid Unit rejected Lowest Bidder’s argument that experience alone is sufficient to prequalify. 

The Attorney General has reminded trade contractors that a favorable work history and good relationships are not enough to prequalify subcontractors.  Trade contractors must establish and enforce prequalification requirements similar to those of the awarding authority.  Although the criteria do not have to be identical, the Attorney General requires, at a minimum, that the criteria include management experience, references, and a capacity to complete the project.  This decision also reminds trade contractors of the importance of establishing written evidence of the subcontractor pre-qualification criteria and compliance (or lack thereof) with that criteria for each c. 149A bid.  Protester’s written records proved invaluable in securing the rejection of Lowest Bidder’s bid in this matter.  This decision In re: Cambridge Housing Authority, Mill’s River Apartments: HVAC Trade Bid dated January 25, 2019 can be found at bpd.ago.state.ma.us.     

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OSHA Delays Enforcement Of Crane Operator Documentation Requirements For ‘Good Faith’ Employers

The Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualifications final rule published on November 8, 2018, requires employers to document their evaluation of their crane operators (see 29 CFR 1926.1427(f)(6)). To provide more time for employer compliance with new evaluation and documentation requirements, OSHA already made the effective date February 7, 2019. While OSHA will be fully enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate their operators before allowing them to operate cranes independently, this memorandum provides guidance on the enforcement of the documentation requirement.

OSHA has received feedback from the construction industry indicating some employers may need more time to document evaluations of crane operators prior to the February 7, 2019, effective date. During the first 60 days of enforcement (until April 15, 2019), OSHA will evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempt to meet the new documentation requirements for operators of cranes used in construction. During this period, OSHA intends to offer compliance assistance, in lieu of enforcement, for those employers who have evaluated operators in accord with the final rule and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement. If, upon inspection, it is determined that an employer has failed to make sufficient efforts to comply, OSHA should cite for that deficiency.

Please consult the National Office DOC before issuing any proposed citations arising during this time period that are related to documenting crane operator evaluations. Beginning April 15, 2019, OSHA will fully enforce all applicable provisions of the final rule.

If any Regions have questions, please contact the Directorate of Construction, phone (202) 693-2020.

 

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Accessing the ASM Hotline

As an employer, you face a myriad of issues including employee leave, discrimination, wage and hour rules, hiring and termination.  As a construction business, you face a host of issues through the life of a project, including bidding, contract terms, payment and more. When issues arise, it’s often hard to know what to do. There is an easy way to get quick answers to your questions – ASM’s Hotline –FREE to ASM Members.

How do I access the Hotline? Send an email to mail@associatedsubs.com. We will forward your question to the appropriate attorney who will respond by phone or email.

Who are the attorneys?

Construction questions are referred to JohnM. Curran, Esq. at the law firm of Corwin & Corwin LLP, which has served as legal counsel to ASM for more than 65 years.

Employment questions are referred to David B. Wilson, Esq. and Catherine E. Reuben,Esq., at the law firm of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, LLP.


Insurance questions are referred to David M. O’Connor, Esq. at the law firm of O’Connor & Associates, LLC.
 

What if I already have my own lawyer? You can still call the Hotline. It is a privilege of membership in ASM.

What kind of help can I expect?
The attorney will typically spend 5-15 minutes addressing questions that can be answered easily based on years of experience in their areas of practice. You will receive information to help you determine whether to handle the issue yourself or to seek professional help to pursue legal action. The Hotline is limited in scope and does not include research or document preparation.

To pursue legal action, do I have to use the Hotline attorney? No. You are free to use your own attorney or you may retain a hotline attorney. The choice is up to you and it is a private matter between you and the attorney.


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Published by:

Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts, Inc.
15 Court Square, Ste. 840
Boston, MA 02108

617-742-3412

 
http://www.associatedsubs.com