ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF OHIO

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Legislative Update
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  • February 25, 2017 8:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AGC of America is excited to announce the launch of its new advocacy website — advocacy.agc.org!

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    Designed specifically for AGC member companies and their employees, the new website will make it extremely easy to communicate with federal and state officials, as well as take action on urgent legislative and regulatory alerts.

    Visitors can effortlessly navigate the website to find information on:

    • Voting records for your members of Congress
    • Important construction-related legislation
    • Registering to vote
    • AGC Political Action Committee (AGC PAC)
    • Construction Advocacy Fund
    • Latest construction news involving Congress and the Administration

    While AGC is excited that this website will serve as a valuable advocacy tool, you - our members -remain our strongest advocacy resource. 

    If you have any questions, please contact David Ashinoff, Director of Political Affairs, at ashinoffd@agc.org.



    VISIT WEBSITE



  • February 23, 2017 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Help AGC to Repeal OSHA’s Effort to Extend Statute of Limitations

    for Recordkeeping Violations; Extension Fails to Improve Safety

    Urge Congress to Support H.J.Res. 83

    Congress will soon consider repealing a rule that exposes business owners to unfair liability for honest and inadvertent paperwork mistakes related to recordkeeping. The rule – which extends the statute of limitations on recordkeeping violations from six months to five and a half years – does not improve the safety or health of your company’s workers.


    The rule was issued by OSHA to get around a court decision involving a construction company that challenged an OSHA citation for a recordkeeping violation issued beyond six months. Two federal courts have since rebuked OSHA’s theory for issuing recordkeeping citations after six months. This rule, issued by the Obama administration in December, directly contradicts both the courts and Congress.

    Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support swift passage of H.J.Res. 83 to stop OSHA’s abuse of authority.

    TAKE ACTION!


  • November 22, 2016 3:48 PM | Andrea Ashley (Administrator)

    The Ohio Legislature is drafting new unemployment compensation “reform” legislation in the hopes of passing it during the two weeks remaining in the legislative session. AGC of Ohio and other construction employer associations are recommending the legislature create a committee representative of all interested parties that could start meeting in January, use an outside actuary not tied to any special interests, and take the time to appropriately develop viable unemployment compensation reforms that ensure the long-term solvency of the system, with the goal of passing a bill before July 1st.

    Click here to urge legislators and Governor Kasich to take a deliberative, inclusive approach to unemployment compensation reform.



  • June 21, 2016 10:50 AM | Andrea Ashley (Administrator)

    On June 14, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its final rule requiring federal and federally-assisted contractors to meet the provisions of Executive Order 11246 prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. This rule updates sex discrimination guidelines from 1970 with new regulations that align with current law and address the realities of today’s workplaces. The rule takes effect on August 15. 

    The rule explains contractors’ responsibilities and clarifies protections for employees of federal and federally assisted contractors and subcontractors on issues related to pay discrimination, sexual harassment, pregnancy accommodations, childbirth and related medical conditions, gender identity, and stereotypes about sex roles such as who the primary caregiver is in a family.

    Pregnancy accommodations.  The rule requires that contractors provide workplace accommodations, such as extra bathroom breaks and light-duty assignments, to an employee who needs such accommodations because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, in certain circumstances where those contractors provide comparable accommodations to other workers, such as those with disabilities or occupational injuries.

    Pay Practices. Contractors may not pay workers differently because of their sex. For instance, contractors may not deny opportunities for overtime work, training, better pay, or higher-paying positions because of a worker’s sex. The rule also includes a provision that enables employees to recover lost wages any time a contractor pays compensation that is the result of discrimination, not only when the decision to discriminate is made.

    Fringe Benefits. The rule requires contractors to provide equal benefits to male and female employees participating in fringe-benefit plans. The rule prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex with regard to fringe benefits such as medical, hospital, accident, life insurance, and retirement benefits; profit-sharing and bonus plans; leave; and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

    Sexual Harassment. The rule prohibits unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive remarks about a person’s sex, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, becomes the basis for employment decisions, or creates a hostile working environment.

    Work assignments and job training.  The rule gives men and women equal access to jobs and workforce development opportunities. A contractor may not set requirements for jobs or training that are based on an applicant’s or employee’s sex unless the contractor can meet the high bar of demonstrating that such requirements are a bona fide occupational qualification. Additionally, a contractor may not set requirements, such as height or weight qualifications, that adversely affect applicants because of their sex unless it demonstrates that the qualifications are job-related and consistent with business necessity.

    Caregiver protections.  The rule protects the rights of workers who provide caregiving to their loved ones. Contractors may not treat female or male employees or applicants differently based on the stereotypical assumption that women are more likely to have caregiving responsibilities. For instance, contractors may not deny mothers employment opportunities that are available to fathers based on the faulty assumption that mothers’ childcare responsibilities will conflict with their job performance. Similarly, contractors may not deny fathers flexible workplace arrangements that are available to mothers based on the faulty assumption that men do not have and do not assume childcare responsibilities.

    Transgender workers. The rule makes clear that sex discrimination includes discrimination because of an employee’s gender identity. Also, the rule requires contractors to allow workers to use bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, and similar facilities consistent with the gender with which the workers identify. In addition, the preamble to the rule notes that an explicit, categorical exclusion of coverage for all care related to gender dysphoria or gender transition is facially discriminatory because such an exclusion singles out services and treatments for individuals on the basis of their gender identity or transgender status.

    Sex stereotypes. Contractors may not treat employees or applicants adversely because they fail to comply with expectations about how women and men should look or act or what kinds of jobs they should do.

    Contractors are encouraged to review their policies and practices to ensure that they are in line with the requirements of the new rule as well as provide training to staff on what is not acceptable in the workplace when it comes to sex discrimination and harassment.  AGC’s construction-themed DVD, Diversity Rules: Harassment, Sensitivity and Correction Training for Construction Workers and Supervisors, may be a great resource for contractors.

    For more information about the rule, including frequently-asked-questions and a fact sheet, visit www.dol.gov/ofccp/sexdiscrimination

  • April 01, 2016 1:59 PM | Andrea Ashley (Administrator)

    The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) released its final silica rule that retains many of the flawed provisions AGC warned administration officials about earlier this year. Of primary concern is that the final rule sticks with the same, unattainable silica exposure limit included in the proposed rule. For more information about the rule, click here and here. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to block implementation of this rule until it can be proven to be technologically and economically feasible.  

  • March 21, 2016 9:56 AM | Andrea Ashley (Administrator)

    Blacklisting Executive Order Needs to be Stopped The Blacklisting Executive Order essentially allows federal agency contracting officers to de-facto debar a federal construction prime contractor or subcontractor on a contract-by-contract basis—during either the solicitation process or after contract award—for a single labor law violation.  Take Action!

     

  • October 29, 2015 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    COURT ISSUES NATIONWIDE STAY OF EPA/CORPS REGULATION REDRAWING CLEAN WATER ACT JURISDICTION

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has issued a nationwide stay of the new federal regulation redefining “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) for the purposes of the Clean Water Act. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed and then finalized the new regulation in an effort to clarify the scope of the statute’s requirements.

    The questions that lie at the heart of this and several other cases is whether the federal agencies went further than the Clean Water Act permits and whether they followed the appropriate procedures. The court’s order blocks the implementation of the new rule nationwide and preserves the status quo until the court can decide whether it has jurisdiction over the case and the resulting power to address those legal questions. In an odd twist, the 18 states that filed the lawsuit were the ones arguing that the case actually belongs in a lower court.

    The court exercised its discretion to freeze the status quo for several reasons. The “sheer breadth” of the new rule and its “ripple effects” on the 18 states were certainly among them. The uncertainty that this and other pending cases have created was certainly another. But by far, the most interesting was the court’s determination that the petitioners had “demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims.” The court found it “far from clear” that the new regulation is “harmonious” with the Supreme Court’s prior rulings on the statute. The court also found that the federal agencies had “not persuasively rebutted” the state’s claims that the agencies had improperly failed (1) to give the public proper notice that they might write certain “distance limitations” in the new rule or (2) to identify scientific support for the limitations they chose.

    One judge did dissent, but he did not, in the process, comment on the merits of the case. Rather, he insisted that it was inappropriate for the court to exercise its discretion to issue a stay before the court had determined that it has the power to decide its merits.

    This ruling on the heels of a lower court ruling that also cast doubt on new regulation. In late August, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the new rule in the 13 states that had requested the injunction. "The risk of irreparable harm to the States is both imminent and likely," he wrote,

  • October 29, 2015 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SPEARIN DOCTRINE IS ALIVE AND WELL – COURT DETERMINES THAT IT DOES APPLY TO CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS AT RISK

    In a much anticipated ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court clarified the application of the Spearin Doctrine to At Risk Construction Managers.

    On September 2, 2015 the highest Court in Massachusetts held that public owners impliedly warrant plans and specifications furnished in conjunction with a construction management at risk project. The Court also held that under the facts of the case, the parties did not disclaim this implied warranty and that the indemnification agreement in the parties’ contract did not prevent the construction manager from bringing a third-party complaint against the public project owner seeking indemnity for damages alleged by a subcontractor claiming additional costs arising out of alleged design defects.

    Download full article.

    The citation to this case is Coghlin Elec. Contractors, Inc. v. Gilbane Bldg. Co., et al., Mass., 2105 WL 5123135 (Sept. 2, 2015). Click here to read the decision.
    While this decision is fact specific as to Massachusetts public projects, it is likely applicable in the private setting. It is also instructive for the application of the Spearin Doctrine in other states that permit and utilize the CMAR project delivery method. Construction managers must carefully determine their scope of services when it comes to accepting legal responsibility for design work performed by a third party designer.

    Article courtesy of Pete Welin of AGC member McDonald Hopkins: (614) 484-0701, pwelin@mcdonaldhopkins.com

  • October 29, 2015 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HB 180 (Maag, R-Lebanon) and SB 152 (Uecker, R-Miami Township)—companion bills that would prohibit employee residency requirements on public construction—have had hearings over the past month. AGC testified in support of SB 152 in the House State Government Committee on October 14. (View testimony.) There has been some indication that the bill will be voted out of committee prior to Thanksgiving break. Senate Government Oversight & Reform held sponsor testimony on HB 180 last week.

    Both bills passed their respective chambers early summer. One of the bills need to pass both the House and Senate before it can be sent to the Governor for his signature.

  • October 22, 2015 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In September, the AGC of Ohio Board voted to oppose State Issue 3, which would allow for the legalization of marijuana, and support Issue 2, which would amend the state’s constitution to prohibit the ballot initiative process to “grant or create a monopoly, oligopoly or cartel.” (Many believe the passage of Issue 2 would override Issue 3 if both pass.)  AGC also contributed to the “No on 3” campaign

    The “No on 3” campaign has provided materials designed to educate employees about Issue 3 and concerns with it.

    They are available on the AGC of Ohio website for your use: 
    Issue 3 FAQs                No on 3 sample e-mails                  What is Issue 3 flyer

    TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE RESOURCES!  Share them with your employees and other contractors. Recent polling on Issue 3 shows voters are split and the proponents have significantly more money to run ads – so a strong information campaign leading up to the election is very important.  

    Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or for additional information.

    Andrea Ashley
    VP of Government Relations, AGC of Ohio
    Ph 614.486.6446; Fax 614.486.6498

     

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