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  • Thu, June 20, 2024 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CIRT joined a cross-section of business organizations and associations to express support for policies that seek to advance independent work opportunities and the millions of Americans who choose to pursue careers and income as independent contractors. The groups applauded efforts to press for portable benefits and offered to assist officials to ensure that policies pursued in this space strengthen independent work for the 21st century workforce.  These steps have become necessary in the light of recent regulatory rulemakings that seem to constrain and make more uncertain or subjective the definition or classification of “independent contractors” – putting in jeopardy this status for those wishing to pursue such a course of action when it comes to employment.

  • Wed, May 08, 2024 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Department of Commerce has formally announced the “Women in Construction Framework,” which is part of Secretary Raimondo’s ongoing Million Women in Construction Initiative.  The Framework is an output from the CHIPS act, that aims to expand the American construction workforce by doubling the number of women in construction over the next decade. This matter was addressed during CIRT’s just concluded spring conference in Washington, DC.

    As part of the announcement, the Department of Commerce also identified the first major commitments to this framework from Intel and Micron, both of who have signed Preliminary Memorandum of Terms (PMT) with the CHIPS Program Office. As signatories the companies can voluntarily adopt the Framework, helping support on-time and successful completion of CHIPS program-funded projects through work with contractors, trade unions, and other community and workforce partners that expands the construction workforce by increasing the participation of women and other economically disadvantaged individuals.  

    In the coming months, companies that have adopted the Framework will work with the CHIPS Program Office (CPO), the Department of Commerce, as well as local partners, such as labor unions and community-based organizations, to develop and implement activities carrying out the best practices outlined in the Framework. 

    For more information, see: DoC Press release: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2024/05/us-department-commerce-launches-chips-women-construction-framework-initial

  • Fri, April 19, 2024 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    OSHA issued its 2023 injury and illness data. This information is required under OSHA’s new injury and illness reporting rule, which many organizations and groups in the construction community were strongly opposed to. The rule requires certain employers electronically submit to OSHA information from their OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report), and mandates the data be published on a searchable database without key context on the injuries and illnesses.

     It remains to be seen whether, as was cautionedthe electronic submission and public posting of this data . . . serves only to put employers at risk for improper disclosure, mischaracterization of the data and release of sensitive employer as well as employee information. This danger to unauthorized use, is more severe for smaller entities that may be particularly vulnerable to release of such information, where data can irreparably harm their business and individual employee information may be easier to ascertain (given the fewer numbers of employees in which to aggregate the data). 

  • Mon, March 18, 2024 4:22 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. federal court of the Eastern District of Texas vacated the National Labor Relations Board’s recent rule on determining the standard for joint-employer status and the Board’s rescission of the 2020 joint-employer rule. Before vacating (i.e., deciding against the NLRB’s controversial new interpretation), the court had previously stayed the joint-employer rule until March 11, 2024.  [For more information, see CIRT’s story on this matter dated: 12/01/2023].  

    In sum:

    • The U.S. district court ruled that the NLRB’s 2023 “joint employer” regulations—which provided that indirect or reserved control, even if never exercised, could be sufficient to establish joint employment—was defined overbroadly.
    • The court restored prior regulations requiring “substantial direct and immediate control” to establish joint employment.
    • The court also ruled that challenges to NLRB regulations are properly brought first in federal district court.

    The District Court’s decision to vacate the Board’s rule was welcome news to a large cross-section of business organizations and groups, including CIRT, that had supported a ABC / U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawsuit seeking to stop the new standard from taking effect. At this time, the NLRB is still reviewing the decision and actively considering next steps in this case, which may likely mean appealing to the U.S. Circuit Courts.

  • Tue, March 05, 2024 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    CIRT joined other organizations, groups, and union leaders in support of a “ground breaking” industry-wide initiative headed by Bechtel; to heighten awareness and bring tools/solutions to addressing the need for enhanced psychological health to our industry’s workforce.  The initiative will include partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which will be tasked with creating an industry specific approach/model for use to combat the tragic levels of suicides in our community.

    For more information on this partnership see:  https://www.constructiondive.com/news/bechtel-suicide-construction-pledge/709385/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202024-03-06%20Construction%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:59795%5D&utm_term=Construction%20Dive

  • Fri, December 01, 2023 5:54 PM | Anonymous

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule on “joint employer” final version has been delayed due a series of legal actions first reported in the CIRT story dated 11/09/23. The cases were brought by various groups in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenging the agency’s joint employer rule. The full complaint can be viewed here.

    Background: The National Labor Relations Board published a final rule on October 27, 2023 rescinding and replacing previous regulations regarding the standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. The new announcement released by NLRB amendments the effective date from December 26, 2023 to February 26, 2024 in light of legal challenges that have been filed with respect to the new rule. [For the initial rulemaking being delayed, see: 29 CFR part 103 published at 88 FR 73946, October 27, 2023].

  • Thu, November 09, 2023 9:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In addition to U.S. Congress taking steps to void a new NLRB rule on “joint employer rule,” on November 9th a large cross-section of business and trade associations joined by the US Chamber and others have filed a lawsuit challenging the NLRB’s joint employer rule. On The case has been brought the various groups in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenging the agency’s recently released final joint employer rule. The full complaint can be viewed here.

  • Thu, July 27, 2023 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury proposed rules that would ensure that people seeking coverage for mental health and substance use disorder care can access treatment as easily as people seeking coverage for medical treatments. “Mental health care is as important to the well-being of America’s workers as physical health care,” Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su said at a White House event highlighting the importance of mental health care.  DOL’s proposal is pursuant to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (passed in 2008) which aims to make sure people seeking mental health and substance use disorder care do not face greater barriers to treatment than those faced by people seeking treatment for medical and surgical conditions. Generally, the act prohibits private health insurance companies from imposing copayments, prior authorization and other requirements on mental health or substance use disorder benefits that are more restrictive than those imposed on medical and surgical benefits.

    The proposed rules seek to fully protect the rights of people seeking mental health and substance use disorder benefits and provide clear guidance to plans and issuers on how to comply with the law’s requirements. In developing their proposals, the departments drew from their combined and individual experiences in enforcing the act and in working with plans and issuers, as well as state regulators.

    Learn more about the proposed rules to improve mental health and addiction care access

  • Tue, July 18, 2023 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Past speaker at a CIRT Conference, Daniel Groves (Construction Industry Resources), has just recently completed a skilled labor market analysis for Arizona and the Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff MSAs. The report projects labor cost growth through 2028 and examines several key labor issues – project spending and timing, skilled craft market volatility, supply insufficiency, and cost escalation – for the industrial construction market.

    Across the United States, construction spending and corresponding skilled labor demand is producing a shortage environment which is increasing competition for limited supply and appears destined to last for an extended period of time. The Arizona construction market is equally stressed, driving a surge in demand for skilled labor that creates project uncertainty. If you are in this geographic market, or are considering it, the report will heighten your knowledge of the regional labor market to ensure you aren't surprised by what's ahead during planning and execution – or when bidding on a project in the state.

    For more information on how to purchase this analytics report on labor market conditions in portions of Arizona, go to: www.ciranalytics.com

  • Thu, June 08, 2023 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    Outdoor workers in the Northeast United States and other areas concerned about exposure to wildfire smoke can find information and resources on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health website. Also, OSHA has additional resources on wildfire emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations; for those interested in obtaining a full picture of materials available.

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