NAFC will be holding its next Annual Conference in 2017 in Music City U.S.A., Nashville, Tennessee. The Conference will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel, in the heart of the city. NAFC’s National Conference is attended by several hundred participants from across the nation, including representatives from labor organizations, fair contractors, fair contracting compliance organizations as well as researchers, academics, attorneys and officials from federal, state and local governments. Stay tuned for further details and registration information coming in early 2017.
Join us at a Prevailing Wage Seminar in your region in 2017!
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Prevailing Wage Seminars (Prevailing Wage Seminars) are three-day compliance trainings designed for regional stakeholders (unions, private contractors, state agencies, federal agencies and workers). In these seminars, conference participants will learn about the following:
- The Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara O’Hara Service Contract Act
- Executive Order 13495 “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers”
- Executive Order 13658 “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors”
- The process of obtaining wage determinations and adding classifications
- Compliance assistance and enforcement processes
- The process for appealing wage rates, coverage, and compliance determinations
Prevailing Wage Seminars for 2017 are being scheduled in the following cities:
- Pittsburgh, PA – TBD
By: Dan Shaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 15, 2017 4:54 pm
State officials’ efforts to crack down on companies that misclassify direct employees as independent contractors has generated more than $1 million for the state’s unemployment-benefits system over the past few years.
The state began stepping up its enforcement of misclassification laws several years ago. Since then, those efforts have recovered nearly $1.13 million worth of in unpaid unemployment-insurance taxes, penalties and interest, according to a report on the state’s unemployment fund released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development on Wednesday.
Worker misclassification is believed to be particularly rampant in the construction industry, where frequent seasonal layoffs can blur the line between a permanent employee and someone hired for a particular job. Industry officials say deliberate misclassification not only deprives the state of unemployment taxes and other resources; it also gives dishonest companies an advantage by enabling them to avoid the sort of costs that their more scrupulous rivals often end up rolling into bid prices.
The state reported Wednesday that auditors found 8,613 misclassified workers at Wisconsin companies last year. The same year saw tipsters use a state-run website to report 59 instances of suspected misclassification.
By HIROKO TABUCHI
APRIL 5, 2017
When President Trump pledged during the campaign to spend $1 trillion to restore America’s crumbling bridges and roads, supporters across the country cheered.
A leaked list of the Trump administration’s priority projects seemed to speak to the scope of the president’s ambitions: a high-speed rail line linking Houston and Dallas; a desalination plant in Orange County, Calif.; and improvements to the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, the longest continuous bridge over water in the world.
Then came Mr. Trump’s budget proposal, which would slash the Department of Transportation’s spending by 13 percent, end subsidies for Amtrak’s long-distance trains and eliminate the Obama administration’s “Tiger” grant program, which has helped fund mass transit systems across the country.
Among the potential victims of the president’s proposed cutbacks: Maryland’s long-awaited Purple Line, a planned 16-mile light rail system through the capital’s suburbs.
Maryland had been just four days away from clinching some $900 million in federal aid in August when a federal judge ruled to temporarily invalidate environmental approvals for the project. But under President Trump’s plan, projects that don’t yet have complete federal funding agreements would be financed “by the localities that use and benefit from these localized projects.”
Supporters of the project are devastated.
A Center analysis found that government agencies paid $18 billion over an 18-month period to companies with wage violations
By Talia Buford, Maryam Jameel
April 6, 2017 4:54
“I knew it was a federal building, but since everyone else was paying low wages, too, I just figured that’s how it was supposed to be,” Quezada, 40, said in a recent interview at her home in Arlington, Virginia.
Actually, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. But each year, thousands of contractors enriched by tax dollars skirt federal labor laws and shortchange workers. In fact, U.S. Department of Labor data show that upwards of 70 percent of all cases lodged against federal contractors and investigated by the department since 2012 yielded substantive violations.
But many of these violators go on to receive more federal contracts. An Obama administration effort to change that practice was derailed in late March by President Donald Trump.
The Center for Public Integrity examined a subset of 1,154 egregious violators – those with the biggest fines, highest number of violations or most employees impacted – included in the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division enforcement database and cross-referenced them with more than 300,000 contract records from the Treasury Department. The Center found that between January 2015 and July 2016:
- Federal agencies modified or granted contracts worth a total of $18 billion to 68 contractors with proven wage violations. Among them: health-care provider Sterling Medical Associates, Cornell University and Corrections Corporation of America
- Of all agencies, the U.S. Department of Defense employed the most wage violators – 49, which collectively owed $4.7 million in back pay to almost 6,200 workers. The department paid those 49 contractors a combined $15 billion.
- Violations by the 68 contractors affected some 11,000 workers around the country – about the same number of people who moved to D.C. in 2016.
Published by Frank Manzo IV, MPP
APRIL 3, 2017
Recent “right-to-work” laws have had negative consequences for many workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.
The analysis focuses on labor markets in six Midwest states from 2010 through 2016. Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin all enacted “right-to-work” (RTW) laws during this period, providing a regional experiment on the effects of the laws. Three neighboring states- Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio- serve as a comparison group because they did not have RTW laws at the beginning of the time frame and still do not have RTW today.
As of 2016, there were significant differences between the two groups of states. Notably, workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin earned 8% less per hour on average than their counterparts in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio.
Published by Frank Manzo IV, MPP
APRIL 3, 2017
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Union and non-union contractors are voicing their opposition to a Missouri House proposal to eliminate a minimum wage requirement for public works projects.
The Coalition of Construction Contractor Associations, representing around 100,000 Missouri workers, told reporters in Jefferson City Wednesday what a proposed repeal of the prevailing wage could mean for workers.
Currently, local government organizations must pay workers more than the state’s $7.70-an-hour minimum wage for construction projects. Prevailing wage is determined by the Department of Labor and is based on the number of hours worked and the wages paid to contractors.
Wages are unique for each county. A general road construction laborer would be paid $31 an hour in St. Louis, but $25 in the northwestern corner of the state.
The main concern construction contractors have is that repealing prevailing wage will encourage companies to hire cheap, out-of-state labor, taking away jobs that would normally go to local contractors.
Government construction contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, and without a prevailing wage requirement, out-of-state contractors could potentially bid much lower than those in Missouri.
The state legislature’s approval of a massive infrastructure plan Thursday night promises a $50 billion investment in road and bridge repair over the next 10 years. That money is expected to drive a surge in the demand for construction workers and apprentices in California.
Andrea Bernstein – April 07 2017
The work will be funded primarily through a tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Gov. Jerry Brown’s office points to a 2011 formula devised by the White House Council of Economic Advisers to estimate it will create about 65,000 jobs each year, many with middle-class employment, an area where the state has struggled to grow.
The workers in demand will be carpenters, cement masons, laborers, operating engineers and ironworkers, said Tom Holsman, CEO of the Association of General Contractors of California.
“Those are the ones that will be most impacted, and at present they’ve all been geared up for some time to accommodate the demand,” he said. “I think we are well-situated for the workload that will follow this revenue stream.”
Construction companies that get public works contracts in California are required to pay their employees what’s known as a “prevailing wage.” That’s made infrastructure work a solid middle-class career track that’s attracting young people who aren’t seeking four-year degrees.
Midwest Economic Policy Institute – Blog
A new study finds that weakening or repealing Ohio’s prevailing wage standard is unlikely to save taxpayer dollars. In fact, a weaker policy would increase taxpayer burdens as construction worker incomes decrease and their reliance on public assistance increases. A weaker law would also mean fewer resources for apprenticeship training in this fast-growing sector, less work for Ohio businesses and Ohio workers, and negative overall impacts on the Ohio economy.
The study was conducted by researchers at Kent State University, Bowling Green State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
By Mark Bliss ~ Southeast Missourian
State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, wants to fix rather than repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law.
“I think most people realize this needs some fixes,” he said.
Gov. Eric Greitens has called for a repeal of the law, which requires contractors to pay a state-determined minimum wage for each construction trade on public-works projects.
Wallingford met earlier this year in Cape Girardeau with about 20 area contractors. Wallingford said union and nonunion contractors told him they don’t want lawmakers to repeal the prevailing-wage law.
Labor unions provide skilled training for their members and health insurance, according to Rick McGuire, business manager for Laborers Union Local 1140 in Cape Girardeau.
Tim Pekios, who operates nonunion Midwest Environmental Studies, a Cape Girardeau-based asbestos-abatement company, favors keeping the prevailing-wage law.
“It is not just a union thing,” he said Wednesday.
Pekios, who was one of the contractors who met with Wallingford in February, said the current law “allows all companies to get the best workers.”
Without such a law, low-wage companies with less-skilled workers could end up with public-works contracts, Pekios said.