Latest News

16 Oct, 2019

300,000+ Comments on DOL’s Apprenticeship Rule

2019-10-14T07:43:14-05:00October 16th, 2019|Apprenticeship Programs, Construction Contractor Advisor, Department of Labor|

The Department of Labor received more than 300,000 comments on it Proposed Apprenticeship Rule.  The vast majority of those comments were from the construction industry, and not surprisingly the trade unions and ABC and AGC are split on the issue. The Department of Labor issued its proposed regulations on June 25.  The proposed rules would establish a process through which industry groups could create industry related apprenticeship programs.  The DOL’s [...]

18 Jul, 2015

The DOL Claims Most Independent Contractors Are Employees

2018-04-23T23:55:10-05:00July 18th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Independent Contractor|

On July 15, 2015, the Department of Labor issued an Administrator’s Interpretation asserting that most independent contractors are actually employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The DOL claims that the FLSA’s broad definition of employment and “suffer to work” standard under the FLSA requires that most workers be treated as employees.  The certainly appears to be the DOL’s warning shot over the bow and companies using independent contractors should [...]

12 Feb, 2014

OSHA Backing Off Grain Bin Inspections

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00February 12th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The fear of OSHA inspecting the storage facilities of small farming operations seems to have been quelled. In 2011 OSHA issued a memo which led some inspectors to believe they were authorized to inspect grain storage facilities on private farms.  The memo led to the inspection of a private grain storage facility in Atkinson, Nebraska resulting in approximately $132,000 in fines. In December, 2013, U.S. Senator Mike Johanns  (R-Neb.) drafted a [...]

28 Apr, 2012

Ag’s voice heard: Dept. of Labor withdraws proposed child labor revisions

2018-04-23T18:22:23-05:00April 28th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

It looks like the thousands of comments opposing the Department of Labors' (DOL) proposed child labor revisions regarding agriculture has worked.  I summarized the proposed changes in my November 17 blog: Child-labor and Agriculture: Proposed rules restrict youths’ access to agricultural jobs.  Today the DOL issued a statement that the proposals were withdrawn and would not "be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration." The last part of the statement indicates [...]

31 Jan, 2012

Davis Bacon Basics

2012-01-31T16:07:40-06:00January 31st, 2012|Davis Bacon Act, Department of Labor|

With governmental projects continuing to be a major source of business in these tough times, it is important to keep in mind Davis Bacon wage requirements. If you don’t, you can be assured that the Department of Labor will come knocking on your door. Here are a few pointers on paying Davis Bacon wages: The Davis Bacon Act requires you to pay your employees a minimum Davis-Bacon wage. The wage [...]

17 Nov, 2011

Child-labor and Agriculture: Proposed rules restrict youths’ access to agricultural jobs

2018-04-23T18:22:24-05:00November 17th, 2011|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

In May, I wrote this blog about the dangers of children working in agriculture.  In the blog I warned that deadly accidents, such as the Mt. Carroll, IL incident last year, may bring increased federal regulation restricting child labor in agriculture.  It appears that warning has come to fruition. The Department of Labor has recently proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act for child farm workers, which will severely limit agriculture employment for [...]

29 Jun, 2011

I-9 Audits: ICE Issues Another 1,000 Audit Letters

2011-06-29T06:53:24-05:00June 29th, 2011|Employee Eligibility, Employment Eligibility, ICE, Social Security|

Earlier this month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it was notifying 1,000 companies that it will inspect their I-9s and the supporting documentation employers are supposed to maintain. ICE declined to name the businesses targeted or the industry, but said that targets range in size from small businesses to nationwide businesses and were selected based on tips or intelligence that led the agency to believe the [...]

22 Jun, 2011

Federal Contractors Beware

2011-06-22T07:32:28-05:00June 22nd, 2011|Affirmative Action Plan, Construction Law, OFCCP Audit|

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has proposed changes to its Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing that it uses to announce audits to contractors. While the OFCCP claims it is trying to reduce the overall burden on contractors, the proposed changes, if allowed, will greatly increase the documentation contractors subject to OFCCP audits must turn over or make available.  As some of you unfortunately know, the OFCCP’s Scheduling Letter [...]

8 Jun, 2011

Do you Really have Independent Contractors?

2011-06-08T08:39:11-05:00June 8th, 2011|Construction Law, Employee, Independent Contractor, Limit Liability|

The Department of Labor has increased its focus on independent contractors. Knowing whether your workers are independent contractors or employees is more important than ever. But how do you know? Regulatory authorities have identified a number of factors to determine whether your workers are independent contractors, but the primary factors are: The degree and extent or control you exercise over the worker; Whether the worker works for anyone else; Level [...]