Whether a general contractor or subcontractor is a joint employer with another company on a construction project for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act can have significant legal and practical consequences, including, but not limited to, potential union bargaining obligations, liability for unfair labor practices committed by a joint employer, and potential impact on day-to-day operations and costs. The National Labor Relations Board’s standard for determining joint employer status has shifted during the past several years creating uncertainty regarding whether a construction company may be a joint employer with another entity. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board indicated it will pursue formal rulemaking on the proper standard to determine joint employer status. A link to a summary of these recent developments can be found here.
For years, general contractors and trade contractors have faced very strict “no damages for delay” clauses on New York State construction projects. The tides are changing. If signed into law, S. R. 06686, Reg. Sess. 2017-2018 (NY 2017) will require public entities to allow contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to recover for costs associated with project delays to the extent the delays were caused by the entity’s actions or inactions. Public entities would include, without limitation, any state agency, department, board, bureau, municipal corporation, school district or any instrumentality or public subdivision of the State of New York. Continue Reading
Building upon the success of last year’s event, on May 31, 2018 Robinson+Cole’s Construction Group led the Second Construction Industry Roundtable Discussion at its Hartford office. With a variety of representatives from major Connecticut construction industry organizations and other industry stakeholders in attendance, the participants discussed issues affecting the construction industry in 2018 and beyond.
With 2018 being an election year in Connecticut, the discussion began with a question posed to all attendees about anticipated outcomes and impact of the gubernatorial election in November. All agreed that, while the result of the election remains difficult to predict, the next governor will inevitably be required to address continued challenges with the state’s economy as a whole and the burden of state government personnel costs specifically. Several expressed concern as to the State’s perceived unfavorable climate for doing business. As an industry particularly susceptible to influence by the current economic climate, it was agreed that good news for the economy and business growth would certainly be good news for the construction sector. Continue Reading
The New York State Legislature and New York City Council adopted broad new requirements to combat workplace gender-based harassment. New York State’s new obligations were signed into law on April 12 and take effect at different times over the next 180 days. New York City’s new requirements take effect on April 1, 2019. Continue Reading
The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) is slated to hear oral argument in G4S Technology LLC v. Mass. Technology Park Corp. on Monday, March 5, 2017 – a case with significant implications for construction litigation.
The dispute arises out of a $45 million public works project to build a 1200-mile fiber optic network bringing high speed Internet access to western Massachusetts. Appellee Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation (MTPC), a state development agency, awarded the contract to design and build the fiber optic network to Appellant G4S Technology LLC (G4S). Continue Reading
The Answer: It depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.
However, two recent reissued opinion letters from the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provide construction companies with guidance regarding the issue of whether project superintendents and project supervisors are exempt administrative employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue Reading
Acting just days before the term of Chairman Phillip Miscimarra ended on December 16, the National Labor Relations Board issued four decisions overturning landmark cases expending employee and labor union protections. In a single week, the NLRB returns to pre-Obama-Board standards and upends the apple cart. Each case was decided on a strict, party-line 3-2 vote. Copies of the decisions can be found here.
In The Boeing Company, the Board reversed a line of cases holding that a facially neutral work rule would be found to violate the National Labor Relations Act if employees could “reasonably construe” the rule as prohibiting conducted protected by the Act even if never applied to ban such conduct. Using this so-called “reasonably construe” standard, the Board has invalided countless work rules and policies without any showing that the rule was applied in an unlawful manner and without regard to the employer’s need for such a rule. In Boeing Company, the Board adopted a new standard and announced that going forward it will review facially-neutral workplace policies both in light of the impact such policies have on employees’ protected rights as well as the employer’s justifications for adopting the challenged policy. Continue Reading
As we embark upon 2018 we find ourselves not only reflecting on past accomplishments but also looking to future goals for the upcoming year. Construction is a fast moving and ever changing industry which requires a real commitment to keep apprised of the latest trends and developments.
So what can we expect in 2018? Although there are a variety of opinions concerning expected trends one in particular is the increased use of technology. Construction is not an industry known for being at the technological forefront. But with heightened competition and pressure to efficiently and cost effectively deliver projects, certain technological advances are surely to increase in popularity including the continued use of BIM, project management software, virtual and augmented reality and of course, drones. Continue Reading
Effective January 1, 2018, employees of construction employers (supplies, architects, contractors, and others) working in New York State may be eligible for paid family leave. The NY Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”) is both broader than and more narrow than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The PFLL applies to all employees employed by private employers in the construction industry and working in New York State, even if those employers are located outside the State of New York or the employee is working from home (for example, sales employees, estimators, etc.).
Employees working in New York State become eligible for Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) on January 1, 2018 or after the employee (a) works for 26 consecutive weeks (if the employee is regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week) or (b) after 175 days of employment (if the employee is regularly scheduled to work fewer than 20 hours per week). Continue Reading
Effective October 31, 2017, New York City becomes another jurisdiction making it unlawful for contractors and other employers to ask most job applicants for information about their prior or current salary, compensation or benefits. Adopted by the City Council earlier this year, the new law seeks to eliminate wage inequality experienced by women and minorities by making it unlawful to inquire about or rely on a job applicant’s salary history. In anticipation of the October 31 effective date, the New York City Commission on Human Rights published two Fact Sheets – one for job applicants available here, and one for employers available here. Continue Reading