BSCAI Signs Coalition Letter to White House on Supply Chain Concerns
BSCAI recently joined a coalition of over 150 organizations in signing a letter to President Joe Biden regarding ongoing West Coast port labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association. The contract between the two parties expired on July 1, 2022 and there are concerns over whether a potential labor strike or lockout could disrupt port operations and exasperate supply chain disruptions in the economy.
The coalition urged the Administration to work with the parties to reach a new agreement without any disruption to port operations. In particular, while the parties seek to reach a final agreement, the coalition called on the White House to work with the parties to:
- Extend the current contract until a final contract is reached;
- Commit to remain at the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith; and
- Agree to not engage in any kind of activity that leads to further disruption at the ports.
BSCAI will continue to work with its coalition partners on solutions to supply chain challenges that are impacting the building service contractor industry.
Biden Administration Publishes Spring 2022 Regulatory Agenda
The Biden Administration recently published its Spring 2022 Regulatory Agenda. Required by Executive Order 12866, the semiannual agenda lists all regulations under active consideration in the one-year period ahead as well as longer-term regulatory actions, and ensures public engagement in the process of establishing regulations.
Although aspirational in nature, the agenda provides insight into the Administration’s upcoming regulatory activities and priorities. Below is a timeline of key rulemakings that could impact the building service contractor industry.
- Overtime Rule/White Collar Exemptions: A proposed rule to amend overtime regulations is scheduled for October 2022.
- Joint Employer Standard: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expects to issue a proposed rule in September 2022.
- Tracking Workplace Injuries and Illnesses: A final rule is scheduled for December 2022.
- Infectious Disease Standard: A proposed rule is scheduled for May 2023.
- Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings: OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on October 27, 2021, to explore rulemaking on a heat stress standard. OSHA is scheduled to analyze the comments from the ANPRM beginning this summer. No timeline has been announced by OSHA on a proposed rule.
OSHA to Revise Standards for Occupational Exposure to Lead
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to revise its standards for occupational exposure to lead. The ANPRM seeks public input on modifying current OSHA lead standards for general industry and construction to reduce the triggers for medical removal protection and medical surveillance and prevent harmful health effects in workers exposed to lead more effectively.
OSHA is asking the public to comment on the following areas of the lead standards:
- Blood lead level triggers for medical removal protection;
- Medical surveillance provisions, including triggers and frequency of blood lead monitoring;
- Permissible exposure limit; and
- Ancillary provisions for personal protective equipment, housekeeping, hygiene and training.
The ANPRM will also gather comments on employers' current practices that address workplace lead exposure and associated costs and other areas of interest. BSCAI is closely tracking OSHA’s rulemaking on lead exposure and will keep members updated on the latest developments.
House Passes Legislation to Boost Workforce Development
The House of Representatives recently passed two pieces of bipartisan legislation that will help boost the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) workforce development programs and assist employers in finding and training qualified workers. The bills now move to the Senate for consideration. A summary of these bills can be found below.
- Small Business Workforce Pipeline Act (H.R. 7622): This legislation would empower Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to help small businesses establish and improve their apprenticeship and job training programs. SBDCs work with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide a suite of counseling and training services to small businesses, and this would be an added area of support offered by SBDCs.
- Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act (H.R. 7664): This legislation would direct the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) to assist small businesses in hiring graduates from career and technical education programs, in addition to the existing services SBDCs and WBCs provide. The bill also supports career and technical education graduates by directing SBDCs and WBCs to assist them in starting up a small business.
BSCAI understands the impact of workforce shortages on building service contractors and supports policies that will help alleviate labor challenges for employers.
IRS Increases Mileage Rate for Remainder of 2022
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final 6 months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes.
For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year. The new rate for deductible medical or moving expenses (available for active-duty members of the military) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. The 14 cents per mile rate for charitable organizations remains unchanged as it is set by statute.
These new rates will go into effect on July 1, 2022. The IRS provided legal guidance on the new rates in Announcement 2022-13. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year. However, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2022 in light of recent gasoline price increases.
For guidance on travel from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2022, taxpayers should use the rates set forth in IRS Notice 2022-03.