BSCAI Urges DOL to Postpone Overtime Rulemaking
On May 11, BSCAI and 93 organizations sent a coalition letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging him to abandon or at least postpone issuance of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) announced proposed rulemaking altering the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Over the past two months, the employer community has warned DOL the economy today cannot support changes to the white-collar exemptions under the FLSA. Due to significant concerns with supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, inflationary pressures, and the shifting dynamics of the American workforce following the COVID-19 pandemic, the coalition believes that any rule change now would be ill-advised. DOL last updated the overtime regulations only three years ago, which strongly suggests there is no need for urgency in issuing more changes.
The letter calls on DOL to abandon or at least postpone issuance of its announced proposed rule until the current economic situation stabilizes and improves to allow the American workforce, employer community, and DOL itself to more fully understand how the pandemic has shifted the paradigm of work in America.
Protecting Workers from Exposure to Extreme Heat
As the weather turns warmer across the country, BSCAI is providing members with resources from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help keep their workers safe during the summer months. Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards which includes protecting workers from extreme heat.
OSHA recommends that employers establish a heat illness prevention program and take the following steps to protect workers who are exposed to high temperatures:
- Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
- Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
- Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
- Monitor workers for signs of illness.
OSHA's Occupational Exposure to Heat page explains what employers can do to keep workers safe and what workers need to know - including factors for heat illness, adapting to working in indoor and outdoor heat, protecting workers, recognizing symptoms, and first aid training. The page also provides resources for specific industries and details OSHA workplace standards. Below you will find a complete list of OSHA’s heat illness prevention resources.
OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Resources:
Schumer and Manchin Discuss New Tax Hikes
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently held a meeting to discuss new avenues for a budget reconciliation bill following the collapse of the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act last year. Sen. Manchin has indicated that he is open to raising the corporate tax rate to 25% and the capital gains tax rate to 28%. He also told the media that congressional Democrats should consider cuts to prescription drug costs and reducing the national debt in any new proposal.
Despite Sen. Manchin’s openness to new taxes, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has come out in opposition to raising tax rates on businesses so it remains unclear how Democrats will reach the necessary 50-vote threshold to pass legislation in the Senate if it includes tax increases. As mentioned previously by BSCAI, the budget reconciliation process allows Democrats to bypass a Senate filibuster by Republicans and pass tax and spending legislation with a simple majority vote in each chamber of Congress.
BSCAI continues to track budget reconciliation negotiations on Capitol Hill, particularly on the issue of tax increases.
DOL to Offer Wage Compliance Webinar for Federal Contractors
The Department of Labor (DOL) is inviting federal construction industry contractors to an online forum regarding wage compliance and other labor issues on May 17-18. Organized by the Wage and Hour Division in Dallas, the forum will include a panel discussion on compliance with federal laws governing wages and other workplace issues.
The discussion will include representatives of the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, OSHA, Employee Benefits and Security Administration, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Women’s Bureau. Also attending will be representatives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Small Business Administration and the IRS. Following the discussion, agency representatives will make presentations, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes.
Attendance is free, but registration is required. An event link will be provided after registration.