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July 6, 2015

HR / Labor Relations

Protect Your Company From Cyber-Attacks

It is hard to imagine technology not playing a significant role in our daily activities, whether in the office, on the road, at a jobsite, or at home.  Technology is a substantial part of the construction industry with employees utilizing smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices for a wide range of daily tasks.  Unfortunately, cyber-attacks can happen and when a breach of your network takes place, it can be costly. 

Code of Ethical Conduct Created by 2014-2015 MB EYE on the Future Class

The 2014-2015 MB EYE on the Future class undertook a project that focused on the issues surrounding ethical conduct in the construction industry.  In doing so, they developed basic parameters that MBI-member companies can take into consideration for the development of a company-specific code, or review of an existing code of ethical conduct.   

How to Prepare for New "Quickie Election" Rule Covered at AGC Convention

Contractors concerned about enhanced opportunities for union organizing under new regulations can take steps now to be prepared, explained attorney Rick Samson of Ogletree Deakins at AGC of America’s Annual Convention in San Juan, PR. Samson spoke at a session titled “Understanding and Preparing for New Union Representation Procedures” hosted by the Open Shop Committee and Chairman Bob Lanham.

Old E-Verify Records to Be Deleted, Employers Must Download Historic Records Prior to Dec. 31

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), effective Jan. 1, 2015, E-Verify transaction records more than 10 years old will be deleted from the system. As a result, employers will no longer have access in E-Verify to cases created prior to Dec. 31, 2004.

HR Labor Benefits for Members

Members of the Master Builders of Iowa have access to a variety of HR/labor resources as a part of their membership fees.  Dealing with workforce issues, such as complex state and federal employment regulations, labor relations, wage negotiations, affirmative action policies and employment discrimination, is often the biggest headache for a company. MBI closely monitors both state and local legislature, regulatory and litigious activity to ensure the interests of the construction industry are not compromised. MBI employs two labor relations specialists who provide members with a full range of services to assist them in dealing with workforce issues.  In addition to having consultants on the MBI staff to help with labor issues, the MBI website contains members only information on the following:

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT INCREASES IN 236 OUT OF 339 METRO AREAS BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2013 & 2014 AMID GROWING DEMAND, WORKER SHORTA

Construction employment expanded in 236 metro areas, declined in 53 and was stagnant in 50 between September 2013 and September 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that as firms expand their payrolls, many are finding a limited supply of available qualified workers.

Guidance Issued for Locating Missing Participants in Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

The Employment Retirement Income Security Act requires plan fiduciaries to make reasonable efforts to locate missing participants or beneficiaries so that they may direct the distribution of their plan accounts. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) recently published Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2014-01, which lays out the steps fiduciaries of a defined contribution plan must take to locate missing participants before making distributions following a plan termination.

Construction Industry Employment Hits Five-Year High as Sector Adds 20,000 Jobs in August

Construction industry employment reached a five-year high in August as the sector added 20,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest rate for August in seven years, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned, however, that the latest figures reinforce survey results the association recently released showing many contractors are having a tough time finding enough qualified workers.

"Construction employment growth has been accelerating and is broad-based," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "The increase in the past 12 months was the largest since 2006 and was spread among residential, nonresidential building and heavy construction."

Construction Employment Increases in 223 Metro Areas Between July 2013 & 2014

Construction employment expanded in 223 metro areas, declined in 72 and was stagnant in 44 between July 2013 and July 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. As employment grows, 25 percent of firms report labor shortages are forcing them to turn down work according to a new survey conducted by SmartBrief, an industry leader in curated business news and custom content, in partnership with the association.

"Many construction firms looking to expand their payrolls are finding a surprisingly tight labor market," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "These expanding labor shortages threaten to impact construction schedules as firms struggle to find enough qualified workers."

July Construction Employment Increases in 39 States from a Year Ago and in 34 States from the Prior Month

Construction firms added jobs in 39 states from July 2013 to July 2014 and in 34 states from June to July, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the employment gains are good news, but that the pipeline of skilled craft workers, supervisors and other employees appears to be emptying rapidly.

"The overall trend in construction employment has been very consistent in 2014, with more than three-fourths of states adding jobs each month on a year-over-year basis," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "However, growing numbers of contractors say they are having trouble finding skilled workers or subcontractors that can supply such workers."

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