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August 1, 2015

HR / Labor Relations

Rally Your Team to Eliminate Workplace Drug Abuse!!

The thought of someone being under the influence of drugs on a jobsite with all of the equipment, cranes, and tools along with all of the moving parts of a commercial construction project is pretty frightening. Do you have employees who may be abusing illegal or prescription drugs?  Would you know if this is happening in your office, on your jobsites, or in your company vehicles?  Are the employees who are charged with project oversight able to recognize drug use symptoms, paraphernalia, and behaviors?  Does your company have and follow an aggressive and proactive drug policy? 

The Master Builders of Iowa and United Fire Group Program - From an Agent's Perspective

As an active member of the Master Builders of Iowa, I see many benefits to my membership and feel I receive great value from the organization in exchange for my dollars and time. I have been privileged to serve on several committees within MBI, including serving on the Board of Directors and Associate Council.  I have also attended MB EYE on the Future and always look forward to the many conventions and educational sessions that contractors can take advantage of throughout the year.

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."

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