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July 20, 2018

Recent Changes to Sales and Use Taxes - What is the New Rule and Its Impact?

By Cindy Lande and Brian Rickert
Brown Winick Law Firm - Des Moines, Iowa

During the last legislative session, the Iowa Legislature passed, and Governor Branstad signed, House File 2433 into law.  HF 2433 addressed a number of tax-related issues, including certain rules regarding sales tax exemptions for manufacturers.  One of these changes may impact how contractors collect and pay sales tax on large manufacturing facility projects and consumables for those projects. 

Construction Spending Slips in May but Rises for First Five Months of 2016, With Robust Year-to-Date Increases in Monst Private and Public Categories

Construction spending dipped in May but posted strong, broad-based gains for the first five months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the construction spending gains come amid signs that contractors are having an increasingly hard time finding qualified workers to hire.

How Are You Planning to Celebrate the 1st Annual Construction Week?!

The first annual Construction Week celebration is set for October 3 – 7, 2016!  The purpose of Construction Week is to promote community awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option.  Construction Week is an opportunity for those in the construction industry to reach out to their local schools in an effort to inform students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators on the commercial construction industry and the opportunities for great careers within it.  It is easy to get involved in promoting Construction Week as a compa

Construction Headcount Dips in May but Outpaces Overall Rate of Job Gain Since May 2015; Rising Pay, Plunging Unemployment Suggest Worker Scarcity

Construction employment dipped for the second consecutive month in May, but rising industry pay and plunging unemployment suggest contractors would be hiring more workers if they were available, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that worker shortages may be reaching the point where they undermine the sector’s growth.

Notice to Bidder Changes Go into Effect on July 1, 2016

On March 23, 2016, Governor Terry E. Branstad signed SF 2170, which amends the notice to bidder timeframe provisions of Iowa Code Section 26.3.  The new law will increase the estimating time between a notice to bidders being published to when a public owner can actually set a bid letting date.  Effective July 1, 2016, a notice to bidders shall be “posted” at least once, not less than 13 days and not more than 45 days before the date for the bid letting.  Previously, the timeframe was 4 days and 45 days.

UPCOMING TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES


Maximizing Construction Week and the Build Iowa Initiative 
Webinar
July 24, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Presenters:  Ben Hammes and Micah Loveless, Master Builders of Iowa

In 2015 MBI launched an initiative to assist MBI members with resources to build their workforces. This initiative consists of career information for young people through our Build Iowa brand, as well as ways to promote and recognize the individuals currently in the field through a Construction Week campaign.

Build Iowa is a year-round endeavor, while Construction Week in 2018 will be held October 1st – 5th. During this webinar, we will discuss how to effectively utilize both campaigns, including what resources are currently in place for construction companies to take advantage of.


HaZCom/SDS
Webinar
August 14, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenter:  Tom Suckow, Construction Safety Specialists, Inc.
In this webinar, we will explain what Hazard Communication is and what it means to you.  We will discuss what GHS is and what it has to do with the Hazard Communication Standard. Along with this, we will explain the pictograms involved, how to read them and where you can expect to see them.  In addition, we will dive into SDS and how it differs from and MSDS.  Finally, we will explore employers’ responsibilities under the GHS program.


Maintaining a Drug Free Workplace
Webinar
August 22, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenter:  Dwight Taylor, The DART Group
In this webinar, we will explain the seven major drug categories, their signs and symptoms, and how users are disguising them in the workplace.  In addition, we will explore “reasonable suspicion” and the Iowa drug laws and what they mean to employers, as well as how to document observations made of suspected users.   

FLSA Salary Threshold Increases

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released its final rule implementing changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.   The rule will be officially published in the Federal Register on May 23.  The most significant change is a doubling of the standard salary threshold for exempt employees – from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  The rule takes effect on December 1, 2016.

Construction Employment Rises in 42 States and the District of Columbia Over Latest 12 Months, While Only 23 States Add Jobs From March to April

California and Hawaii Add Most Jobs for the Year, North Dakota Has Biggest Actual and Percentage Declines; California and Idaho Top Monthly List of Gainers, Tennessee and Rhode Island Have Largest Monthly Decreases 

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