Thursday, April 19, 2012 0 comments

Cracking down on Work Zone enforcement in South Carolina

Meet my car - or rather what's left of it.

Several weeks ago, my car was parked inside two closed-off lanes on one of my company's highway projects. In spite of the distance away from traffic, a driver entered the closed lanes and rear-ended it going 90. Not surprisingly, some time after the collision, he blew a .15.

It's a graphic example of the dangers faced in work zones every day by construction workers, dangers which are all too frequent.

But a lot of research indicates the majority of those who will die in work zones are in cars, not workers. On my company's projects, we've had eight motorists and three pedestrians killed in our work zones and zero workers in the last ten years.

Senate Bill 1464, which was introduced in the Senate today, would establish a work zone penalty which would provided dedicated funds for work zone enforcement costs and an additional two-point penalty.

If you've got any questions, feel free to ask me - or come join me in one of my work zones and see for yourself.
Monday, April 16, 2012 0 comments

Federal court strikes down NLRB poster rule

In a setback to NLRB efforts, a federal court overturned the labor agency's notice posting rule.  Ruling in the case Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. NLRB, the court found the agency "exceeded its authority in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act", blocking the agency from requiring employers to posters which would have served as advertising for labor unions in the workplace.

According to Gray Geddie, Ogletree Deakins’ former chairman and the attorney who argued the case, "the court preserved the role of the NLRB as a quasi-judicial arbiter of employee rights, rather than an advocate for unions and unionization".

It still remains to be seen if the federal agency will now delay implementation of the notice posting rule until appeals are resolved, or whether the plaintiffs will be forced to apply to the court for a permanent injunction to prohibit enforcement of the rule on a nationwide basis.
Monday, April 2, 2012 0 comments

Got a federal contract? Use E-verify

The E-Verify federal contractor rule, requires federal contractors and subcontractors to use the E-Verify system to confirm that all new employees performing work under federal contracts are authorized to work in the United States. Per this rule, federal contracts awarded and solicitations issued after September 8, 2009 must include a clause committing contractors to use E-Verify. The same clause will also be required in subcontracts over $3,000 for services or construction.

While E-Verify was originally intended solely to screen new hires, federal contractors will now be required to screen current employees who are working on that company's federal contracts. Those contractors will also be allowed to use E-Verify to screen all current employees, even those who may not be assigned to that project.

With new rules and regulations like this adding to the pressure to use E-Verify to screen employees, as well as the growing number of states which are mandating its usage for new hires, you might as well go ahead and start using it, even if you're not required to do so, so compliance won't be so difficult later on.

Please email me if you have questions.