A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

Around the country there are a number of irresponsible owners and contractors who are being found out for the fact that they are using cash workers who should be paid as employees.  Some of these cash workers have false social security cards or other false identification, many are without safety training, and many have no crafts skills.Some workers who have been cheated out of wages and overtime for which they were legally due are now filing wage theft lawsuits.  However, some workers are undocumented and they cannot protest for fear that the contractor will inform on them and ICE will pay a visit to their home to remove them or members of their families
October 20, 2010
Are you wondering what is involved in becoming LEED certified?  You may be interested in a free one-hour webinar tomorrow hosted by RedVector, a company from Tampa which...
October 20, 2010
Robert Wood, the Tax Lawyer, in a blog on www.Forbes.com pointed out the movement across the country to criminalize the misuse of independent contractors, and includes several links to see more about the issue.  As we have pointed out in previous blogs, the Wage Theft and Misclassification laws passed or pending in several states are fast becoming the norm in the country.  In talking about Pennsylvania’s new Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, Wood states:“Pennsylvania’s rifle shot law is aimed like a laser at the construction industry, which isn’t exactly in a rosy financial position anywhere.  Yet it’s also clear that the construction industry has long been a kind of breeding ground for worker classification abuses that often swarm like mosquitoes.”  
October 19, 2010
Last Wednesday, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell signed the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, which adds Pennsylvania to the growing list of states passing legislation designed to eliminate the practice of worker misclassification by imposing criminal penalties upon employers who intentionally label their employees as independent contractors.  Like laws passed in other states, the new act spells out the criteria for classifying a worker as an independent contractor.  The act states that a person in the construction industry may only be paid as an independent contractor if that person has a written contract for service, is “free from control or direction” as to how to perform the service, and if that person normally performs the service as an independent business.  The new law makes it a criminal offense to misclassify workers, but also takes it a step further.
October 19, 2010
The New York Times reported Friday on an Election Day issue that is coming up in San Diego, California.  At issue is whether or not local city councils, school boards and...
October 18, 2010
This week, nwiTimes.com (Northwest Indiana) wrote about a 2008 University of Missouri-Kansas City study which revealed the extent of worker misclassification and the resulting cost to state and local governments.  As in other states, the problem is noted to be widespread, especially in the Indiana construction industry.  Misclassified workers who don’t report all of their income and who go without unemployment and worker compensation insurance represent lost tax revenue for the state in an economy where all departments are struggling to reduce their budgets. Ironically, employers who misclassify their workers are often rewarded with government jobs because by breaking the rules they are able to submit lower bids for construction projects.  This is precisely why State Representative David Niezgodski is looking to strengthen Indiana laws to crack down on those employers who do not play by the rules. 
October 14, 2010
Absentee voting in Texas starts on Monday, October 18th, and the general election date around the country is November 2, less than three weeks away.  This is a critically important date for the construction industry especially in light of the current state of the economy and the industry.The economy is still bumping along the bottom with an unexpected loss of 95,000 jobs in September.  The good news is that there were 64,000 new jobs created in the private sector last month or the job loss would have been worse.
October 13, 2010
An article written by Nick Zieminski for Reuters on August 26, “Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery” captured my attention.  The article highlighted a research paper published by Manpower Inc., and quoted their Chairman, CEO and President Jeff Joerres as saying about the skilled trades shortage “It becomes a real choke-point in future economic growth.”Construction Citizen previously wrote about Manpower Inc., a global staffing and employment services company, and their assessment that strategic migration of workers will be part of the solution to the global skilled worker shortage.Another strategy is educating the younger generation and encouraging them to seek training for careers in construction.  
October 12, 2010
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of New York State has a page that talks about why you might consider a job in the construction industry.  They list several key points that might be of interest to you if construction is on your list of possible careers.Construction projects in the United States which build schools, hospitals, bridges and roads all stay here and cannot be sent overseas.In recent years, the United States has added more than $600 billion worth of new construction projects per year such as new hospitals, schools, highways, bridges, homes, office buildings, stores, etc.  
October 11, 2010
Central Houston, the key management and economic development organization for the Central Business District of Houston, at its annual luncheon, presented the Allen Brothers Award...
October 07, 2010