An attractive and competitive wage structure is of vital importance for sustaining high performance and value. An added benefits package further helps keep the focus on job, career and company successes. These are necessary components to attract and retain the right people to the construction industry.

A recent post by Joe Paduda, principal of Health Strategies Associates, in his blog, Managed Care Matters, titled “Construction Labor Fraud is Screwing Everyone” was the second in his series on labor fraud and the damage it is doing to the insurance industry. In this issue, he interviewed Matt Capece, representative of the General President at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, about how bad the worker’s comp problem has become in some key states like Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Capece said, “When we go onto jobsites in Florida, on 8-9 out of 10 sites we hear from carpenters that they are getting paid in cash.” He indicated that subs and labor brokers in Florida are paying in cash with no overtime or any other benefits like vacation, worker’s comp or training. Usually they are also misclassified as independent contractors as well.    Read more » about Games GCs and Subs (Labor Brokers and Insurance Agents) Play: Worker’s Comp

During a nationally televised report on Fox News Channel, a prominent Texas construction executive said President-elect Donald Trump has a chance to be both tough and smart on border security and immigration.

Stan Marek, President and CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, said the President-elect needs to enact immigration reform that identifies and taxes those who are illegally in the country. But that does not meant Trump would be somehow softening his position on border security, Marek said.

Instead, Marek insists that the best border security happens at the job site.

That increased security would be accomplished by issuing tamper-proof ID’s only to workers who are authorized to be in the United States.   Read more » about Texas Construction CEO on Fox News Channel: Trump Can be Both Smart and Tough on Immigration

A 98-page report produced by Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy last June presents a detailed look into the “underground construction industry” in New Jersey.  Titled The Underground Construction Economy in New Jersey, the report lists specific ways that “off-the-books labor,” also called worker misclassification, damages the construction industry, cheats the misclassified workers, and costs the state government and ultimately local taxpayers millions of dollars each year.  Best practices for dealing with the illegal practice are identified in the report, and the report concludes with 15 policy recommendations for the State.  From page 12 of the report:

“Based on the review of best practices in other states, we outline 15 policy recommendations for the State of New Jersey (page 90). Recommendations #1 through #4 are related to the structure and functions of state government entities that have duties related to employee misclassification.   Read more » about Research Report: The Underground Construction Economy in New Jersey

An agreement between the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and North Carolina’s Industrial Commission was signed last week in an effort to coordinate resources to crack down on worker misclassification in the state.  An article in the News and Observer, a regional publication serving the North Carolina Triangle, offered the following details:

“The agreement allows federal officials to share their data and knowledge with North Carolina officials, much as they have with 32 other states working to combat misclassification.  Federal officials have agreed to join some of the state’s efforts to investigate certain employers who have been flagged as likely offenders.   Read more » about North Carolina Agrees to Work with the US Department of Labor to Curtail Misclassification

The Business Columnist at the Houston Chronicle over the weekend forcefully made the argument that tackling the skilled worker shortage along the Gulf Coast will take a lot of work.

"There is plenty of blame to go around for the skilled labor shortage," wrote Chris Tomlinson. "Replacing the retiring workforce will take an all-of-the-above approach, with pre-K through 12th-grade programs graduating career-ready students, community colleges teaching the latest skills, and employers investing in training or agreeing to hire union labor."

Tomlinson drilled down on why there's a shortage of skilled workers in the first place. Among others, he spoke with J.D. Slaughter, vice president at S&B Engineers and Constructors:    Read more » about Houston Chronicle Business Columnist Argues for Better Pay and More Respect for Craft Workers

The following was originally published on the NCCER blog Breaking Ground.  Reprinted with permission.

There’s no better time to work in the construction industry than now.  With a growing skilled workforce shortage, salaries remain high and career opportunities are plentiful.  Earlier this year, NCCER released its annual Construction Craft Salary Survey, which lists the average annual salaries of craft professionals from industrial and commercial construction firms across the country.

For as high as these salaries are, the reality is that what skilled craft professionals earn is typically far greater.  The salaries listed in NCCER’s survey are average base salaries, not including overtime, per diem, bonuses or other incentives.   Read more » about Construction is More Than High Salaries

Construction Career Collaborative (C3) and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston hosted a town hall meeting for seven Contractors on April 11, 2016 at the offices of the Houston Chapter of Associated General Contractors to discuss the recent decision by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo for the Archdiocese to support the C3 initiative.  Those in attendance included representatives from Arch-Con Construction, Axis Builders, Brookstone, Durotech, Humphries Construction, Paradigm Construction, Westfall Group, and Zenith Construction.

The meeting featured opening remarks from Steve Faught, Director of Construction and Preventive Maintenance for the Archdiocese, who described the decision made by Cardinal DiNardo and its desired impact.  Faught spoke of up to 10 archdiocesan projects, currently in the planning stages, which he hopes will become C3 projects.  He also highlighted his hope that the cost impact of C3 projects for the Archdiocese will be minimal.  To support this aspiration, Faught spoke of a large commercial office-building project, which was bid with C3 requirements and without them.  Once the bids were totaled, the cost differential for the bids, which specified C3 criteria, was approximately 0.04% (four one hundredths of one percent) more than the bids without C3 requirements.   Read more » about C3 and Archdiocese Host Town Hall for Contractors

Across the country, there are more and more examples of businesses facing legal consequences because they were misclassifying workers as independent subcontractors when, by law, those people should have been treated as employees and compensated as such.

As Construction Citizen has documented over the years, there are many legitimate uses of contract labor. There is also, however a scourge of certain employers abusing the designation to dodge taxes, health benefits and other costs associated with having employees on payroll. Misclassification happens when a business intentionally uses contract labor to gain an unfair competitive advantage.    Read more » about Lawsuits Ramping Up Over Worker Misclassification

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