IEC Federal Government News
Recess Appointments to the NLRB Unconstitutional
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the U.S. Constitution when he appointed members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a Senate recess. IEC actively opposed the appointments and applauds the Appeals Court’s decision (Official case name is Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board). Read more here.
IEC Analysis on the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The Fiscal Cliff has been averted…for now. President Obama signed the deal January 2nd, but what is really involved in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012? What is the outlook for construction? The outlook for the energy sector? What now and what is next?
Attached is the review of the Fiscal Cliff Deal. Take a look and decide what might be the next step for your business.
The Affordable Care Act: Where Do We Go From Here?
The Affordable Care Act will soon affect how you conduct your business. Ruth Anne Collins Michaels of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., provided IEC members with a short summary of how the new laws could impact their business.
Items will be implemented as soon as 2012 in areas of Summary of Benefits and Coverage, W-2 Reporting Update, MLR Rebates, and Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
The information is abundant, so IEC is providing links to give you access to information on the upcoming changes.
Link to DOL website: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/
IRS Notice 2011-36 regarding the employer mandate: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-11-36.pdf
Link to general information regarding health care reform: http://www.healthcare.gov/
It is important to be prepared and avoid potential fines. Find out how changes apply to your business.
Hiring Quotas Costly; Obama Administration Proposing New Hiring Quotas
The Obama administration has a series of new hiring mandates to impose on contractors working on federal projects. The new rules which are being proposed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) are;
To have firms working on federal contracts hire veterans and people with disabilities at the same rate at which they apply for positions.
Requires firms to meet sweeping new reporting requirements, establish formal partnership agreements with community outreach programs to help with recruiting, and put in place new training programs, among other costly new measures.
If firms fail to meet the "goals" set out in the two proposed rules, they face federal audits and potential debarment from working on future federal contracts. Many trade associations, including IEC are opposed to these mandates, and are calling on the Obama administration to reconsider. The hiring quotas are costly and the government has failed to produce any data to justify these new hiring mandates. Many firms are too busy struggling to survive to do any hiring at all.
This is a proposal that should be monitored by those in the construction industry. IEC plans to keep close watch on this issue and keep you informed on its progress.
Click here to view the business groups' letter to the administration.
Local IEC Members Engage Representatives on Capitol Hill
The IEC National Legislative Fly-In took place April 21st through the 24th. This session was attended by Mark and Steve Ellis of S.M. Ellis Co., Rob Stalvey and Bobby Stalvey of Ace Electric, Bruce Bowman of Fox Systems, Harvey Hammock of IES, and Niel Dawson, Executive Director of IEC Atlanta/Georgia.
During the conference on Capitol Hill representatives engaged 10 Georgia Senators and Representatives on issues that impact IEC members, as well as the electrical industry as a whole. The current issue at hand is stopping the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its "ambush election "rule, which will allow labor elections to take place as quickly as 10 days. Subsequently on May 14th, the U.S. District Court ruled that the NLRB did not have quorum, thus the "quickie election" is overturned (seeU.S. District article for more details).
Senator Isakson delivered a compelling key-note speech on the issue, during which he stated, "I do not oppose efforts by employees to unionize if they choose to do so. I do, however, oppose the government interfering with the principles of a democratic workplace and tipping the scales in favor of one party over the other."
Mark Ellis has participated in the past 5 legislative fly-ins and each time it proves to be beneficial. Mr. Ellis states, "We get the chance to show our stance to both sides of the isle, even when they don't agree with us. Explaining the ramifications of certain decisions on business owners in this industry gives decision makers, who may be unaware, a clearer picture of how their policies will affect us. Attending the fly-in is definitely a useful way to spend a couple of days!"
Pictured above left to right, Mark Ellis, Steve Ellis, Rob Stalvey, Johnny Isakson, Bobby Stalvey, Bruce Bowman, Jena (guest of Harvey Hammock) and Harvey Hammock.