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The Obama administration has attempted to impose increased burdens on federal government contractors via policies that needlessly injure competition, increase taxpayer costs, stifle job creation, and delay the delivery of goods and services to the government and its customers. The most abusive federal contracting policies affecting the construction industry are the administration’s continued efforts to expand the use of project labor agreements and the expanded application and enforcement of “prevailing wage” requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act.

See below for the latest news, legislative action, regulatory developments and compliance tools for hot button issues in federal, state and local procurement.

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OFCCP Issues Updated Compliance Guide for Construction Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has released an updated Technical Assistance Guide to help federal and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors understand their obligations under the laws enforced by OFCCP.

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SBA Raises Size Thresholds for Firms to Qualify as Small Businesses

On July 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule that will adjust monetary-based small business size standards for inflation to allow more small businesses to become eligible for the SBA’s loan and contracting programs.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Hold Partner Webinars

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be holding stakeholder webinars in June 2019 to provide an overview of its actions under the Revolutionize USACE Civil Works initiative.

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Associated Builders and Contractors Files Suit Against ‘Blacklisting’ Rule

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and its ABC Southeast Texas Chapter announced that they have filed a lawsuit challenging the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, commonly referred to as the “blacklisting” rule, which was released Aug. 25, 2016. The legal challenge was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, by the Texas office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., ABC National’s general counsel. The firm will represent ABC, the ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) in the lawsuit.

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DOL Issues Paid Sick Leave Final Rule for Federal Contractors

On Sept. 30, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued a final rule requiring certain federal contractors to offer employees up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care.  The paid sick leave required by the final rule is in addition to a contractor’s obligations under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA).  Therefore, a contractor may not receive credit toward its prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligation under the SCA and DBA for paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the requirements of the final rule. 

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ABC Files Comments on New Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Fed Contractors

On April 12, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department (DOL) of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s proposed rule on establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors. The proposed rule requires certain federal contractors to offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care. The paid sick leave required by the proposal is in addition to a contractor’s obligations under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). Therefore, a contractor may not receive credit toward its prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligation under the SCA and DBA for paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the requirements of the proposed rule.

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Federal Contracting

The Obama administration has attempted to impose increased burdens on federal government contractors via executive actions that needlessly restrain competition, increase taxpayer costs, stifle job creation, and delay the delivery of goods and services to the government and its customers.

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House Passes ABC-Opposed $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill with Anti-competitive Mandates

On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, on a mostly party line vote of 233 to 188, with three Republicans voting for the bill and two Democrats voting against it. The House Democrats’ infrastructure plan would spend more than $1.5 trillion on surface transportation, airport, school, housing, healthcare, energy, water and broadband infrastructure, however, it also includes numerous anti-merit shop provisions opposed by ABC.

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ABC Opposes House Democrats’ $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill with Anti-Merit Shop Provisions

On June 22, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) was joined by six other Democratic House committee chairs in a press conference releasing the  Democratic Infrastructure Bill, H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

 

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ABC Urges House to Approve Great American Outdoors Act, Which Would Create 100,000+ Construction Jobs

On June 17, The Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), was passed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 73-25. This bipartisan legislation would help address the $20 billion deferred maintenance backlog in the Department of the Interior, $12 billion of which is accumulated by the National Park Service, creating thousands of construction jobs in the process.

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