Posted on 4/28/2017 10:58 AM By David R. Cook and Chadd L. Reynolds
Legal services are notoriously expensive, yet they are necessary to protect companies and their owners, assert legal rights, recover payment for construction services and defend against meritless claims. Attorneys are especially useful in developing and negotiating contracts and significant change orders, setting up corporate structures to minimize and maintain risk, resolving disputes through compromise or litigating them to judgment. From a construction executive’s viewpoint, legal services are like any other service: They must be managed with the goal of obtaining the most value for the lowest cost.
Posted on 4/28/2017 9:09 AM By Maggie Murphy
President Trump signed a resolution into law eliminating the Obama administration’s “Volks” rule. Congress passed the resolution through the Congressional Review Act, preventing future administrations from promulgating a similar rule.
Posted on 3/31/2017 6:24 AM By Brenda K. Radmacher and Eden Gillott Bowe
Builders and developers can’t escape scrutiny when confronted with government investigations, workplace accidents, dissatisfied customers and employee complaints.
Reputation in the construction field is a crucial business quality. It’s paramount to ensure a sufficient risk management strategy is in place, and enhanced media exposure means non-traditional risk management actions are needed to prepare for and respond to challenges.
Posted on 3/30/2017 12:05 PM By Maggie Murphy
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced legislation, H.R. 743, in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act. The bill now awaits passage by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
ABC has long supported full repeal of the archaic 85-year old Davis-Bacon Act. The prevailing wages from the law are administered through an unscientific and fundamentally flawed survey process by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Davis-Bacon Act will raise federal construction costs by $13 billion between 2018 and 2026.
Posted on 3/30/2017 8:18 AM By David S. Lynch, Teia Moore Kelly
Commercial contracts in the construction industry generally contain indemnity provisions in which one party (the indemnitor) agrees to assume the liability of the other party (the indemnitee) as a result of personal injury or property damage. Historically, one party indemnifies the other regardless of fault—meaning the indemnitor assumes liability for all damage to its own property and people, regardless of who caused the damage. To the extent allowed under state law, this obligation also can include indemnity for damage caused by the sole negligence of the indemnitee.
Posted on 3/6/2017 5:57 PM By Dan Pipitone and Bayley Bash
Employers often only require employees serving in a management position to execute employment agreements with provisions largely focused on competition, disclosure and solicitation. However, a more expansive use of employment agreements should be considered, particularly given the increased resort to litigation by all levels of employees utilizing the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA essentially requires employers to properly compensate non-exempt employees for their actual hours worked at a regular rate for their first 40 hours worked during each week, as well as at an overtime rate of time and a half for every hour worked beyond the initial 40. With vastly increasing regularity, employees have been initiating litigation against employers in an effort to recover additional compensation for overtime hours. Employers utilizing a job bonus system for compensation, with or without an hourly rate of compensation, are particularly targeted, as are employers that fail to collect or maintain accurate time records.
Posted on 1/27/2017 10:37 AM By Maggie Murphy
Responding to a legal challenge filed by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and a coalition of business groups, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s final overtime rule from taking effect Dec. 1.
Posted on 1/27/2017 10:27 AM By Maggie Murphy
In mind-November, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas found the U.S. Department of Labor’s “persuader rule” to be unlawful and blocked it from taking effect.
Posted on 1/24/2017 7:48 PM By Josh Levy, Brennen Soval and Leslie Gutierrez
Arbitration is premised on using arbitrators with knowledge of the subject matter to conduct more efficient proceedings. A lot of the uncertainty and expense can be eliminated with a well-crafted arbitration clause.
Posted on 11/30/2016 7:55 AM By Marc Stroope
Despite the continuous narrative tied to green building, construction contracts have simply not kept pace, and most form contracts or standard clauses do not address contractual issues specific to sustainable projects.