In recent years, government regulators has stepped up enforcement actions against companies that wrongfully classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. According to the Wall Street Journal, those actions could sharply increase. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that: Last year, the Labor Department started awarding $10 million in annual grants to state labor… Continue Reading
In a recent NLRB Advice Memorandum, the Board’s Division of Advice dismissed an unfair labor practice complaint and held that before a union can request information from a non-union affiliated entity it must “present objective facts that support their belief that a [union and non-union entity] constitute a single employer.” Importantly, the Board held that… Continue Reading
Over two years ago, the Department of Transportation published notice that it intended to make changes to the federal regulations governing the DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. After an extended comment period, today, October 2, 2014, the DOT issued the final DBE rule changes. These changes become effective November 3, 2014. The changes impact five… Continue Reading
As readers of this blog know, fraud involving the Department of Transportation’s disadvantage business enterprise regulations is a hot topic in the construction industry. One form of DBE fraud involves a front scheme, whereby a certified DBE is not actually owned, operated, and controlled by an disadvantaged individual. Unfortunately, this type of scheme is not limited… Continue Reading
Litigating a case against the government is an intimidating task. The government has virtually unlimited resources at its disposal to wage its case. Each side must bear it’s on costs of litigation, which means you must pay your attorney while the government attorneys are already paid by the taxpayers. However, in certain cases involving the… Continue Reading
On January 1, 2014, a series of changes to the City of Philadelphia’s licensing laws for construction contractors went into effect. Moreover, on February 6, 2014 and May 14, 2014, Mayor Nutter signed additional changes into law, which will become effective in 2015. Your immediate attention to these new rules is required because the penalties… Continue Reading
From last weekend’s edition of the WSJ: Tons of steel used in the new World Trade Center: 48,000. Tons of steel used in the Empire State Building: 60,000. Really underscores how building techniques have changed.
Yesterday, NBC10.com, posted a list of questions that journalists, readers, and viewers want answered in the wake of the Market Street building collapse. Among the question listed was one we partially addressed on this blog: Q: What are the qualifications of L&I employees? Is the man that runs L&I an engineer? If not, are people… Continue Reading
Jeff Blumenthal of the Philadelphia Business Journal featured my comments on the collapse of 2136 Market Street in a story today for the PBJ.
Prescription drugs are an interesting paradox. When taken in the right dosage, prescription medicine can save your life. However, if you take too large of a dosage you risk killing yourself. Civic Associations that posit an similar paradox. On one hand, these associations give a voice to citizens who are rightfully concerned with the type and location… Continue Reading
Besides generating some interesting SEO results it address comments I received concerning why I mentioned Milton Friedman in an early post about domestic oil and natural gas drilling. Watch this famous discussion by Professor Friedman and then apply the principals to how the construction industry will be impacted by domestic oil and natural gas production.
I love everything about our Country’s oil and natural gas boom. This commercial is a great example of how domestic energy production is transforming America (the only thing that could have made this ad better would have been a Robert DeNiro voiceover). Drilling opponents should be forced to watch it. The men and women in… Continue Reading
Last week, I gave an overview of the claims typically raised in a construction defect case. This week we look at the defenses that a defendant in a construction defect case can raise. Typically, there are three categories of defenses a defendant in a construction defect case may be able to raise: Contractual; Statutory; and… Continue Reading
The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription may be required) that the installation of solar panel systems in booming. While the report notes this is good news to solar installation contractors, the news is not so good for domestic manufacturers of solar panels. The report notes that the growth in installation has been fueled foreign made… Continue Reading
In his epic song “Stay,” Jackson Browne muses about the end of show: “Now the seats are all empty Let the roadies take the stage Pack it up and tear it down” Who knew that Jackson’s lyrics could aptly describe what will happen with the London Olympic Stadium at the end of the 2012 games…. Continue Reading
Wind power is far from the solution to America’s energy dependency problem, nonetheless wind power is part of the solution. Moreover, the construction of wind turbines creates hundreds if not thousands of construction industry and manufacturing jobs. Wind power generation firms stand to lose a generous tax credit related to power generated by wind turbines…. Continue Reading
In March, I blogged about a proposal in the then draft Highway Spending bill which would and the potential impact it may have on the procurement method for federally funded highway and transportation project in Pennsylvania. Specifically, the draft bill amended 23 U.S.C. 112(b), which regulates bidding on Federal Highway projects, to allow for the… Continue Reading
Underground Construction has an article on the results of a study concerning the current state our water systems. The results are bad news for those that live in areas that are prone to water main breaks (like Philadelphia) and potential good news to the contractors that will be required to perform the work to fix,… Continue Reading
Most of the attention given to our country’s aging infrastructure has concerned what we should do to fix it. Most of the attention contractors have given it has concerned how they can fix it. However, contractors should also be giving attention to their current liabilities on aging – and long ago completed – infrastructure projects. … Continue Reading
A new trade organization called the Delaware Valley Marcellus Association has formed. According to the Association’s web page The Delaware Valley Marcellus Association acts as a new business conduit between gas development companies operating in the Marcellus Shale and the Philadelphia region’s rich trove of potential business partners. Founding members of the association include KPMG… Continue Reading
Whoever invented fracking should win an award. Watching this video made me realize that fracking is a triumph of human ingenuity rather than an environmental nightmare. On a less philosophical note, contractors should take notice on the construction techniques used to drill for natural gas. We have only begun to develop the infrastructure necessary to… Continue Reading
On March 27, 2012, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 1602, a bill that makes major changes to Pennsylvania’s mechanics lien law and if passed by the Senate and signed into law will impact any contractor working in Pennsylvania. All contractors should be aware that HB 1602 weakens a contractor’s most effective weapon against… Continue Reading
Opponents of project labor agreements are no doubt cheering two recent developments concerning wasteful PLA’s. In New York, a state court has ordered the NYDOT to cancel an interchange project because NYDOT violated New York competitive bidding laws by requiring a PLA on the project. According to ENR, at issue was a $72.4 million Orange… Continue Reading