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Why not reward good employers? Posted by on

Senator Durbin, from Illinois, introduced legislation that would ofter a tax credit for employers that do GOOD things for their employees. Unfortunately, no action was taken on the bill.

Patriot Employers Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a taxpayer certified as a Patriot employer by the Secretary of the Treasury a tax credit for one percent of such employer??s taxable income. Defines a ??Patriot employer?? as any taxpayer who: (1) maintains its headquarters in the United States; (2) pays at least 60% of the health care premiums of its employees; (3) observes a policy requiring neutrality in employee organizing drives; (4) maintains or increases the number of its full-time workers in the United States relative to its full-time workers outside of the United States; (5) provides full differential salary and insurance benefits for all National Guard and Reserve employees called to active duty; and (6) provides its employees with a certain level of compensation and retirement benefits

More testimony on misclassification Posted by on

New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes recently held a meeting in his district to hear about the issue of misclassification in the construction industry. Ashley Smith of the Nashua Telegraph covered the event. Her story, quoted below, can be read here.

Mario Plante owns a contracting company in Hudson, but he turns to
Massachusetts for most of his business.

It's nearly impossible to
land a job in New Hampshire because too many of his competitors avoid paying
workers compensation insurance by illegally classifying their employees as
independent contractors, Plante said. That cuts their costs by about 30 percent,
making it easier to come in low on every project bid, he said.

Mass AG issues advisory on OSHA 10 requirement Posted by on

In August 2008, the AGO issued "An Advisory from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Fair Labor Division on Chapter 306 of the Acts of 2004, An Act Relative to the Health and Safety on Public Construction Projects, 2008/2."

Chapter 306 of the Acts of 2004, An Act Relative to the Health and Safety on Public Construction Projects, (the "Act") requires employees who work on public construction sites in Massachusetts to have completed a 10 hour course in construction safety approved by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) and requires employers to certify that employees will do this. The Advisory provides guidance on which employees must have the OHSA training and how employees can demonstrate they have taken the training, the documents employers need to submit to comply and the manner in which the Attorney General will enforce the Act. The Advisory was issued after extensive meetings and discussion with stakeholders in the construction industry and with unions.

The Advisory can be viewed online in pdf format here.

Connecticut serious about stopping cheats Posted by on

The Connecticut Department of Labor has made aggressive and effective use of a new law in that state to curtail tax and insurance problems in the construction industry by those who intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors.

Following compliance checks at construction sites throughout the state, the
Connecticut Department of Labor has issued ??stop work orders?? to 60 companies
this year for failing to comply with workers?? compensation requirements.

According to Gary Pechie, Director of the agency??s Wage and Workplace Standards:

??The legislation is effective in helping the Labor Department improve working conditions on construction sites, and helps to ensure that employers who violate state laws do not have an unfair advantage over others.??