Call to Action Items
Legislators listen to feedback from their constituents and your voice in reaching out to your Representative will be very helpful to our efforts in Springfield and in Washington, D.C.
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Legislative Updates from our Partners
FCA International and IMSCA keep you informed on what is happening in Washington, D.C. and Springfield that will affect finishing contractors. For the latest news, please see below.
Week of 1-8-2024
Congress returned to Washington, D.C. this week to work on spending bills for the current fiscal year before funding expires for certain federal agencies. Congressional leaders announced on Sunday afternoon the framework of an agreement that will have to be finalized in the next ten days.
CISC Comments on OSHA’s Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Panel
On Dec. 20, 2023, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) submitted comments in response to OSHA’s Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Settings.
In the comments, the CISC opposed the creation of a prescriptive ‘one-size-fits’ all approach to heat illness. Without the flexibility to tailor heat illness programs based on an employer’s unique use environments, a rigid rule carries the substantial risk of being unduly burdensome and cost prohibitive, while failing to effectively protect workers from the specific hazards which would be identified through a site specific and tailored risk assessment.
The Coalition also noted that if OSHA does go forward with a new standard, it should eliminate the expanded heat-illness-related recordkeeping requirements, as well as other rigid requirements, such as prescriptive temperate thresholds, that fail to consider the unique workforces and varying climates across the United States.
Department of Labor Announces Final Independent Contractor Rule
The DOL announced a final rule on Jan. 9 that will make it more difficult for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. The final rule is slated to take effect on March 11. The change officially eliminates a 2021 policy by the Trump administration and is intended to ensure that millions of workers, including those in the service sector, construction and healthcare, receive labor guarantees like a minimum wage, mandatory overtime and payroll tax contributions.
Under federal law such protections apply to employees, but they are not automatically extended to those who work for themselves and contract with employers, a distinction that has taken on heightened salience with the rise of the gig economy. The Biden administration has taken to imposing an “economic realities” test similar to the one under former President Obama that relies on a multi-factor, “totality-of-the-circumstances” approach in which each component is weighted equally when determining whether a worker is properly classified.
By contrast the Trump framework emphasized an individual’s “opportunity for profit” and degree of control over their work above other considerations, a position that the Biden administration believes fostered worker misclassification and business confusion while running counter to court precedent.
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Recently approved requirements that may apply to you and your business
IDOL Equal Pay Certificate
Per HB 4604 (P.A. 102-0705) of the 102nd General Assembly, private businesses with 100 or more employees are required to submit an application to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate by providing certain pay, demographic and other data to the IL Department of Labor by March 24, 2024 and recertify every two years after the first submission. The law also requires such employers to submit certain information with their application, including: a statement certifying that the business is in compliance with the Equal Pay Act of 2003 and other State and Federal laws related to equal pay. For the purposes of this requirement, “business” is defined as “any private employer who has 100 or more employees in the State of Illinois and is required to file an Annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but does not include the State of Illinois or any political subdivision, municipal corporation, or other governmental unit or agency. Please visit IDOL’s Equal Pay Registration Certificate page to access the online portal that businesses must use to submit their contact information and required data to IDOL, a training guide for use of the portal, a compliance statement template, and other certification information and resources. In addition, you are encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions section of the IDOL webpage.
Paid Leave for All Workers Act
On January 10, 2023, the Illinois General Assembly approved SB 208 (P.A. 102-1143), the “Paid Leave for All Workers Act”. This new law requires private employers to provide earned paid leave to employees to be used for any reason. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act takes effect on January 1, 2024 and sets forth a minimum of 40 hours (or 5 days) paid leave for all employees (regardless of size of employer).
The new law includes an exemption for signatory employers of collective bargaining agreements in the construction industry and states the following: “In no event shall this Act apply to any employee working in the construction industry who is covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement…”. In addition, the Act includes a very specific definition of “construction industry”: “Construction industry” means any constructing, altering, reconstructing, repairing, rehabilitating, refinishing, refurbishing, remodeling, remediating, renovating, custom fabricating, maintenance, landscaping, improving, wrecking, painting, decorating, demolishing, or adding to or subtracting from any building, structure, highway, roadway, street, bridge, alley, sewer, ditch, sewage disposal plant, waterworks, parking facility, railroad, excavation or other structure, project, development, real property, or improvement, or to do any part thereof, whether or not the performance of the work herein described involves the addition to or fabrication into, any structure, project, development, real property, or improvement herein described of any material or article of merchandise. “Construction industry” also includes moving construction related materials on the job site or to or from the job site, snow plowing, snow removal, and refuse collection.
However, while the law exempts signatory contractors in the construction industry from these new requirements, the new law will apply to a contractor’s administrative and other support staff who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Please visit IDOL’s Paid Leave for All Workers Act page to access more information on this new law. The webpage also includes a Frequently Asked Questions section.
Annual Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Public Act 101-0221, Illinois employers are required to train employees on sexual harassment prevention on an annual basis. The training must be completed by December 31, 2023. This requirement applies to all employers with employees working in this State. Please visit the IL Department of Human Rights Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Program page to access more information, including Frequently Asked Questions.