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Legislative Update

Gov't Affairs News

NECA Top Three 8/28/15

Aug 28, 2015


1. NECA filed comments on President Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Executive Order 13673). The EO, which governs Federal contractors, requires procurement agencies and Labor Compliance Advisors to assess the labor and employment law certifications of direct Federal prime contractors performing projects over $500,000. Initially, the certification will apply to 14 Federal labor employment laws and will later expand to comparable state laws, certifications and records of prime contractors performing contracts above $500,000. On May 27, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued accompanying regulations requesting input on how federal agencies should implement a parallel requirement for legal compliance certifications of subcontractors with subcontracts above $500,000 under covered prime contracts. 

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA’s comments centered on finding ways to make the EO workable and tenable, emphasize that the new procedures should not allow primes to assess subcontractor legal compliance records or delegate that role to lower tier subs. Our comments pointed out if this issue was not addressed, the government would only increase the potential for inconsistent application of the rules, liability exposure for misapplied rules, and post-award renegotiation of other terms and conditions of subcontractors. The rule, if implemented as planned by the Administration, would take effect sometime in 2016. 

2. After passing the NECA-supported Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, Congressional leaders pledged that there was still work to do to help bring greater solvency to the multiemployer retirement system. The next step Congress must take is authorizing legislation that would approve the use of a new hybrid plan design known as “Composite Plans.” These plans are a new and innovative approach to providing retirement benefits to multiemployer plan participants and have two objectives: 1) provide adequate and reliable income in retirement to employees, and 2) ensure that sponsoring employers are not exposed to financial risks that jeopardize the viability of their businesses. Since composite plans are neither defined benefit nor defined contribution plans, Congress will need to authorize their use before companies can begin to offer them to their employees. 

NECA’s Look Ahead:  In order to educate Members of Congress on the many benefits Composite Plans offer, NECA and the members of the Construction Employers for Responsible Pension Reform coalition have developed a White Paper entitled, “Composite Plans: A New Approach to Modernizing Multiemployer Retirement Benefits.” This White Paper will be distributed on Capitol Hill and is available for download to NECA Members and Chapters who wish to review and distribute the White Paper to their constituencies.

3. There is only one week left to meet with your Member of Congress in your home district this summer. Earn points for your chapter through NECA's Chairman's Challenge program with every visit to help your chapter win the Chairman's Challenge Award! 

NECA’s Look Ahead: Plan your meeting by visiting our online Congressional Visit Toolkit to see how you can get started, and learn what to talk about.