Employment and labor points proceed to be debated this 12 months – by Michael McDonagh – New England Actual Property Journal On-line

Proven (from left) are: ASM director Mac Lynch, ASM CEO Michael McDonagh,
senate president Karen Spilka, ASM president Sue Mailman,
ASM president-elect Peter Gormley, and ASM director Peter Townsend.

It’s exhausting to imagine that we’re already on the mid-point of  2019. Whereas we stay busy with our legislative and advocacy efforts on state points and our signature annual golf event in July, we’ve got already turned an eye fixed towards fall applications and occasions. Our security roundtable, which is open to all our member corporations, will meet three to 4 instances this fall to find out about sizzling trade security matters. Different applications this fall will embrace seminars on enterprise, insurance coverage, and authorized matters for subcontractors. Legal guidelines consistently change and new developments emerge. Our focus is to maintain our members as updated as attainable with essentially the most present and related data for his or her enterprise. We’re very excited for our signature occasion this fall once we will maintain our biennial gala to have a good time our trade and set up our new officers and administrators. However within the meantime, our advocacy on points has not slowed down. Here’s a snapshot of some present points.

Employment and Labor Points Proceed to be Debated on Beacon Hill 
In Might we reported on ASM’s testimony and issues about laws requiring employers to supply advance discover to staff for his or her work schedule, the so-called “predictive scheduling” payments. Extra lately, ASM testified at a public listening to on a number of payments addressing “wage theft.” Wage theft happens when an employer doesn’t pay their worker their wages, extra time wages, advantages, taxes, or in any other case violates our wage legal guidelines. Based on the legal professional common’s workplace, $9.6 million was collected in 2018 in restitution and penalties, primarily in opposition to offending eating places, hospitality corporations, and building corporations. ASM helps robust enforcement of our wage legal guidelines and helps an modification within the present state finances to supply further funds to the legal professional common’s workplace to rent extra investigators and attorneys to implement the present regulation. 

ASM Security Roundtable meets at Marr Scaffolding in South Boston
to study in regards to the new aerial elevate requirements efficient in December.

What we don’t help, and we made clear on the public listening to, is holding harmless building corporations chargeable for violations of different corporations via the idea of “vicarious legal responsibility.”  This idea would apply to each enterprise entity within the commonwealth that contracts with one other enterprise for labor or companies of any sort. It makes each employer within the commonwealth, in each trade not simply building, doubtlessly chargeable for wage violations in opposition to employees who should not their very own staff. It holds the harmless firm accountable, even when they didn’t know – and had no means of realizing – that the businesses they employed had been dishonest.  ASM will proceed to work with the legislature, our trade companions, and all stakeholders on this challenge to attempt to discover a answer that’s honest and efficient. 

One other subject that was highlighted by the legislature in June is the difficulty of workforce improvement. ASM testified in help of a invoice that might search to extend highschool scholar entry to vo-tech colleges. In lots of elements of the state there are ready lists for college students to seats in vo-tech colleges, which for a lot of, present a substitute for conventional school with a possibility to realize a nonetheless or commerce and a rewarding profession. The pending laws would create a brand new deputy commissioner place within the state Division of Schooling. This individual could be liable for overseeing technical colleges, increasing applications and lowering ready lists. A particular taskforce would even be created to additional examine methods to supply extra state funding for vo-tech colleges. On the listening to, eleven folks from totally different organizations and industries testified in favor of the invoice, whereas nobody spoke in opposition. The problem possible now turns into a part of the bigger schooling funding dialogue and debate that may hopefully be resolved on Beacon Hill sooner fairly than later.

ASM director Jeff Marr of Marr Scaffolding and CEO Mike McDonagh testify on the
State Home earlier than the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Growth
on a invoice that might carry equity again to indemnification clauses in building contracts.

Indemnity Nonetheless an Problem for Subcontractors
In relation to enterprise points that may hold a subcontractor awake at evening, indemnification clauses come to thoughts. A invoice filed by ASM would supply some reduction by placing a cease to unfair contract provisions that drive subcontractors to take accountability and pay for the prices of damage or property harm attributable to another person. Technically talking, Massachusetts already has a regulation on the books to stop this in M.G.L. c.149, §29C.  It’s a regulation meant particularly to guard subcontractors, by prohibiting contract phrases requiring a subcontractor to indemnify anybody for damage or damages not “attributable to” the subcontractor. However sadly, the regulation has been gutted by a collection of court docket selections over the previous 25 years, and now offers no safety in any respect. The courts have outlined “attributable to” so loosely that subcontractors can now be held 100% liable for accidents the place they had been just one% at fault. This invoice would restore the unique intent of the regulation and convey some equity again to the subcontractors.

Michael McDonagh is the CEO of of the Related Subcontractors of Mass., Boston.  

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