The Blog

Longtime Member Brian Renaud Launches Contractor Benefit Solutions

  Brian Renaud has long been known and trusted by his fellow ABC MA members as the representative for the Contractors Plan, the retirement plan offered through our chapter.  He’s still the rep, but with his new firm, Contractor Benefit Solutions, he can do a whole lot more. Brian has long served the unique needs of contractors who do prevailing wage work, but with his new company he can provide members with more options and provide additional services.  “I want to keep working with the same people,” Renaud said.  “The difference is that now I can offer more options and customize plans based on a particular client’s needs.” In addition to the Contractors Plan, you can now contact Brian for health and benefit plans, and for the Sub Plan, a supplemental unemployment benefit account for firms that do public work that gives companies and workers short-term access to pre-tax dollars. Contractor Benefit Solutions can also connect client ...

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ABC 2022 Safety Performance Report: Top-Performing STEP Members Six Times Safer Than Industry Average

    Associated Builders and Contractors has unveiled its 2022 Safety Performance Report, an annual, comprehensive study of the impact of the STEP Safety Management System and guide to safety best practices on construction jobsites. STEP is a proven system, more than 30 years old, that enables top-performing members to achieve incident rates 645% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average.  The annual study was published to coincide with Construction Safety Week, which was last week. “World-class safety and total human health are integral parts of the culture of ABC STEP members’ companies—and it shows,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “STEP is a crucial ‘step’ any company can take to be safer. STEP Diamond members are more than six times safer than the industry average, achieving an 84% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates. AB ...

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SkillsUSA 2022 TeamWorks Event a Huge Success

  Thirty two of the best Massachusetts vocational school students in carpentry, electrical, masonry and plumbing competed in a two-day competition to build a small structure as a team. The event was held at Blackstone Valley Technical school in Upton, Massachusetts on April 28th and 29th, with ABC members serving as judges.   “A special thank you to our member companies for offering up their employees to judge the competition.” Said Greg Beeman, President and CEO of ABCMA. “Taking members of your leadership team out of the workplace to judge a high school level competition is certainly not inexpensive. We truly appreciate their support.”   Teams from Bay Path Regional Technical High School (2), Diman Regional Technical High School, Greater Lowell Regional Technical High School, Shawsheen Regional Technical High School (2) Upper Cape Regional Technical High School and Whittier Regional Technical High School competed and the winning team will compete at the ...

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More Than a Dozen GOP Governors to Biden: Back Off Project Labor Agreement Mandates

  TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2022 1:40 PM Posted in Policy, Politics and Policy, News Release 2022   This news release was updated on April 28 to reflect additional governors signing on to the letter.   WASHINGTON, April 26—Associated Builders and Contractors today applauded a letter sent to President Joe Biden by 18 Republican governors, led by Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Bill Lee of Tennessee, opposing the Biden administration’s policies promoting government-mandated project labor agreements on taxpayer-funded construction projects. “As governors, we support policies that ensure robust competition for taxpayer-funded construction projects that welcome all of America’s construction industry to compete to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure on an even playing field,” the governors wrote. “We oppose Executive Order 14063 requiring controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on federal [… ...

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The Policy Giveth and the Policy Taketh Away: Do You Know Your Insurance Policy’s Coverage Exclusions?

  By: J. Nathan Cole, Esq.    If you own a construction business, a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy is a crucial part of protecting your business from various losses. Generally, a CGL policy provides a business with insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by the business’s operations, products, or injuries that occur on its premises. While a CGL policy’s name implies that it provides very broad (or “general”) coverage, it does not cover all risks a business may face. Often, particularly when written with an “Excess” or “Surplus Lines” insurer, a CGL policy can potentially include significant and surprising exclusions and coverage limitations. These exclusions can be based on specific types of projects, products, or services; acts committed by certain individuals; and may limit your CGL based on geographic considerations.   The Policy Giveth: Start with the Insuring Agreement While ...

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Beacon Hill Roundup - May 3, 2022

  Beacon Hill Roundup May 3, 2022   Overview On Thursday, April 28th, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy filed an extension order through June 2nd for S.2226 - An Act providing for building justice with jobs, filed by Senator Pacheco (D - First Plymouth and Bristol), which contains a PLA provision. The Legislature tends to provide extension orders to give itself more time past the original deadline for joint legislative committees to report whether to advance or spike bills under their purview.   On Wednesday, April 27th, the House passed their $49.7 billion FY’23 budget proposal after three days of deliberations and added nearly $130 million in spending through seven mega-amendments. The 1,522 House amendments were categorized under certain topic headings (i.e., Labor and Economic Development, Housing, Transportation etc.), and the amendment categorization was part of the consolidation process that th ...

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SJC Holds That Parties Cannot Contract Away Willful or Knowing Violations of Ch. 93A

  By: Michael P. Dickman. Esq.             Earlier this year, the Supreme Judicial Court struck down a contractual limitation of liability provision as void against public policy.  In H1 Lincoln, Inc. v. South Washington Street, LLC, et al., the SJC held that contract waiver does not preclude multiple damages under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute (G.L. c. 93A) for willful or knowing misconduct. G.L. c. 93A, § 11 governs business-to-business disputes.  Section 11 authorizes a person engaged in trade or commerce to file an action for damages and equitable relief arising from unfair and deceptive acts.  If a violation of c. 93A is willful or knowing, a claimant may be entitled to recover double or treble damages.             In the underlying dispute, Alfredo Dos Anjos, the principal of the defendant entities, brea ...

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New Federal Law Prohibits Employers from Mandating Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims

By: Laura M. Raisty, Esq. On March 3, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (“the Act”), which amends the Federal Arbitration Act to invalidate pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class or collective action waivers covering sexual assault and sexual harassment claims at the election of either: (1) the person alleging the misconduct or (2) the named representative of a class or in a collective action alleging such misconduct.  The Act applies to all claims that arise or accrue after March 3, 2022, without regard to the date of the arbitration agreement.  It does not, however, affect any claim that arose or accrued before March 3, 2022. Background Many employers have entered into arbitration agreements with their employees to avoid unfavorable publicity and to have a faster and less expensive resolution to employment-related disputes than is generally provided via the judicial system. &nb ...

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ABC Succeeds at Keeping PLAs Out of Major Provisions of Senate Climate Bill

  Negotiations With House Loom as Next Challenge   Reporting by Chris Lisinski of State House News Service and ABC MA APRIL 14, 2022.....Senators took a major step Thursday toward achieving the net-zero emissions target they already set for Massachusetts by approving a policy-heavy bill aimed at expanding the clean energy industry and reining in emissions from the transportation and building sectors.  ABC MA was keenly focused on an amendment seeking to mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on $ billion in home energy efficiency work, and we are pleased to report that amendment was defeated.  A much narrower amendment to increase offshore wind capacity does include pro-PLA language but is short of a mandate.  An amendment seeking to mandate PLAs on wind projects was rejected.   “Overall it was a very good outcome in terms of keeping a major amount of energy efficiency work open to all contractors and workers and benefitting MA residents with ...

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ALERT: New Ruling On Compensation For Discharged Employees

  Massachusetts law now mandates that employers must provide treble damages, attorneys' fees and court costs when discharged employees do not receive all wages owed, including accrued vacation, on the day of discharge. Resigning employees must receive full payment by the payroll period next following their resignation.   On April 4, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) found for a discharged employee who did not receive her accrued vacation pay of $8,952 until three weeks following a termination for larceny. One year later, suit was filed. Beth Reuter v. City of Methuen, SJC-13121. The Plaintiff was awarded treble damages (3x the vacation pay). Her attorneys are demanding $75,695 in fees and costs.   The SJC noted in its decision that in Massachusetts, the term "wages" includes oral or written commitments for paid holidays, vacations, or commissions. Therefore, if a suit is filed following discharge, all may be tripled. Because attorneys' fees often far ex ...

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    Thank you for bringing awareness to this awful reality. It is more prevalent than I think a lot of...

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  2. Re: Beacon Hill Roundup - March 29, 2022

    Interesting that Brooks still hasn't filed with OCPF from what I can tell!

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  3. Re: Electrical Board Update (3/11/19)

    My electrical application was rejected due to schooling hours expiring, this was last year. My buddy...

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  6. Re: Kenney and Sams: Coronavirus 2020 What All Employers Should Know

    Great Article! Appreciate the info.

    -- Jenn V.

  7. Re: Kaplan Construction Announces Completion of Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline

    Love Kaplan. Great Company. Woman owned! (not too many woman in the construction industry..)

    -- Jenn V.

  8. Re: Official Announcement: RBF Joints its Practice with Withum

    23isback https://23is-back.com/

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  9. Re: Governor Baker Issues Stay-at-Home Order to Non-Essential Services

    Does that also include Office employees of a construction company or just the jobsites?

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  10. Re: COVID-19: Unemployment Resources

    Why was my son denied unemployment ? Wrentham Mall is closed due to Covid19. He ahs worked there since...

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