Here at BNC Agency, we keep our finger on the pulse of the problems affecting New York's construction industry. Here are some of the latest developments to watch.
The White House orders OSHA to strengthen COVID's safety rules
Like other industries, the construction industry has struggled to adapt to developed COVID rules and regulations. Patchwork blankets from state, local and federal regulations that contractors must sort have affected productivity and cost them serious money. President Biden recently issued an executive order that would give entrepreneurs a more standardized game book. The order calls on OSHA to issue new COVID-19 guidance, while considering a national temporary emergency standard that could help standardize the reporting and tracking of employees exposed to the virus in the workplace. The order has won praise from industry and union officials. Read more here
Independent contractors can be employed according to the PRO Act
Protecting the Right to Organize Act can jeopardize the independent contractor status of many construction workers. The PRO Act would amend the National Labor Relations Act by classifying workers as employees unless certain criteria are met. The most worrying is the requirement that the service be performed "outside the normal way of working for the employer." Associated builders and contractors and other industry organizations oppose the law, claiming it would increase construction employers' costs by up to $ 12 billion a year. See more information here.
Carpenters appear to expose tax fraud
Unfortunately, some contractors continue to follow the law to avoid paying taxes. But members of the New York Carpenters Union Council are working to uncover the practice, claiming it costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Whether it is intentional to pay workers under the table, force them to work extra hours without overtime pay or pay them in cash to avoid tax, they cheat the workers and the taxpayer public. Workers are encouraged to reach out to their local unions and the Department of Labor to report fraud.
Skyrocketing Material Prices and Supply Chain Woes May Slow Construction Comeback
According to a job report from March, 110,000 new construction jobs have come online. But at the same time, building material prices have risen so sharply in 2021 that the Associated General Contractors of America recently issued a rare construction inflation warning citing a 12.8 percent jump in project input costs since the pandemic began. This, combined with ongoing delays in the global supply chain and extended delivery times, makes project owners and developers dirty. So the road to recovery can be tougher than some people think. Read more here
Nearly a third of New York construction companies add staff in 2021
When the COVID pandemic hit, more than 40 percent of construction companies were forced to cut their workforce by 2020. But in some good news, the Bonadio group A 2021 survey of New York construction companies and contractors shows that 32 percent of construction companies plan to increase their staff in 2021 and 75 percent plan to raise their employees' salaries this year. See more survey data here.
Construction industry's concerns about safety and responsibility reach new heights with NY Pot Law
On March 31, New York Governor Cuomo signed legislation that makes it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to have up to 3 ounces of the drug for recreational use. This raises concerns for the state's construction industry, which already operates under absolute responsibility under the Position Act. Insurers are also concerned and are likely to be more reluctant to insure contractors who will be primarily responsible for disabled workers. Contact the construction insurance staff at BNC Agency.