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Thursday, October 10, 2019   A Round of Applause for WECA Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc. and Mark III Construction

Sacramento Business Journal's 2019 "Best Places to Work" Honorees sbj
 

Please join WECA in congratulating Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc. and
Mark III Construction for being named among the best places to work in the
Sacramento Business Journal's 2019 Best Places to Work list

We're proud of our Member Contractors for fostering some of the happiest workplaces in town--keep it up, all! 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 10, 2019   Brush Up on Your Mechanics Lien Knowledge--Courtesy of Porter Law Group

Content courtesy of Patrick G. McNamara, Esq., of Porter Law Group (Sacramento, CA): 


When is a Mechanics Lien Premature?

It is well-established law in California that the latest date on which a mechanic's lien may be recorded relates to the date of completion (or cessation) of the project work, or, if a Notice of Completion is recorded, to the date of the recording of that Notice. As to the earliest date a subcontractor or supplier lien may be recorded, Civil Code Section 8414(a) states the lien may be recorded only "after the claimant ceases to provide work." A California Court of Appeals opinion filed in August of this year (Precision Framing Systems, Inc. v Luzuriaga) sheds light (or fog) on when a subcontractor "ceases to provide work." Read the full article here. 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 10, 2019   2019 SoCal Commercial Apprentice Graduate David S. Moore to Compete at IDEAL Nationals in November!


Congratulations are in order for WECA 2019 SoCal Commercial Apprentice Graduate David S. Moore of Bergelectric Corp.--he will be representing the state of California (for the third year in a row, no less!) at the 2019 IDEAL National Championships held from Nov. 7 - 9 at Disney World!

David's time of 0:50:47 seconds was the fastest in the state of California, and we here at WECA wish him good luck as he shows off his electrician chops on the national stage next month. Thank you, David, for exemplifying what we--as well as our Member Contractors--already know: WECA and its Member Contractors produce California's finest electricians and low voltage technicians! 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 10, 2019   Learn How to Navigate Skilled and Trained Workforce Mandates and Exceptions at our Nov. 6 Webinar


Do the sheer volume of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates and exceptions make you feel as though you're all bound up in red tape?

While we can't eliminate bureaucratic madness, what we can do is help you navigate it by providing you with up-to-date information on current Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates. This webinar will cover the basics of Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements, new interpretations of compliance, and legislative changes effective 2020.

Join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs as he takes you through what he calls "the rabbit hole" of California's ever-evolving Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates for public works construction.

Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan will also be on the webinar to describe WECA's 'Accelerated Apprenticeship' option for WECA Member Contractors dealing with Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates.

Register today to join us online on November 6, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., for this informative webinar. 

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $50/registration.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership services and benefits. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 10, 2019   WECA's Hiring--Seeking Part-Time Instructors for Nights and Weekends

Please Share with Your Journeymen; Help Them Keep Their Skills Sharp While Earning Extra Money with the Perfect Side Gig
 

We bet you have exceptional Journeymen who are natural teachers and leaders, enjoy learning more about their field all the time, and sharing their knowledge about all things electrical with others!

We'd be excited to have them join our team and help us--and future you--in developing the workforce for our industry!

Part-Time Instructors for our GetWired! programs teach weeknights online and/or occasional Saturday labs at our training facilities. 

This is the side gig that lets your Journeymen earn extra money while keeping their day jobs!

Download this flyer containing the full job description to share with your Journeymen here.

And, view the job posting and application details here to learn more.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 10, 2019   Swinging the Pendulum on Construction Careers--Content Courtesy of Construction Dive and NCCER

The unemployment rate in the United States has remained at or below 4% for the last 18 months, hitting the 3.7% mark in August. Yet, more than 5.8 million jobs have been added since January 2017, including the nearly 700,000 in construction alone.

With the average age of craft professionals at 43 and 21.7% over the age of 54, the industry is expecting to see 40% of seasoned workers retire by 2030. Even more alarming is that, in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that only 1.7% of construction workers were 16-to-19-years old and less than 10% were under 25-years-old.

Where is our future workforce going to come from? The industry is facing a severe skilled worker shortage that is not going to change overnight. Read the full article here. 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Important Prevailing Wage Update for Orange County 2019-1

Correction to Orange 2019-1 Prevailing Wage Determination, effective March 4, 2019

Dear WECA Member Contractors, 

We recently discovered that the 2019-1 Prevailing Wage Determination covering Orange County was incorrect for all apprentice periods. Corrections have been made and posted to WECA's website. Please login to download the corrected version. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and are working to make sure that these errors do not continue to occur.

Sincerely,

The WECA Team
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Join Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP for "From Personnel Policies to PAGA" on Oct. 8

From WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

Bizhaven, Cook Brown, LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal are partnering at Golden 1 Center for an event on October 8th. Cook Brown Partner Brian Bertossa will discuss new legislation and recent California Supreme Court and high profile decisions that are impacting employers in California and leading to continued lawsuits brought by current and former employees.

In this presentation, Brian Bertossa and Anna Towne, Chief Human Resources Officer of Bizhaven, will also discuss best practices in light of the outcome of the most recent case law affecting employers and will provide a brief overview of pending legislation which may lead to more changes in 2020.
Attendees will hear:
  • What can we learn about managing compensable time from the Starbucks and Tillys cases?
  • What do the latest harassment cases tell us about employer liability for third party harassment of employees?
  • How should an employer respond upon receiving a PAGA claim?
  • What is the current status of the enforceability of arbitration agreements in California?
Timeline:
3:00-3:30 PM - Check in
3:30-5:00 PM - Presentation
5:00-7:00 PM - Happy Hour (cash bar/food provided)

Location:
Golden 1 Center
Croft Lounge
Register Here
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Back to School--Check Out What WECA Apprentices Are Up To!

It's that time of year again--back to school and hard at work for our WECA apprentices! We're proud of our apprentices for getting back into the swing of things and putting their noses to the grindstone, as always! They help make WECA the premier merit shop trade school that it is. Below, our studious third year commercial electrical apprentices use iPads to learn about commercial blueprint reading. We wish them a fun and successful year ahead! 
 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   GetWired! 101: The Perfect Course for Your Electrician Trainees Getting Started in the Trade

Extra Sessions Added for Fall!  GW
 

Don't let your Electrician Trainees miss out on our autumn GetWired! 101 session! We recently added three additional 101 course sessions to our ever-popular GetWired! course lineup for Fall 2019--and only one of these new course additions remains, so what are you waiting for? 

Our GW101 course--the first in our Basic Electrical 100 series--is perfect for electrician trainees just getting started in the trade and seeking an introduction to the theory of electricity, fundamental electrical laws, and on how the National Electrical Code governs the installation of electrical wiring and equipment.

And remember--WECA Member Contractors get substantial discounts on WECA's Electrician Trainee program courses. Call us at 1-877-444-9322 to get started, or read the next article down for details about getting your member discounts online.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   WECA's Exclusive Member Discounts on Training for your Electrician Trainees and Journeymen

We know an increasing number of you are sponsoring your Electrician Trainees' tuition in our Electrician Trainee (GetWired) Certificate Path program. We think that's great! WECA's Electrician Trainee program is another valid training path towards certification, with many educational similarities to our Apprenticeship program. And many of you are finding that sponsoring your Electrician Trainees' tuition gives you a competitive advantage in the hiring market, and helps you to ensure that your employees stay registered with the State.
 
And now, we've made it even simpler--and more affordable--for you to sponsor your employees. 

It's easy to get your member discounts on ET and Journeyman training at WECA when you enroll your employees through our website. Upon enrollment, members will enjoy automatically-applied discounts.

Questions? Please call us at 1-877-444-9322. We can also assist you with volume enrollments.

Ready to get started with sponsoring your Electrician Trainees in WECA's GetWired! program? Enroll your Electrician Trainees today!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Do You Have Prospective Apprentices? Have Them Save the Date for November Open Houses!

Registration Links Coming Soon for WECA's NorCal and SoCal Open Houses to Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week in November! NAW
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Register Today for our Upcoming Oct. 2 Webinar with Cook Brown, LLP Partner Carrie Bushman


Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman as she discusses:
  • Recently enacted statutory provisions regarding new penalties for non-compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements;
  • The small project exemption for contractor registration and submission of eCPRS;
  • How to read and interpret prevailing wage determinations, including scopes of work, travel, and subsistence provisions, and shift differential provisions;
  • Taking credit for fringe benefit contributions;
  • Public works contractor registration requirements;
  • Apprenticeship compliance; and,
  • Record-keeping requirements, including eCPR.
Register today to join us online on October 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., for this informative webinar.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Want a handy Prevailing Wage reference in the meantime? Purchase WECA's updated ePublication, "Blueprint to California's Prevailing Wage: A Contractor's Guide Second Edition." Now available for Amazon Kindle, and as an interactive PDF.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others $75.
Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 26, 2019   Learn How to Navigate Skilled and Trained Workforce Mandates and Exceptions with our Nov. 6 Webinar


Do the sheer volume of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates and exceptions make you feel as though you're all bound up in red tape?

While we can't eliminate bureaucratic madness, what we can do is help you navigate it by providing you with up-to-date information on current Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates. This webinar will cover the basics of Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements, new interpretations of compliance, and legislative changes effective 2020.

Following the Cook Brown, LLP Webinar with Partner Carrie Bushman on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce on October 2nd, which we encourage all our members to attend as a precursor to this webinar, join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs as he takes you through what he calls "the rabbit hole" of California's ever-evolving Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates for public works construction.

Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan will also be on the webinar to describe WECA's 'Accelerated Apprenticeship' option for WECA Member Contractors dealing with Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates.

Register today to join us online on November 6, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., for this informative webinar.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $50/registration.

The 2019 edition of WECA's annual business law publication, Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors, is now available for purchase.
NOTE: WECA members receive a complimentary copy of this book at each year's updated release, as a member benefit.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership services and benefits. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   A Round of Applause for WECA Alumni and Member Contractor Windell Pascascio, Jr.!


2013 WECA Commercial Apprenticeship graduate and current WECA Member Contractor Windell Pascascio, Jr. of Fresno-based Imperial Electric Service poses with WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan, at the Central Valley Business Diversity Expo in Fresno on April 12, 2019.
___________________________________________________________________

Please join us in congratulating Windell on winning the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Small Business of the Year award! Congratulations, Windell! We love to see alumni and Member Contractors such as you succeed, and eagerly await your future accomplishments. 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   Register Today for the Oct. 2 Webinar: "Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce"


Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman as she discusses:
  • Recently enacted statutory provisions regarding new penalties for non-compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements;
  • The small project exemption for contractor registration and submission of eCPRs;
  • How to read and interpret prevailing wage determinations, including scopes of work, travel and subsistence provisions, and shift differential provisions;
  • Taking credit for fringe benefit contributions;
  • Public works contractor registration requirements;
  • Apprenticeship compliance; and, 
  • Record keeping requirements, including eCPR.
Register today to join us online on October 2, from 8:30-12pm, for this informative webinar.
This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Want a handy Prevailing Wage reference in the meantime? Purchase WECA's updated ePublication, "Blueprint to California's Prevailing Wage: A Contractor's Guide Second Edition." Now available for Amazon Kindle, and as an Interactive PDF.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others $75.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   Learn How to Navigate Skilled and Trained Workforce Mandates and Exceptions with Our Nov. 6 Webinar


Do the sheer volume of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates and exceptions make you feel as though you're all bound up in red tape?

While we can't eliminate bureaucratic madness, what we can do is help you navigate it by providing you with up-to-date information on current Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates. This webinar will cover the basics of Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements, new interpretations of compliance, and legislative changes effective 2020.

Following the Cook Brown LLP Webinar with Partner Carrie Bushman on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce on October 2nd, which we encourage all our members to attend as a precursor to this webinar, join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs as he takes you through what he calls "the rabbit hole" of California's ever-evolving Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates for public works construction.

Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan will also be on the webinar to describe WECA's 'Accelerated Apprenticeship' option for WECA Member Contractors dealing with Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates.

Register today to join us online on November 6, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., for this informative webinar.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $50/registration.

The 2019 edition of WECA's annual business law publication, Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors, is now available for purchase.

NOTE: WECA members receive a complimentary copy of this book at each year's updated release, as a member benefit.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   WECA's Hiring! Seeking Part-Time Instructors for Nights and Weekends


Your Chance to Teach for WECA!

Are you a certified electrician (former/retired acceptable if you're willing to get re-certified upon hire) who enjoys learning more about your field all the time, sharing your knowledge with others, and educating the next generation? 
If so, we'd be excited to have you join our team! 
 
Part-Time Instructors for our GetWired! programs teach weeknights online and/or occasional Saturday labs at our training facilities.
 
This is the side gig that lets you earn extra money while keeping your day job!

To learn more about these positions and apply, please visit our 'Careers' page.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   Back to School--Check Out What WECA Apprentices Are Up To!

It's that time of year again--back to school for our WECA Apprentices! This week, Apprentices filled up our classrooms and labs, and are shown below learning technologies such as Plangrid and exploring the basics of ladder safety. 

We wish our Apprentices a fun and successful year ahead!  
 
 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   Information for Employers Regarding Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training

Content courtesy of: the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
 

SB 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years. Existing law requires the training to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and to include practical examples of such harassment and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas. The bill also requires the Department to produce and post both training courses to its website, which employers may utilize instead of hiring a trainer.

An employer is required to train its California-based employees so long as it employs 5 or more employees anywhere, even if they do not work at the same location and even if not all of them work or reside in California.

Under the DFEH's regulations, the definition of "employee" for training purposes includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, unpaid interns, unpaid volunteers, and persons providing services pursuant to a contract (independent contractors).

Click here to access additional tools in the toolkit, including a sample sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 12, 2019   Committed to Safety: WECA's San Diego Apprentices Learn CPR ... with Virtual Reality!

Last academic year, WECA piloted a cutting-edge virtual reality CPR training--provided by Fremont, CA-based ICE Safety Solutions--at our HQ in Rancho Cordova. This week, our San Diego training facility got in on the action. Apprentices are shown watching videos of real-life CPR and first aid scenarios on the virtual reality headsets, and practicing their newfound skills on Bluetooth-enabled 'Manikins.' 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 29, 2019   Register Today for the Oct. 2 Webinar: Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce


Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman as she discusses:
  • Recently enacted statutory provisions regarding new penalties for non-compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements;
  • The small project exemption for contractor registration and submission of eCPRs;
  • How to read and interpret prevailing wage determinations, including scopes of work, travel and subsistence provisions, and shift differential provisions;
  • Taking credit for fringe benefit contributions;
  • Public works contractor registration requirements;
  • Apprenticeship compliance; and, 
  • Record keeping requirements, including eCPR.
Register today to join us online on October 2, from 8:30-12pm, for this informative webinar.
This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Want a handy Prevailing Wage reference in the meantime? Purchase WECA's updated ePublication, "Blueprint to California's Prevailing Wage: A Contractor's Guide Second Edition." Now available for Amazon Kindle, and as an Interactive PDF.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others $75.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 29, 2019   Learn How to Navigate Skilled and Trained Workforce Mandates and Exceptions with Our Nov. 6 Webinar


Do the sheer volume of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates and exceptions make you feel as though you're all bound up in red tape?

While we can't eliminate bureaucratic madness, what we can do is help you navigate it by providing you with up-to-date information on current Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates. This webinar will cover the basics of Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements, new interpretations of compliance, and legislative changes effective 2020.

Following the Cook Brown LLP Webinar with Partner Carrie Bushman on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce on October 2nd, which we encourage all our members to attend as a precursor to this webinar, join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs as he takes you through what he calls "the rabbit hole" of California's ever-evolving Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates for public works construction.

Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan will also be on the webinar to describe WECA's 'Accelerated Apprenticeship' option for WECA Member Contractors dealing with Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates.

Register today to join us online on November 6, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., for this informative webinar.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $50/registration.

The 2019 edition of WECA's annual business law publication, Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors, is now available for purchase. 

NOTE: WECA members receive a complimentary copy of this book at each year's updated release, as a member benefit.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services. 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 29, 2019   Important Reminders About Supervision Requirements for WECA Apprentices

Please read this brief refresher and overview of Apprentice supervision requirements as they apply to our Member Contractors:
  • All Commercial, Residential, and Low Voltage Apprentices performing FLS work must be supervised by a Certified Electrician or the C10 holder for the company.
  • All Low Voltage Apprentices must be supervised by a qualified journey-level technician.
  • The supervision requirement for all of WECA's Apprenticeship programs is 1 Apprentice to 1 Journey-person. A Certified Journey-person may supervise 1 Apprentice and 1 Electrician Trainee.
  • The supervising Journey-person must lay out the work for the day, ensure the Apprentice has proper instruction and training on how to perform the task, and that the Apprentice is able to perform the task safely.
  • The supervising Journey-person does not have to stand over the Apprentice's shoulder, but must be on the same job site and available to the Apprentice at all times.
  • If, for some reason, an Apprentice does not have a Journey-person available to supervise him or her, the Apprentice should be sent home for the day as it is a violation of WECA's Employer Rules and Regulations to let an Apprentice work without proper supervision.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, by email at wflanagan@goweca.com or by phone at 916-453-0112 extension 145.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 29, 2019   Have Project Labor Agreements Been Taken Too Far? Content courtesy of Cook Brown, LLP


By Dennis Cook and Steve McCutcheon of Cook Brown, LLP

For more than a century the interplay between labor and antitrust law has been a difficult one. Congress has attempted to strike a balance between protection of worker rights and prohibitions of anticompetitive activities.

Environmental laws, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), are increasingly used to force developers to enter into union-only Project Labor Agreements (PLA). Similarly, the use of antitrust, RICO, and the prohibitions of unlawful boycotts under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to address abusive behavior, are coming back to the forefront. 

Antitrust Laws

When most people think of antitrust law, they think of the Sherman Antitrust Act that prohibits "contracts, combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade." It was adopted in 1890 to outlaw monopolistic business practices. After the Sherman Antitrust Act was applied to various forms of union activity, such as boycotts and strikes, Congress adopted the Clayton Act and Norris-LaGuardia Act to restrict courts from intervening in labor disputes. In 1935 Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to protect the rights of workers to bargain collectively, and engage in strikes, picketing, and other concerted activities.

However, the pendulum had swung too far in the unions' favor. Congress recognized employers and individual workers needed protection from abusive and anti-competitive behavior, and passed the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) and Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). These Acts prohibited unions from:
  • engaging in certain forms of boycotts,
  • threatening or coercing neutral employers from doing business with non-union companies, and
  • making "hot cargo agreements" (an agreement to not handle or deal with the products of anyone with whom the union has a dispute) except in the garment and construction industries.
Project Labor Agreements in Construction

Agreements between owners and unions that contain a commitment to use union-only Project Labor Agreements for all labor on a construction project appear to be among the types of anti-competitive behavior prohibited by the antitrust laws. However, exceptions to these laws are applicable to the construction industry. certain collective bargaining relationships have also opened the door to restrictive subcontracting clauses and the use of union-only PLAs.

Examples of Adopting PLAs

The use of PLAs is common in many parts of the country, and courts have provided guidance on how to avoid running afoul of the NLRA and the antitrust laws when adopting PLAs. For example, in Connell Construction Company v. Plumbers Local 100 the Supreme Court said coercive action by unions to obtain union-only agreements is exempt from antitrust only if the agreement is with an employer "in the construction industry and negotiated in the context of lawful collective bargaining agreements, or possibly to avoid jobsite friction from having union and non-union workers simultaneously on the jobsite." 

Similarly in Glens Falls Building and Construction Trades Council, et al., (Indeck Energy Services of Corinth, Inc.), unions used the threat of environmental opposition to a private project to coerce the private developer to execute a union-only PLA. After the unions withdrew their opposition, the developer filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenging the lawfulness of the union-only PLA.

The Board held that the agreement would be lawful only if the developer was considered "an employer in the construction industry" and the agreement was entered in the context of a bona fide collective bargaining relationship or had the purpose and effect of dealing with the "jobsite friction" issues of having union and non-union workers side by side. The Board found that the union's desire to acquire work for out of work members and achieve a labor monopoly, and the developer's desire to avoid union opposition to the project, were not related to avoiding "jobsite friction". 

PLA Challenges

Adherence to this guidance provided by the Connelland Indeck cases has been inconsistent and at times ignored. Sham environmental lawsuits, zoning and permitting challenges, and threats of boycotts against third parties used to coerce owners to enter into union-only PLAs, has exposed them to antitrust challenges. Agreements with owners and unions that contain a commitment to use a union-only PLA remain common in many parts of the country and are increasingly sought on publicly-owned projects.

Two suits recently filed by developers in Southern California may signal overreach in coercing developers to enter into PLAs, and increasing resistance to pressure to extract union-only agreements.

In Evans Hotels, LLC v. UNITE HERE! Local 30, San Diego County Building and Constructions Trades, et al., the developer, Evans Hotels, alleges that the unions are following a "playbook" to eliminate development of any hotels in San Diego that will not commit to using union labor to build and staff the hotels. When Evans Hotels refused to enter into agreements to use only union contractors, and enter into a card check agreement to facilitate organizing of hotel staff by UNITE HERE!, Evans Hotels alleged the unions implemented their "playbook" of:
  1. making sham environmental and zoning challenges;
  2. pressuring city officials to condition approval of the project on Evans Hotels' agreement to union demands;
  3. pressuring city officials to slow the approval process; and
  4. pressure Evans Hotels' business partners to withdraw from agreements.
After the city's processing of Evans' Hotels' applications for the project ground to a halt, and its business partner backed out of a joint venture, Evans Hotels filed suit in U.S. District Court. The suit alleged an unlawful boycott under the NLRA, an attempt to create a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Act, extortion in violation of RICO statutes, and related claims. Evans Hotels seeks lost profits in excess of $100,000,000 and treble damages under the antitrust laws, as well as injunctive relief.

Similar conduct is challenged by the developer in The Icon at Panorama, LLC v. Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, LiUNA Local 300, et al. This project to redevelop a property that has been vacant for nearly 20 years in a disadvantaged part of Los Angeles was targeted by the unions for a PLA. The developer resisted demands on the basis that the rents that could be charged from the developed property would not justify the expense of using all union contractors.
In response, the unions filed sham environmental challenged under CEQA at every step of the city's approval process. The developer also alleges a conspiracy with others, including environmental firms, to assist the unions with using frivolous challenges designed to achieve a monopoly on construction services in the area. The developer has filed suit in Federal Court alleging that the unions and their environmental consultants have engaged in a pattern of sham environmental litigation and violated:
  1. the Sherman Act by attempting to form a monopoly and directing a boycott;
  2. the Clayton Act by conspiring to enter into an exclusive dealing arrangement;
  3. the NLRA by using coercion to force the developer to sign a PLA when it cannot lawfully do so; and
  4. RICO statutes by engaging in extortion through sham environmental litigation and mail fraud.
While the use of PLAs remain common in many parts of the country, we are starting to see more pushback from employers on the tactics some unions are using to try and coerce developers to enter into these agreements. 

Connect with WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP here. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 29, 2019   BICSI's Popular LowVolt Courses Are Back! Explore Fall Offerings at WECA's Rancho Cordova HQ


WECA Instructor John Arias (front right, in the grey shirt) listens intently to the BICSI instructor during the April 15, 2019 session of the BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training course. 

BICSI classes are heading back to WECA just in time for fall--and we strongly encourage our interested member contractors to enroll themselves or their employees in these courses early, in order to secure seats.

Interested in enrolling yourself or an employee in a BICSI course? See below for the upcoming Fall 2019 dates and to learn more about the courses.  Enrollments are directly with BICSI at the links below. Look for "Rancho Cordova" in the location sidebar for each course.

DD102: Designing Telecommunications Distribution Systems Oct. 28 - Nov. 1

Learn how to design distribution systems in this comprehensive workshop. DD102 is an intensive, hands-on course focused on the design of structured cabling systems. Offering hands-on skill building activities from day one, this knowledge-intensive course instructs you in real-world tasks, preparing you for design roles outside of the classroom. Assignments from the award-winning Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM) augment your learning, allowing you to prepare questions for the classroom. Learn more here.

IN101: BICSI Installer Training Nov. 18 - 22

This course is designed to provide entry-level installers with the background, knowledge and basic skills needed to function safely and effectively as part of a cabling installation team. The BICSI Installer 1 Training course is the introductory course of the Installation Program series. Learn more here.

IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Dec. 2 - 6

The course begins with an overview of professionalism, copper transmission principles and general safety practices associated with working with copper cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on BICSI best practices for the installation, termination and testing of copper cable. Learn more here.

IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Dec. 9 - 13

This course will open with an overview of professionalism, fiber transmission principles and the general safety practices related to optical fiber cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on installation, splicing, termination and testing of optical fiber cable. Learn more here. 

TE350: BICSI Technician Training Dec. 16 - 20

A significant amount of course time will be spent on troubleshooting copper and optical fiber cable installations. In addition, this course will cover project planning and implementation at the technician level. Additional topics will include site safety, site surveys, blueprint reading, bonding and grounding (earthing) and firestopping practices.  Learn more here. 

These classes are open to the public. Additionally, they are rarely offered in Northern California, so we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity. 

Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these classes and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search course by location for "Rancho Cordova."
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Thursday, August 29, 2019   Industry Bulletin on Behalf of the CSLB: Construction Industry Urged to Help CSLB


August 27, 2019                                                                                       CSLB #19-07

SACRAMENTO -- Undercover sting operations are the best way for the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to catch individuals in the act of contracting without a license. In order to continue these efforts to curb the underground economy, CSLB needs access to more residential and commercial properties to use as sting sites.

The stings are conducted by CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Teams (SWIFT) with the assistance of state or local law enforcement agencies. Every year, investigators issue Notices to Appear in court to hundreds of unlicensed contractors during these undercover operations held year-round throughout California.

Licensed contractors have long been one of CSLB's main sources to find properties - whether occupied or unoccupied - for the one - and two-day operations. It's hoped that more licensees will back CSLB's commitment to leveling the playing field for licensed contractors that follow the rules by helping identify and secure sting properties.

There's a need to find sting properties in areas affected by disastrous wildfires, as well as properties in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Ideal Properties include single family homes, small commercial buildings, especially in strip malls, and industrial buildings.

To learn more about these operations to offer a property for a future sting please contact the SWIFT office closest to you:
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