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Thursday, April 01, 2021   WECA Political Update April 1, 2021

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
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CFEC Plans Two Zoom PLA Meetings
On Tuesday, April 6th at 1:00pm CFEC will hold a Zoom meeting to discuss CFEC’s PLA strategy for the San Diego region.

On Wednesday, April 7th at 1:00pm they will hold a Zoom meeting to discuss CFEC’s PLA strategy for two major projects in Sacramento.

To participate send an email to cfec.ca@gmail.com

 
The American Jobs Plan Yesterday, President Joe Biden rolled out his $2 trillion infrastructure plan at a—surprise, surprise--carpenters’ training facility in Collier, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb whose population is about 98 percent white. Biden made two specific mentions of PLAs in his outline that you can read here. In total – he mentioned unions 24 times in his summary.

Under the section entitled Build, Preserve, And Retrofit More Than Two Million Homes and Commercial Buildings; Modernize Our Nation’s Schools, Community Colleges, And Early Learning Facilities; And Upgrade Veterans’ Hospitals and Federal Buildings. “The President’s plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live. It pairs this investment with an innovative new approach to eliminate state and local exclusionary zoning laws, which drive up the cost of construction and keep families from moving to neighborhoods with more opportunities for them and their kids. The President’s plan will help address the growing cost of rent and create jobs that pay prevailing wages, including through project labor agreements with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively. (The President didn’t mention a worker’s right to not be forced to join a union).

Under Create Good-Quality Jobs That Pay Prevailing Wages in Safe and Healthy Workplaces While Ensuring Workers Have A Free and Fair Choice to Organize, Join A Union, and Bargain Collectively with Their Employers. “Create good jobs. The President’s plan demands that employers benefiting from these investments follow strong labor standards and remain neutral when their employees seek to organize a union and bargain collectively. He is asking Congress to tie federal investments in clean energy and infrastructure to prevailing wages and require transportation investments to meet existing transit labor protections. He also is calling for investments tied to Project Labor, Community Workforce, local hire, and registered apprenticeships and other labor or labor-management training programs so that federal investments support good jobs and pathways to the middle class. (Does his use of labor or labor-management training programs signal future challenges for employer training programs?). Finally, he is asking Congress to include a commitment to increasing American jobs through Buy America and Ship American provisions.
 
Additional Sick Pay One remaining piece of COVID-19 legislation was the enactment of SB 95 (Skinner). This bill mandates that employers expand supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. SB 95, which took effect on March 29, 2021, applies retroactively to applicable leave taken on or after January 1, 2021, and remains in effect until September 30, 2021. Thus, covered employers must provide Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave beginning on March 29, 2021, and covered employees who took qualifying leave between January 1 and March 28 may request retroactive payment for leave taken during that period.

Lawmakers Propose Wealth Tax and PIT Increase From CalTax State lawmakers recently proposed two major tax increases: a wealth tax targeting Californians with a net worth above $50 million and a personal income tax increase on annual income over $2 million. The PIT increase was revealed in amendments to AB 65, by Democratic Assembly Member Evan Low. The bill would create the California Universal Basic Income Program, funded via a 1 percent surcharge on income above $2 million beginning January 1, 2022. The bill would bring California’s top PIT rate – already the highest in the United States – to 14.3 percent. The revenue generated by the tax hike would be used to provide monthly $1,000 payments to Californians who are at least 18 years old, are not incarcerated, have been residents of the state for the prior three consecutive taxable years and do not earn more than 200 percent of the per capita median income for the counties in which they reside. As a tax increase, the bill faces a two-thirds vote threshold in the Legislature.

The wealth tax proposal was unveiled March 15 in a virtual press conference hosted by the lead author, Assembly Member Alex Lee. The proponents said the legislation, which is not yet in print, would impose a 1 percent tax on wealth over $50 million and a 1.5 percent tax on wealth over $1 billion. Lee’s press conference also featured Assembly Members Luz Rivas, Miguel Santiago, and Lorena Gonzalez. The lawmakers were joined California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas, entrepreneur Joe Sanberg, and University of California at Berkeley Economics Professor Emmanuel Saez. According to several participants in the press conference, their tax increase is intended to make California’s wealthiest residents “pay their fair share.” If approved by at least two-thirds of the Legislature, the wealth tax would be placed on a statewide ballot in a measure that would need a simple majority vote for passage. Saez, co-author of the book, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” said the tax would raise approximately $22 billion per year – approximately half of which would be paid by 170 individuals. “The mere introduction of a similar proposal last year was enough to increase the exodus of businesses, individuals and investments fleeing California,” CalTax President Robert Gutierrez said. “This damaging proposal encourages more Californians to follow in the footsteps of others who already moved out of California. Most other states are not threatening to tax their residents’ savings and personal effects – items that were purchased with money left over after paying California’s highest-in-the-nation income tax.” Opponents of the two tax hikes noted that proponents’ revenue estimates do not appear to factor in the likelihood that some of the targeted individuals would move out of California and establish residence in a state with lower taxes. Gutierrez noted that the state government is collecting billions of dollars more than expected under the current tax rates and has a large reserve that got the state through a year of pandemic without having to cut funding for education or other important programs. Governor Gavin Newsom and one of his top advisors have said the governor will not approve wealth taxes or income tax increases this year.

Sales Tax Increases Take Effect April 1 in Many Areas of the State Voter-approved sale tax rate increases will take effect April 1 in many areas of the state, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration notified retailers in a special notice. In 11 cities, the new tax rate will be 10.25 percent. Ten of the cities are in Los Angeles County (Bell Gardens, Bellflower, City of Commerce, Lancaster, Lomita, Palmdale, San Fernando, Signal Hill, South El Monte, and West Hollywood). The remaining 10.25 percent city is El Cerrito, in Contra Costa County. Consumers in Turlock will have a tough time estimating the cost of sales tax without a calculator, as the new rate is 8.625 percent. They may be used to dealing with non-round numbers, however, as the new rate replaces the current rate of 7.875 percent.

How the PRO Act could change the way contractors do business The construction industry’s use of independent contractors and subcontractors, even sub-subcontractors, is standard practice. The nature of the business requires a wide range of expertise and independent contractors can help with the short-term staffing that a company does not have in-house, or they can supplement a contractor's full-time workforce. Using independent contractors and subcontractors also saves the hiring contractor money because it doesn't have to pay employee benefits, provide workers' compensation coverage or withhold taxes on those entities. Story

Recall Watch March 22, 2021 From TargetBook March 17 was the deadline for proponents of the Gavin Newsom recall to submit their signatures to county elections offices. Proponents announced that they had submitted 2,117,730 signatures. Once the recall is determined to have enough valid signatures, voters will have 30 business days during which they may withdraw their signatures. Gavin Newsom's 'Stop the Republican Recall' committee announced it had raised over $538,000 from online donors in its first 48 hours. Independent expenditures have already begun for the recall and replacement candidates. Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose, who dropped out of the 2018 governor's race after 52 days citing poor fundraising and a crowded field of candidates, announced he would be a candidate in the recall election. With the GOP field becoming increasingly crowded, all eyes are on whether Newsom's campaign can hold back the dam for the next six months and prevent a credible Democratic candidate from running in the recall.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke out recently in an attempt to pull the Democratic Party together around Newsom. She told reporters that the recall effort was “an unnecessary notion,” adding, “I don’t think it even rises to the level of an idea.”

But the public has another notion. A poll released this week by the nonpartisan firm Probolsky Research found that California voters were split on whether to recall Newsom. Forty percent supported recalling him, while 46 percent were opposed. That’s not overwhelming support — but it’s a clear sign that Newsom is in choppy waters and would need to work hard to head off a recall if a vote does get scheduled.

Biden May Be the Most Pro-Labor President Ever; That May Not Save Unions (Grab your box of WECA tissues) The New York Times reports “Labor leaders are effusive in praising the new president, but experts worry that he may be powerless to reverse unions’ long-term decline.” Story
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Thursday, March 25, 2021   COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Expanded Under New Law

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP



New COVID Sick Leave Mandate Requires California Employers to Provide an Additional 80 Hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

By: Lisa V. Ryan of Cook Brown, LLP

Introduced, passed by both houses, and signed by Governor Newsom all in the same week, SB 95 provides a new 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-related purposes to virtually all California employees who work for employers with 25 or more employees, including those subject to collective bargaining agreements. As the name implies “Supplemental Paid Sick Leave” (SPSL) is in addition to existing paid sick leave requirements; therefore, employees cannot be required to use other paid/unpaid leave first or in lieu of SPSL. However, employees can be required to exhaust SPSL before receiving Cal-OSHA exclusion pay. 

Reasons for Leave

Employees are entitled to SPSL if unable to work or telework because the employee is:

(A) Subject to quarantine/isolation related to COVID-19 per order / guidelines of CDPH, CDC or local health officer;

(B) Advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;

(C) Attending a COVID-19 vaccination appointment;

(D) Experiencing COVID-19 vaccination symptoms;

(E) Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis;

(F) Caring for a family member subject to (A) or (B);

(G) Caring for child whose school / care provider is closed / unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

Amount of Leave
  • Full-time employees and employees who are scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the two weeks before the date the employee took supplemental paid sick leave are entitled to up to 80 hours of SPSL.
  • Part-time (or non-full-time) employees:
  • If the employee has a normal weekly schedule: the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work for the employer over two weeks.
  • If the employee works a variable number of hours: 14 times the average number of hours the employee worked each day for the employer in the six months before the first date the employee needed leave.


Terms of Leave

Governor Newsom signed SB 95 on March 19, 2021, meaning the new COVID-19 sick leave law becomes effective on March 29, 2021. However, the SPSL entitlement applies retroactively to January 1, 2021. This means that upon written or oral request by an employee, the employer must provide retroactive SPSL payment for prior uncompensated leave. For that reason, employers can also count hours of other paid leave provided to employees for covered COVID-related reasons on or after January 1, 2021, including leave provided under FFCRA, towards SPSL requirement.

An important takeaway for all employers is that the law requires the SPSL to be reported separately on paystubs, starting with the next full pay period following the effective date. 

Notice Requirements

Under California law, employers are required to display the required poster in a conspicuous place that contains information about 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

If an employer’s covered employees do not frequent a workplace, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by disseminating notice through electronic means.

Payroll Tax Credit

The passage of SB 95 at the state level coincides with the passage at the federal level earlier this month of the American Rescue Plan, which extends the federal payroll tax credit established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to September 30, 2021.

That measure increases the wages covered by the paid family leave credit to $12,000 per worker, from $10,000. Larger employers also should realize that the tax credit only applies to employers with 500 or fewer employees. The effective date of the FFCRA payroll tax credit begins after March 31, 2021. This calls into question whether leave retroactively designated under SB 95 would qualify for the payroll tax credit under the FFCRA. 

SB 95’s SPSL provisions also expire on September 30, 2021. 

The DLSE released FAQs on the bill found here: 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs (ca.gov)
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Thursday, March 25, 2021   Introducing the WECA PE to PM Program

Essential Electrical Training for Non-Electrician Construction Professionals

Our contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Introducing our new program of essential training for non-electrician construction professionals:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager
(PE to PM) Program

Get acquainted with a quick video:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program is here.

And now learn a whole lot more:
 
The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program

Providing training in electrical concepts, code, and best practices for non-electrician construction professionals, WECA's PE to PM Program was designed and developed in close consultation with our contractors. It's designed to give construction professionals--including Project Engineers who have a background in construction but little or no electrician-specific training--the electrical fundamentals and crucial concepts they need to talk the talk and walk the walk on your projects. 

The PE to PM Training Path is made up of five online courses which should be taken in the following order:

1. Practical Electrical Theory is an online, self-paced introduction to electrical theory, laws, and circuits. Course topics include:
  • Atomic Theory
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Series Circuits
  • Parallel Circuits


Available now! Learn more and enroll here.

2. Subject Indexing and Code is an online, self-paced course in which students will learn how to effectively navigate and answer code-related questions in the National Electrical Code (NEC 2017) book and complete the calculations needed for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • NEC Subject Indexing
  • Conductor Sizing and Protection
  • Raceway, Box Fill, and Conduit Fill Calculations
  • Service Sizing, Clearances, and Terminations
  • Wiring Methods, Special Equipment and Occupancies
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Motors
  • General Equipment, Lighting and Panelboards
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Available now! Learn more and enroll here.

3. Electrical Wiring Methods and Installations is an online, self-paced introduction to the most used wiring methods with emphasis on proper installation and correctly applying electrical code. Course topics include:
  • Installation basics
  • National electrical code
  • Workmanship standards
  • Identification of methods


Launching April 5, 2021

4. Job Costs and Estimating Basics is an online hybrid (a scheduled instructor-led introduction and otherwise self-paced) course which introduces estimating job costs, material and labor for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • Material estimations
  • Labor estimations
  • Voltage drop as applied to installation
  • Total job cost analysis


Launching April 12, 2021
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5. Commercial Electrical Blueprint Reading is an online, scheduled, instructor-led course in which students learn how to coordinate cut sheets, submittals, the NEC and more with digital blueprints to plan electrical installation for commercial construction from the ground up. Available now! Learn more and enroll here.
 
FAQs
 
Q: Is the PE to PM Program for Project Engineers only?
A: Nope! Any construction industry professional (for instance, General Contractors, Construction Managers, etc.) who requires a grounding in electrical concepts, the National Electric Code, and best practices on the electrical job site can benefit from this program. 

Q: Does the WECA discount structure for Member Contractors and their employees apply to the PE to PM program?
A: Yes, discounts on these classes are available to WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA membership benefit. Members: Please log in to your secured member dashboard to download the PE to PM program discount rate sheet, or call our office for more information. Member employees: Please speak to your contractor about accessing a discount.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: The program is modularized and was designed to accommodate individual choice in the intensity and speed of completion. Motivated students might complete it in as little as 6 months. A student who would like to integrate the concepts more slowly, or who is combining this program with other on-the-job training, might prefer to enroll in only one course per quarter, taking approximately 18 months to complete the program.

Q: Will the timing of the classes interfere with job duties?
A: The program has been designed for busy working professionals and should not interfere with full-time job duties. All of the courses are fully online. Three of the courses are entirely self-paced. One of the courses has an instructor-led introduction, which is held online in the evening, and then the remainder is self-paced. The final course is scheduled, online, instructor-led, but classes occur on weeknight evenings and one Saturday.

Q: I'm a construction professional who has had some electrical training already. Can I skip a class? 
A: WECA recommends the full program, taken in the order outlined above. However, if you've had previous electrical training (for instance, by taking some WECA GetWired! classes), we recommend you review the course outlines closely, and then enroll in whatever is most appropriate for you. Call WECA and talk to one of our client services specialists if you're not sure what to take.

Q: Does WECA provide a certificate of completion at the end of this program?
A: Yes, a student who successfully completes all five courses in the PE to PM Program Path with be granted a certificate of completion from WECA. (Credit towards the certificate for alternative courses previously taken at WECA will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Q: I'm ready to get started (or to get my employees started) in this program! What do I do next?
A: Enroll online through our PE to PM Course Catalog, or call our office at 1-877-444-9322 for enrollment guidance.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   Drumroll, Please: Join Us in Congratulating the 2021 WECEF Scholarship Winners!



The moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived--please join us in congratulating the 2021 WECEF Scholarship winners!

The WECEF scholarship provides tuition assistance to students pursuing careers in the electrical and low voltage fields, and we were gratified to award 33 scholarships this year.

Here are the 2021 WECEF Scholarship recipients:
  • Apprentice Mario Alvarado
  • Apprentice Brenton Caceres
  • Apprentice Nue Cha
  • Apprentice Lindsay Couch
  • Apprentice Blake Edwards
  • Apprentice Michael Goodman
  • Apprentice Brad Jackson
  • Apprentice Joel Luis
  • Apprentice Tobiah Moore
  • Apprentice Shahram Mostafaie
  • Apprentice Andrew Murillo
  • Apprentice Brady Muth
  • Apprentice Su Nguyen
  • Apprentice C.L. Paige
  • Apprentice James Ryan
  • Apprentice Francois Shelton
  • Apprentice Taylor Silva
  • Apprentice Eric Solorio
  • Apprentice German Valazquez
  • Apprentice Laura Varela
  • Apprentice Brandon Vogt
  • Apprentice Cory Williams
  • Apprentice Scott Wiltse-Singh
  • ET Ian Crilly
  • ET Cristobal Cuevas
  • ET Stephen Guerra
  • ET Jakob Hervilla
  • ET Jasmin Kadric
  • ET Noah Lange
  • ET Kameran Malcolm
  • ET Garret Pozarnsky
  • ET Lucas Schall
  • ET Monica Slabaugh


Congratulations, everyone!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   WECA is hiring--again!

Our student enrollment just keeps growing. Share your knowledge with the next generation of electricians.

Seeking qualified instructors for online weeknight classes and Saturday classes online or in-person.
It's the perfect side gig that doesn't interfere with your primary job!





If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here..
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 18, 2021   WECA Political Update March 18, 2021

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
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Newsom Recall From Politico The deadline for submitting petitions for recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom passed last night at 5 p.m., when recall supporters announced they had submitted 2,117,730 signatures to 58 county registrars. It could take until April 29 to verify whether recall proponents have the 1.5 million valid voter signatures needed to qualify the election. According to veteran California political analyst and Sonoma State University professor David McCuan: “This is going to be the political story of 2021 — and it's going to be national in scope, because the vice president will not be able to take a pass. That means the White House will not be able to take a pass. It’s going to be a ‘proxy war for 2022,’ he added. “The ultimate exhibition game.”

Orange County Democrats Flip Key Supervisors’ Seat, Moorlach Concedes to Foley Surprising essentially no one, Democrats have flipped a Republican seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, as former county Supervisor John Moorlach conceded the race to Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. It will be the first time in decades that Democrats have two seats on the powerful board that impacts everything from homelessness to mental health services to the pandemic. Foley led the field with 44% of the ballots reported in the final election night update at 10 p.m., followed by Republican John Moorlach, a former supervisor, with 31%. Two other Republican challengers – Newport Beach Councilman Kevin Muldoon and Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo – each got about 10% of the vote as of the latest results, meaning Muldoon and Vo were spoilers for Moorlach. Story

PROAct moves The House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The vote was 225-206, with five Republicans voting for and one Democrat (Rep. Cuellar) voting against. For comparison, when the bill passed the House last year, seven Democrats, not all of whom survived the 2020 election, voted no. Several Democrats seem to have converted to a “yes” due to an amendment that called for a GAO study to determine the impact of the bill on independent contractors and those businesses considered joint employers. Needless to say, that amendment has no practical value and was a cynical attempt to provide political cover. As most of you know, the PRO Act would essentially eliminate right to work laws, encourage “card check” certification, impose first contract arbitration, legalize secondary boycotts, mandate California’s ABC test for determining independent contractor status under the NLRA, re-establish the Browning Ferris standard for joint employer determinations, and massively increase penalties on employers, among other provisions. This year’s version of the bill is even worse than that from the previous Congress. For example, it adds “contract bar” language that would prevent decertification elections during the life of a contract and allow unions to request mail in ballots in any campaign. The US Chamber “key voted” the PRO Act, lobbied extensively, and worked with state and local chamber partners to generate communications to their delegations. 

Under current filibuster rules, Democrats do not have the votes to pass the bill. Currently there are 45 Senate Democrats supporting the PRO Act. Those who have NOT co-sponsored include Sen. Sinema (AZ), Sen. Kelly (AZ), Sen. Warner (VA), Sen. King (ME), and Sen. Manchin (WV). Arizona members encourage Kelly and Sinema to stay off the bill and to vote no if it ever comes to the floor. It is also critical to encourage senators to maintain the filibuster. At some point Democrats will make a serious move to eliminate the filibuster, likely around a vote on a sensitive issue such as civil rights or voting rights. Whatever that issue may be, it is important that the business community take the long view and understand that if the filibuster is eliminated for one issue, it is gone for the PRO Act as well.
 
CA teachers could spend more than 12 years on union organizing with new bill From SacBee. "California teachers could take an indefinite leave from the classroom to work on union business without suffering consequences to their pensions under Senate Bill 294, authored by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino. It would remove a cap that compels teachers to return to schools after 12 years of union-related leave. Teachers, like other public employees, accrue service credit toward their pensions for each year they work. When they retire, their years of service are a key factor in how big their pension will be. Under current law, teachers may work full-time for their unions while continuing to accrue service credit, but not for more than 12 years. Leyva’s proposal would remove the cap."

San Diego Supervisors Vote to Require Contractor Disclosure Citing a need to “increase transparency within the County of San Diego”, the San Diego Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to proceed with a proposal by board chair Nathan Fletcher to “require contractors for building permits and right-of-way permits, to disclose, at the time of subcontractor selection, the subcontractors working on a given project, including their contact information, subcontractor’s workers’ compensation insurance, State Contractor License Board license number and license category, and any other applicable disclosures.” The new county ordinance would “[i]dentify clearly that it is the responsibility of the lead contractor to ensure that, at the time of permit issuance and subcontractor selection, all subcontractors meet state and local labor regulations. Local AGC and BIA representatives cautioned the board that this requirement would be cumbersome and expensive. Worse is the prospect that projects with merit shop contractors and sub-contractors will see delay and objections by the local construction unions. The proposed ordinance is due back to the board within 180 days. No evidence was offered by Fletcher that his proposal would “fix” any problems the County was facing.

Ask Richard



?Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group

Have questions or concerns?

?Ask Richard!

 
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   Congratulations to the Member Contractors Who Made SBJ's 2021 "Top Electrical Contractors" List!

Bringing light to our communities during a dark year





During a dark year, WECA's Member Contractors were there, bringing light to our communities like never before. And today, we're happy to announce that our Sacramento-area contractors' efforts, dedication, growth, and success have been officially recognized! Please join us in congratulating the twelve WECA Member Contractors who dominated the Sacramento Business Journal's 2021 "Top Electrical Contractors" list:
  • Alessandro Electric, Inc.
  • Ample Electric, Inc.
  • Barnum & Celillo Electric, Inc.
  • Bosley Electric
  • Butterfield Electric, Inc.
  • Garrahan Electric, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • K-S Telecom, Inc.
  • North State Electrical Contractors, Inc.
  • Rex Moore Electric
  • Royal Electric Co.
  • Vasko Electric, Inc.
Congratulations, all, and thank you for exemplifying what it takes to be top of the list!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: simPRO

Logistics software made by trade contractors, for trade contractors
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Read on for their value proposition for WECA Member Contractors



WECA Industry Partner simPRO—like many great software companies—started out of founder Steve Bradshaw’s garage in 2002.

However, unlike other software companies, its founder was an electrical contractor, who felt that his business was losing opportunities due to inefficiencies and sought change as a result. So Bradshaw teamed up with an engineering student named Vaughn McKillop to create a simple scheduling tool made by trade contractors, for trade contractors. Bradshaw’s business expanded as a result, and the software then blossomed into the complete end-to-end solution that helps over 150,000 businesses worldwide streamline their operations, keep loyal customers happy, and win new business.

“If your business struggles with quoting multi-stage projects, managing inventory, communicating with technicians, or any other areas of workflow, simPRO provides a streamlined platform to address your pressing challenges all while helping you increase productivity and profits,” says Nick Carter, simPRO’s Business Development Manager. “simPRO is a top-rated choice in the field service industry due to easily accessible customer support, online help guides, in-depth implementation and training, and consistent software updates that are tailored to customers’ needs. simPRO also connects with Quickbooks and Xero for streamlined accounting and job management.”

Simply put, “simPRO helps companies manage their project, service, and maintenance workflows from initial lead all the way through to final invoice and helps businesses become more efficient by producing quotes and invoices, scheduling staff, managing inventory, job tracking, report building, and more. We allow businesses to take on more jobs and win new business,” says Carter.

Though a software company, simPRO was founded by an electrical contractor and as such, was uniquely interested in partnering with WECA to connect and network with electrical contractors and help their businesses flourish.

This includes special perks for WECA Member Contractors such as saving 20 percent on your simPRO implementation cost; a free, customized software consultation, and a monthly subscription plan with no lock-in contracts.

If your company is interested in doing business with simPRO—or you just simply want to learn more about simPRO—contact Nick Carter, Business Development Manager, at nick.carter@simpro.us. You can also visit simPRO’s web landing page formulated just for WECA Member Contractors here.
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Thursday, March 11, 2021   It's Women in Construction Week 2021!

Celebrate accordingly with us--check out our spotlights on inspiring women learning with WECA and its Member Contractors as Apprentices and Electrician Trainees!

Also, read on for coverage of WECA's inaugural (and virtual!) Apprentice Women's Forum meeting



Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Gina White

Whether it’s in the social work field or prospectively on-the-job as an electrician trainee, Gina White is a woman who gets things done.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2018, White started her career as a social worker, but longed to work with her hands. As the daughter of an electrical engineer father who “can fix and build anything”, White thought about going back to college for a mechanical engineering degree but soon discovered that most mechanical engineers end up doing design work behind a computer. Read the rest of Gina's spotlight here.

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Apprentice Spotlight: Charlotte Burggraf

WECA Apprentice Charlotte Burggraf has had the best of both worlds—a traditional four-year college degree plus educational and on-the-job experience under her toolbelt with WECA—and says that “the biggest shortcoming of [college] was the complete lack of job experience during it.”

“You spend four-plus years for a piece of paper that, on its own, doesn’t get you a career. Even with a degree in hand, you still need to be able to show you can do the work to get hired by a company. Meanwhile, with WECA, or any apprenticeship program really, you get work experience as you do your classroom training, which sets you up well for a career in the field,” says Burggraf. Read the rest of Charlotte's spotlight here.

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Apprentice Spotlight: Laura Varela

WECA Phoenix Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela, who works for founding Arizona member contractor Corbins Electric, says that “over the years, being a female in construction has become a normal thing. Since joining the trade in 2015, I have personally seen so many women join the trades; there is definitely no divide. We are all a team working together to get one goal done—and that is to finish the job.”

Varela—who first became interested in becoming an electrician while enrolled in her high school’s construction program—says that more women should think about working in the electrical field because “it is not as hard as it may seem. With the advancements in technology, tools that were once manually operated are now battery operated, which means that not as much strength is required anymore.” Read the rest of Laura's spotlight here.

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Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Ariana Beltran

Like father, like daughter! WECA Electrician Trainee Ariana Beltran has her father to thank for the career journey she’s currently on.

“My dad is an electrician, and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps,” says Beltran. 

Aside from having that much more in common with her father (shop talk during get-togethers, anyone?), Beltran says that studying to become an electrician—and working in the electrical field—comes with some major perks. Read the rest of Ariana's spotlight here.

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Apprentice Spotlight: Liddia Ventura

Liddia Ventura is no stranger to construction, having been around it her whole life. But she found that the electrical trade interested her the most because “There’s always a learning opportunity. Electricity is part of our everyday life and being able to have a working knowledge of it is a great life skill.”

For Ventura, becoming an electrician is also borne out of sentimentality. Her goal is to ultimately operate a solar farm in her mother’s hometown.

In the meantime, though, Ventura is enjoying learning in the classroom with WECA as a Commercial Electrical Apprentice as well as on-the-job with her employing member contractor. Read the rest of Liddia's spotlight here.

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Apprentice Spotlight: Jaclyn Surber

If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.

That’s the personal philosophy that WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice—and wrestling Olympic hopeful—Jaclyn Surber ascribes to.
And her love for her chosen profession shines through.

“I love learning a new trade, and my contractor [Helix Electric] has been amazing. WECA has also been amazing—as a female, I’m getting the same training and experiences that my male counterparts are receiving. There is no favoritism; I have to pull my weight like everyone else. I also like the fact that I get to do on-the-job training that is paid,” says Surber. Read the rest of Jaclyn's spotlight here.

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But that's not all! WECA also held its inaugural WECA Apprentice Women's Forum on March 10, and it was a great success!

The inaugural event, hosted virtually via Zoom, was attended by women apprentices from WECA's training facilities in California and Arizona, and even included WECA Alumni Journeyperson (and valedictorian of her class!) Demi Zayas, whom we've previously featured in our newsletters and on our social media channels.

Each attendee brought ideas to the forum, which included suggestions on places WECA could expand their recruiting efforts to, forming groups to connect more frequently, and starting a CODE of the day/week contest with each other.

Zayas also shared useful tips on various topics--including the value of finding ways to get tasks/assignments done with techniques that work for each individual attendee--and spoke of continuously pushing herself to be a continuous learner and tackling new assignments with a desire to be the best.

It was a great meeting, and WECA looks forward to our next forum meeting and continuing to connect (and grow) this fantastic group of women with each other!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   Commercial & VDV 2021-1 Prevailing Wages Now Available

WECA Members: Commercial & VDV 2021-1 prevailing wages are now available on your secured member dashboards on our website. Please login to access them.

Please contact WECA at 1-877-444-9322 you have any questions or need any assistance.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 04, 2021   WECA Political Update March 4, 2021

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
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150 Business Groups Pressure Lawmakers on Labor Bill: From Politico – “More than 100 trade associations representing a range of industries are ramping up pressure on lawmakers to vote down a sweeping labor law bill that would expand union power (HR 842S 420). The groups, writing as part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, sent a letter to the Hill Thursday arguing that the Protecting the Right to Organize Act will result in “economic upheaval that would cost millions of American jobs, threaten vital supply chains, and greatly diminish opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.” The House passed the PRO Act, which has strong union backing and which President Joe Biden said on the campaign trail he supports, on a nearly party-line vote last year, but the GOP-controlled Senate never took the bill up. Democrats reintroduced the bill with some tweaks last month, and the House is set to take it up next week. But CDW writes in its letter that it would strengthen unions “without regard for the negative impacts the legislation would have on workers, businesses, and the economy.” The letter is signed by a slew of influential business lobbies and trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Hotel & Lodging Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA).”

WECA is a member of CDW and encourages its members to contact their members of congress about the bill. You can take action here. More on the issue can be found here.

71 New Members of Congress Were Elected Last Year Voters nationwide elected 71 new members—nine senators and 62 representatives—to Congress on Nov. 3 or in subsequent runoff elections. This figure includes Luke Letlow (R-La.), who was elected Dec. 5 and died from complications related to COVID-19 on Dec. 29, before taking office.
 
The newly elected officials have been in office for a bit more than six weeks. Here’s a quick refresher about them. Those 71 new members included the following:
  • Candidates from the opposing party defeated five incumbent senators—one Democrat and four Republicans. 
  • Republican challengers defeated 13 Democratic representatives.
  • 53 new members—four senators and 49 representatives—were elected to open seats. Five House seats were vacant heading into the Nov. 3 elections. Four senators and 36 House members did not run for re-election, and eight House members were defeated in a primary or nominating convention.
The 116th Congress, which convened after the 2018 elections, had 102 new members—nine senators and 93 representatives. The 115th Congress in 2016 had 62 new members—seven senators and 55 U.S. House members.



How Would A $15 Minimum Wage Affect Construction? An increase in the federal minimum wage would mean that construction employers in some states would have to pay more for some types of labor. Story

California Supreme Court Demands Strict Meal Period Compliance and Prohibits Rounding for Meal Periods On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling addressing legal standards for meal period violations in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC.1 In its opinion, the court required strict compliance for providing meal periods, and specifically condemned the practice of rounding to the nearest time increment for meal periods. The court also clarified that a rebuttable presumption of liability applies when time records show shortened, delayed, or missed meal periods. Story

Non-Union Construction Companies Face Significant Threats Under the PRO Act In February 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (H.R. 2474), known as the PRO Act. The PRO Act contains a number of anti-management, pro-union changes to various labor laws, many of which have existed in the United States for decades. President Biden has already promised to sign the PRO Act if it comes across his desk, and with a Democratic-controlled House and Senate, it likely will. Several of the proposed changes will be critical to … the construction sector, but there is one in particular … especially concerning. Story

In the Capitol, A New Push to Unionize Staff Members From Capitol Weekly: "The first time, she had just one co-author; the second time, a dozen. Now, on her third attempt, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has convinced nearly half of the California Assembly to co-author her bill to grant collective bargaining rights to rank-and-file Capitol staffers. Assembly Bill 314 has 39 Assembly co-authors. With her, that’s 40, just one short of the number needed for full Assembly approval. If the bill makes it to the floor, it’ll pass, she says. ‘I have the votes for the floor.’ But first the bill must pass through the Public Employment and Retirement Committee, where her prior two bills died. And the chair of that committee (Assemblymember Jim Cooper) is not among the co-authors."



Want to make your voice heard on behalf of your company and the merit shop industry by joining Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs at the Capitol for the 2021 Joint Merit Shop Legislative Conference? There's still time to register for this online event, held on March 17 & 18, 2021!

Register today to attend this virtual event

Ask Richard



?Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group


Have questions or concerns?

?Ask Richard!
Read more >>


Tuesday, March 02, 2021   New WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: Qmerit

A leader in the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification Industry since 2010, Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors.



WECA’s Member Contractors and Industry Partners have long been recognized for leading innovation in the industry, and our newest Industry Partner—Qmerit—certainly fits the bill.

Based in Irvine, California, Qmerit has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification industry since 2010. Qmerit is building the largest residential/light commercial network of contractors in North America, and has partnered with Schneider (Square D), and LimeRock New Energy and leading auto manufacturers, charger manufacturers, and fleet and utility partners such as BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Volvo to do so.



Among the services that Qmerit offers to their contractor network are: EV installations directly delivered with no sales cost, assisting certified installers with finding electricians through Qmerit’s Workforce Development program, and contractors to technical education on the systems integration required to make emerging technologies such as solar, battery storage, and microgrids function seamlessly. But that’s not all—Qmerit also educates contractors and their sales and marketing teams in their network on how to price, sell, install and service these new technologies.



Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors. Michael Roppolo, COO of Qmerit, said that “WECA has the reputation of working with very highly skilled electrical professionals in California, and as you may know, California has the highest level of electrification activity in the United States. We think that WECA is the perfect partner to help us with our mission to pivot the electrical industry to electrification.”

WECA Member Contractors interested in working with Qmerit—and taking pole position as the first Qmerit Contractor in their market--may contact Vernon Riggs, the Vice President of Network Development, via phone at (254) 227-3008 or email at vernon.riggs@qmerit.com, or visit Qmerit’s website at http://www.qmerit.com/contractors
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Welcome New Members

Thank You for Joining WECA:

A.J. Kirkwood & Associates, Inc.
(Fullerton, CA)

Andrade Electric
(Rancho Cordova, CA)



 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Meet Qmerit, Our Newest Industry Partner

Qmerit Has Partnered With WECA to Expand Its Network of Certified Contractors
 

WECA’s Member Contractors and Industry Partners have long been recognized for leading innovation in the industry, and our newest Industry Partner—Qmerit—certainly fits the bill.

Based in Irvine, California, Qmerit has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification industry since 2010. Qmerit is building the largest residential/light commercial network of contractors in North America, and has partnered with Schneider, Square D, and LimeRock New Energy and leading auto manufacturers, charger manufacturers, and fleet and utility partners such as BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Volvo to do so.



Among the services that Qmerit offers to their contractor network are: EV installations directly delivered with no sales cost, assisting certified installers with finding electricians through Qmerit’s Workforce Development program, and contractors to technical education on the systems integration required to make emerging technologies such as solar inverters, battery storage, and microgrids function seamlessly. But that’s not all—Qmerit also educates contractors and their sales and marketing teams in their network on how to price, sell, install and service these new technologies.



Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors. Michael Roppolo, COO of Qmerit, said that “WECA has the reputation of working with very highly skilled electrical professionals in California, and as you may know, California has the highest level of electrification activity in the United States. We think that WECA is the perfect partner to help us with our mission to pivot the electrical industry to electrification.”
WECA Member Contractors interested in working with Qmerit—and taking pole position as the first Qmerit Contractor in their market--may contact Vernon Riggs, the Vice President of Network Development, via phone at (254) 227-3008 or email at vernon.riggs@qmerit.com, or visit Qmerit’s website at http://www.qmerit.com/contractors
 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Border States Electrical Supply donates to our Phoenix Training Facility

Want to see your company's name in lights and help make WECA's premier electrical industry education possible? Learn more below!





WECEF's 2020-21 Lab Donation Scoreboard continues to amass generous monetary and physical donations! New WECA Industry Partner Border States Electrical Supply recently (and generously!) donated 7,000 feet of 1/2" EMT conduit along with rigid and PVC conduit to WECA's Apprenticeship program at our new Phoenix Training Facility.



"These materials are essential for our Apprentices to practice the very bending techniques they will use in the field. The sheer volume of the donation ensures that our Apprentices will have the materials they need to master the various bends and feel assured they will be successful in their next conduit bending assignment on the job site," said Keith Smart, WECA's Arizona Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor.

As always, we're grateful for the support of our lab material donors, who help make our seamless delivery of electrical industry education in California and Arizona possible.

The year's only begun, and we eagerly anticipate more generous donations to our Lab Donation Scoreboard. If you would you like to help WECA deliver a cutting-edge and immersive electrical industry education in California and Arizona, here's your chance! Click on the image above to be redirected to WECEF's Lab Donation Scoreboard page and view "wish lists" for our respective educational programs. Besides the satisfaction of contributing to the bright futures of WECA Apprentices and Electrician Trainees, donors will get to see their "name in lights" on our Scoreboard!

Thank you in advance to our donors--the learning experiences of our apprentices and students are greatly enhanced with your support.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Meanwhile, more great news in Arizona...

WECA's Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric Named to Phoenix Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors in Arizona List!
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Here's some excellent news to (almost) end the week: WECA's Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric was named to the Phoenix Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors in Arizona list!

Way to go, Corbins! We're proud to have you as our founding member in Arizona, and thank you for exemplifying that WECA's Member Contractors are the best in the American West!
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   It's all good news in Arizona!

WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela Featured in an ABC15 News Segment in Phoenix, Encouraging Others to Consider a Career in the Electrical Trade!



ABC15 in Phoenix filmed and aired a segment this week focused on how to build a career in the trades, and it featured WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela, who works for Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric and trains at our new Phoenix Training Facility.

Congratulations on the recognition, Laura, and great job encouraging others to pursue an electrical apprenticeship and a career in the electrical trade!

Watch the ABC15 News Segment!
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Emergency Paid Sick Leave Changes in Sonoma County, San Francisco, and the City of Los Angeles



Content Courtesy of: Littler's News and Analysis

On February 9, 2021, the Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors enacted an urgency ordinance that, effective immediately, expands coverage under its emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) ordinance while clarifying and/or amending leave and notice requirements. The same day, the San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors adopted, and sent to the mayor, an ordinance that extends its expiring EPSL ordinance for an additional 60 days, prospectively exempts certain non-profits from coverage, and prospectively narrows instances in which some employees may use leave. The next day, February 10, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti revised an order requiring employers to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) by broadening employee coverage and, as a result, changing how employers must calculate the amount of SPSL they provide employees.

Sonoma County: On February 2, the Board revived the ordinance and extended it through June 30, 2021. In its February 9 vote, the Board made additional changes to the ordinance including the following:

Employer Coverage: The ordinance now applies to all employers in the county’s unincorporated areas. Previously, coverage was limited to employers with 500 or more U.S. employees.

No New Bank of Leave: The amendments confirm that, notwithstanding the fact that the 2020 ordinance now extends into 2021, EPSL is a one-time benefit, so employers do not need to provide a new bank of leave to employees. This one-time benefit is available to employees of employers the ordinance has always covered, as well as those it now covers but who the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) covered previously. Employers can count leave provided to employees under all emergency paid sick leave programs, e.g., the ordinance, the statewide EPSL executive order and/or statutes, the FFCRA, and Cal-OSHA regulations as leave required by the ordinance.

Limited Exception for Health Care Providers & Emergency Responders: Unlike the federal FFCRA, employers of health care providers and emergency responders covered by the ordinance could not elect to exempt those employees from being able to take EPSL. The ordinance now provides a limited exception for these employers. If they have employees who need leave to care for an individual whose senior care provider, school, or childcare provider is closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19, these employers may deny leave if they make a good-faith determination that granting leave would create a staffing shortfall and that their operational needs require them to deny all or some of the requested leave.

Notice / Posting Requirement: The amendments require that, within three days of publication of the ordinance, employers provide notice to employees of their rights under the ordinance in a manner calculated to reach all employees, including posting a notice in English and Spanish in the workplace, on any intranet or app-based platform and/or via email. These requirements mirror pre-existing notice-posting requirements. The county has now made available notices employers can use to meet their obligations, which describe the law as amended, so employers will need to redistribute and post the updated notices.

San Francisco: Originally, the Board of Supervisors simply proposed reenacting, for an additional 60 days, the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO), which was set to expire on February 11, 2021. The version going to the mayor – who has 10 days from receipt to sign, veto, or return unsigned the measure – however, includes additional changes that will apply prospectively if the ordinance is retroactively reenacted effective February 11.

Employer Coverage: Since April 2020, PHELO has applied to employers with 500 or more U.S. employees. Once reenacted, it will continue to do so, with one exception. Specifically, going forward, PHELO will not apply to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations if the majority of their annual revenue is program service revenue that is not unrelated business taxable income under federal law and they do not engage in “healthcare operations,” i.e., providing diagnostic and healthcare services and devices including, but not limited to, hospitals, medical clinics, diagnostic testing locations, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks and blood drives, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. Additionally, it includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals, but excludes fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

Covered Uses: The amendments prospectively remove a controversial PHELO provision that allowed employees to take leave regardless of whether and when they were scheduled to work. Accordingly, employees will only be able to use PHEL if they actually miss work due to a covered reason.

City of Los Angeles: Under the mayor’s prior order, an employee had to have been employed between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020 to be eligible for SPSL, and amount of leave was based on average hours an employee worked over a two-week period during this time. As a result, employees hired after March 4, 2020 were not entitled to SPSL. The amended order changes those provisions.

Employee Coverage: The revised order provides SPSL benefits to employees employed with the same employer for 60 days, expanding coverage to employees hired on or after March 5, 2020.

SPSL Calculation: The revised order requires employers to calculate the amount of SPSL due employees based on their two-week average over the last 60 days of employment. The revised order does not address, however, whether this standard applies only to employees who the order did not previously cover or, whether it also applies to previously covered employees. If it applies to previously covered employees, employers may need to recalculate the amount of SPSL these employees are eligible to receive.

The revised order does not address when employers must perform this calculation. It is hoped the L.A. Office of Wage Standards issues guidance clarifying this issue. If it does not, employers might consider using the approach the federal FFCRA used: calculate the amount of leave when an employee first requests to use leave.

Retroactive v. Prospective: The revised order, issued on February 10, 2021, does not include text suggesting the revised standards apply retroactively, so, like other COVID-19 related orders, it appears it will apply prospectively.

What About State or Federal Laws? Despite the consistent extension and/or expansion of local EPSL ordinances, the California Legislature has not proposed reinstating or expanding the statewide emergency paid sick leave laws, nor has the governor acted through an executive order to do the same. Additionally, California employers and employers across the country continue to wait to see whether, and if so, how, the federal government might extend or expand the FFCRA.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 18, 2021   WECA Political Update February 18, 2021

BizFed's Third Annual Sacramento Week: An Invitation from Richard Markuson to our Central Valley-based Member Contractors:

Want to make the collective voices of WECA Member Contractors in California's Central Valley heard? Now's your chance--join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs for what BizFed has termed "a powerful tradiiton of BizFed and its members advocating at the Capitol." BizFed is hosting a "series of brief yet powerful subject matter forums along with legislator access sessions, and media insights."

It's not an event you want to miss! The event includes:
  • Access to the 4-day event
  • 5 issue forums with ranking legislators
  • Small group meetings with key legislators
  • And a closing reception
But, there's a caveat. WECA has only two tickets (a $250 value) available, so Richard can only bring two WECA Member Contractors with him, and we're extending this opportunity to our Central Valley-based members only. So if you'd like to see the interests of California's Central Valley merit shop contractors acknowledged in Sacramento, now's your chance to make a difference.

If you'd like to attend this virtual event with and make your voice heard, email Richard at rmarkuson@goweca.com as soon as possible to claim your spot!

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Joint Merit Shop Legislative Conference

An invitation to all WECA Member Contractors from Richard Markuson: Take this opportunity to register to make your voice heard on behalf of your company and the merit shop industry and join Richard, virtually at the Capitol, for this online event on March 17 & 18, 2021.

__________________________________________

Biden Calls Union Reps 'Real Friends,' Seeks Their Infrastructure Input President Joe Biden on Wednesday met with union leaders to get input on his forthcoming infrastructure plan, while nominating a new head of the National Labor Relations Board and rolling back a Trump-era apprenticeship program. Among those present were several heads of construction-related unions including Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO; Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions; and Lonnie R. Stephenson, the international president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who served on Biden’s transition advisory board. Story

State COVID Website Only a year into the pandemic, the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency launched SaferAtWork.covid19.ca.gov, a website for California employers to "find up-to-date state and local county COVID-19 guidance by business industry.' The agency says employers answer questions on "business type, location and current COVID-19 practices to generate a tailored road map of relevant information, links to resources and more." It also says "the portal is for educational purposes and will not be used for state enforcement activities."

State’s Progress on Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Goals: Q4 2020 Results According to the latest new vehicle data from California New Car Dealers Association, total new light vehicle registrations in 2020 were down 22% for the year as a result of the economic shutdowns, but total sales exceeded those during the Great Recession in each of the years between 2008 and 2012. This sales performance reflects the different effects coming from the state’s shutdown actions, with many higher wage jobs unaffected due to telecommuting. As a consequence, local government sales tax revenues from these sales were less affected than previously feared. Under Executive Order N-79-20, the governor mandated all new vehicles offered for sale in the state to be ZEVs by 2035 for light duty cars and trucks, and by 2045 for heavy and medium duty vehicles. In spite of the substantial but as-yet unknown costs and other effects of this action, the state agencies are now moving ahead to implement this order using the blanket authorities given to them by the legislature under the climate change program. Story



Fracking Ban From Politico: “[Governor] Newsom asked lawmakers back in September to send him a bill banning fracking. They did on Wednesday, … and the governor wanted nothing to do with it. Sens. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), introduced SB467, that would ban new hydraulic fracturing permits; Newsom declined to comment on the bill. He deflected a question on his position by saying he hadn’t read the bill and couldn’t weigh in. At a press conference at a farmworker vaccination site in the Coachella Valley, a reporter asked him whether he supported the bill, a question he avoided entirely. ‘God bless, forgive me, I’m really honored to be here,’ Newsom said — a response underscoring that a fracking fight presents politically hazardous terrain for the governor. The move signals that Newsom is trying to walk a political tightrope as the threat of a recall election looms on the horizon. If he supports the bill, he risks creating ammunition for conservatives working to recall him, as well as angering labor unions representing oil and gas workers. If he doesn’t support the bill, he risks alienating environmental groups — some of whom have already threatened legal action over his approval of fracking permits. Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio: ‘He’s had a frosty relationship with the environmental community, the environmental justice community in particular. Campaign promises sometimes catch up with you.’ The State Building and Construction Trade Council of California were quick to react; ‘In a frenzied effort to ingratiate themselves to extremist coastal elite political agendas, Senators Wiener and Limón are risking the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of blue-collar families and a doubling of the cost to get to work and school, all without a benefit to the environment,’ Building Trades President Robbie Hunter said in a statement.”

California Dramatically Expands Leave Rights under the Family Rights Act The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides most employees in California with the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave from work to care for themselves or their family members with a serious health condition or to bond with a new child. Effective January 1, 2021, recent legislation (Senate Bill 1383) dramatically expands the CFRA in several major respects. Until December 31, 2020, the CFRA applied only to private employers of 50 or more employees. As of January 1, 2021, the CFRA applies to private employers of 5 or more employees. Because of this expansion, California has repealed its New Parent Leave Act, which had provided similar coverage to employers with 20 to 49 employees. Story

California Supreme Court Clarifies Dynamex’s “ABC” Test, Concluding that Independent Contractor Status Applies Retroactively The California Supreme Court recently issued a decision clarifying that the ABC test for determining independent contractor status does indeed apply retroactively. Story

Scabby Gets a Lifeline The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) often found the use of the inflatable rat to be lawful under labor law over the years, but former NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb sought to put an end to them last fall. Robb, however, was unceremoniously terminated by President Biden on his inauguration day. The new, acting General Counsel Peter Sung Ohr apparently has a different view of these eye sores. According to a new report from Bloomberg Law: “The National Labor Relations Board’s acting general counsel is seeking to end Trump-era complaints over unions’ use of Scabby the Rat, a large inflatable balloon often present at labor protests. General Counsel Peter Ohr’s office has asked the board to send at least two complaints issued by Ohr’s predecessor, Peter Robb, back to the regional directors with which they were originally filed, so they can be dropped. Robb aggressively prosecuted unions for deploying the rodent in demonstrations against someone other than their direct employer, arguing it’s unlawful secondary picketing not protected by the First Amendment. ‘Such pursuit is a waste of valuable Agency resources and not in the public interest,’ Ohr’s office wrote in the two motions.” Story

Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   Announcing a New WECA Member Benefit A new "Toolbox Talk" safety sheet in your inbox every Monday

 

We know how seriously our members take the Cal/OSHA Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program guideline of presenting a "Toolbox Talk" on a safety topic to their team members on the job site on at least a weekly basis.

WECA educates its apprentices, as well as its advanced electrician trainees and journeyperson continuing education students taking the capstone/foremanship course of our GetWired! program, on the skills involved in delivering effective safety talks. They all receive the opportunity to practice this key leadership skill with their peers.

Today, we're introducing a new member benefit to additionally assist you in providing these Toolbox Talks on the job site. Starting Monday, February 15th, we'll be sending you a new Toolbox Talk/Safety Topic Sheet every week. (We're going to send you five to start, and then we'll start rotating in a new one each subsequent Monday.)

We hope you'll find this new benefit helpful, and that we can lessen the work and research involved in planning your safety talks each week. Watch for the first installment on Monday the 15th! (Or don't, if it's a holiday for you--we promise it will still be there waiting for you on Tuesday.)
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   CSLB to Offer Wildfire Rebuild Workshops for Contractors ?

Content courtesy of: CSLB

When the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) declares a disaster, CSLB responds quickly to help educate survivors so they can make the best decisions possible when looking for a licensed contractor to help them rebuild. CSLB also provides tools and resources to contractors who want to work in disaster areas and assist with the rebuild.

The first step in CSLB’s disaster response is to assign staff or make materials available at various assistance centers opened to aid survivors. Local Assistance Centers (LACs) are run by OES; Disaster Relief Centers (DRCs) are run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A central feature of CSLB’s message to survivors is to only hire licensed contractors.

To further protect homeowners and to benefit our licensed contractors working in the affected areas, CSLB has partnered with the California Department of Insurance and local district attorney’s offices for a “boots on the ground” outreach program. This approach allows CSLB to reach homeowners and contractors beyond the walls of an assistance center.

The program consists of Enforcement staff placing hundreds of warning signs in both English and Spanish throughout affected disaster areas, as well distributing educational materials. Some warning signs caution consumers to hire only licensed contractors; while others warn that contracting without a license in a disaster area could lead to a felony charge, which includes state prison time and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, partnering agencies conduct joint sweep operations of active jobsites and undercover sting operations, as needed.

To further assist applicants and licensees, CSLB has continued its practice of waiving fees for licensees to replace wall certificates and/or plastic pocket licenses lost in the fires. CSLB also has waived delinquent fees for failure to renew a license before it expires for fire survivors and has worked to expedite license applications for those planning to work in fire areas.

Should applicants and licensees need further assistance, please visit our website or contact us directly for additional services.

Wildfire Workshops

CSLB is now reaching out to local counties and jurisdictions to set up wildfire rebuilding workshops. As with past disasters, CSLB will offer two distinct wildfire rebuilding workshops:

1. For fire survivors looking to rebuild

2. For contractors who plan to work on the rebuilding effort

The fire survivor workshop will include essential consumer protection tips, information about contractor licensing and other requirements, insurance issues, how to work with an architect, and an update on the rebuild provided by the local building department.

The contractor workshop will include a building department update on the local rebuild and any special rules established for plan approvals and inspections. Licensing requirements are also covered, as are bonds and insurance, how to obtain a workers’ compensation policy, contract requirements, how to prevent complaints, and how the selection of building materials and the choice of building methods can help prevent future disasters.
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Thursday, February 11, 2021   WECA Member Action Alert: Take Action to Oppose the PRO Act

Learn More with an In-Depth Article from Construction Dive
 
Content Courtesy of AGC-San Diego

Last Thursday, the misleadingly-named Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was reintroduced in Congress. While this legislation claims to help workers, it will have a detrimental impact on an employee’s right to free choice and privacy and an employer’s ability to effectively manage its operations regardless of whether it is a union or open shop firm. 
 
Among the dozens of drastic changes to established labor law, the following are the most significant:
 
·         Threatens workers’ absolute right to a free, fair, and secret union ballot
·         Forces employers to turn over employees' private, personal information to unions
·         Allow intermittent strikes and slowdowns that could devastate jobsite progress and production
·         Eliminates “secondary boycott” protections
·         Strips away employees’ Right-to-Work protections
·         Codifies the “quickie” election rules
·         Expands joint employer liability
·         Establishes an overly restrictive independent contractor test
 
Taken together, many of these extreme changes will be disruptive to both union and non-union employers. We need to tell members of Congress and Senators Feinstein and Padilla to oppose this anti-worker, anti-privacy, and anti-recovery legislation. Click on the "Take Action" button to send them that message.

Take Action
Content courtesy of Construction Dive: How the PRO Act would change the construction industry
On Thursday, Democratic lawmakers reintroduced the PRO Act, the sweeping labor rights bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last year. Construction groups representing workers, unions and employers alike say they are watching intently to see how the bill, or parts of it, would affect the industry if it becomes law. 

By redefining “employees” and “employers” in revisions to the National Labor Relations Act, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act grants benefits to workers previously classified as independent contractors. Additionally, the way in which unions and employers collectively bargain and agree could be altered in states where unions have little to no say in the employee-employer relationship.

Construction’s unique employment model, which often features numerous workers on jobsites from various contractors and subcontractors, means that if the act passes, construction firms may have more responsibilities to every worker on site.

While union groups have long supported the legislation, associations that represent construction firms such as the Associated General Contractors of America and Associated Builders and Contractors oppose it.

“The PRO Act would radically change the employment and contracting landscape for 7.4 million essential construction workers trying to rebuild our economy and cost small businesses — and ultimately taxpayers — a fortune,” said ABC CEO Michael Bellaman in a statement released Thursday.

Also Thursday, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said his organization will take “every possible step” to ensure that the act does not become law.

“We view this measure as a significant threat to the viability of the commercial construction industry, its long history of offering advancement and opportunity to all workers and its ability to rebuild our economy and revive our nation,” he said in a statement.

Construction trade unions said they view the bill as empowering the American workforce by granting benefits to employees who have not had them in the past, while ensuring all of those benefiting from the union are paying dues.

“It’s OK for employer organizations to be opposed to [the PRO Act] — it is a workers bill,” said James Williams Jr., general vice president at large for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. “It’s designed to change some of the labor laws in this country and benefit the average working person and bridge the gap. To give the workers their voices back.”

Will it become law?

Despite the new Democratic majority in the Senate, the fate of the PRO Act is not guaranteed. Republicans could use a filibuster to derail the bill, which means that at least 60 senators — nine more than a simple majority — would be needed to move the legislation to a vote. Under that scenario, Democrats would likely not have enough votes required to bring the bill for a vote, which means the PRO Act could languish in the Senate, according to Kristen Swearingen, vice president of legislative and political affairs at ABC.

"We are now having to play offense on everything because the reality is the dozens of provisions in this bill are likely to make their way into other pieces of legislation."

 Jimmy Christianson, Vice President of Government Relations, AGC


Nevertheless, even if the PRO Act stalls in the Senate, elements may find their way into other pieces of legislation or agency guidance such as the revision to “employee” definitions or abolishing right-to-work laws in states. 

For instance, the push to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour is a huge talking point for many Democratic elected officials. Even if the act doesn’t pass, it would not take much for President Joe Biden to implement a $15-an-hour wage on federal projects for federal contractors via executive action, something Jimmy Christianson, vice president of government relations for the AGC, said he anticipates.

“We are now having to play offense on everything because the reality is the dozens of provisions in this bill are likely to make their way into other pieces of legislation,” Christianson told Construction Dive before the bill’s reintroduction.

Implications for construction

As the PRO Act returns to the national spotlight, here is a broad look into the biggest parts of the bill and how they will affect contractors, trades workers and construction employers if it passes:

Redefining employees. The PRO Act would change the definition of an “employee.” As a result, many workers who are currently labeled as “independent contractors” would become “employees,” and therefore, qualify for union representation, benefits and higher wages.

“This is likely the issue that will have the biggest effect on contractors if the PRO Act is passed,” said Elliot Haney, attorney at Cotney Construction Law.

Under the PRO Act, workers are considered employees unless they are free from control and direction from the employer. If a worker is on a jobsite, it's reasonable to expect employers are responsible for them. 

Although the act is designed to change the NLRA, Haney said, legal scholars anticipate it will also apply to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs federal wage and hour requirements — meaning employees who previously didn’t qualify for those mandates may if the PRO Act becomes law.

Joint employer definition. The definition of a “joint employer” would also change. Currently, Haney said, contractors with multiple workers on a jobsite from various subs need only worry about potential liability if they have control over “the essential terms and conditions of another firm's employee.” With the PRO Act, an employer could be deemed liable with only “indirect control or potential control.” 

“If there are multiple union employers on a single jobsite,” Haney said, “all such employers must have the wherewithal to navigate the NLRA, even in their interactions with another employer or another employer’s employees.”

"What we know is that at least having a public debate about reforming our labor laws could be a healthy thing for this country.”
 
James Williams Jr., Vice President at Large, IUPAT

Christianson said the resulting change could open company owners to liability from workers other than employees. They could also face secondary boycotts — where union workers don’t cross picket lines for strikes initiated by other unions on the jobsite. With multiple subcontractors on site, the AGC official said, work could halt over a labor dispute between just one union and its employer.

The IUPAT's Williams, however, said the redefinition would bring benefits for many workers who he called “woefully misidentified” as independent contractors instead of employees.

“Some of the worst actors have adopted that model, and that is bad for workers,” he said. 

Right-to-work. The PRO Act would remove the distinction of the “right-to-work” state, a model in which union security agreements are prohibited. There are 27 right-to-work states.

In non-right-to-work states, employers and labor unions agree to the extent the unions can compel workers to join via the collective bargaining agreement.

Opponents of the PRO Act say this provision would force workers to join unions and pay dues, but Haney said that is not necessarily the case.

“The PRO Act does not require all employees in union industries to pay union dues. It just allows employers and unions in all states to enforce such a provision in their collective bargaining agreement if they so choose,” Haney said in an email to Construction Dive. “The policy basis for this shift is often called the ‘fair share’ approach to collective bargaining — that if a worker is going to benefit from union representation, they should have to contribute to the cost of such representation.”

The elimination of right-to-work laws could mean that open-shop contractors will face a sudden shift in balance to the unions, Christianson said.

Secret ballots. The certification of a union as a representative workers group is usually conducted through a secret ballot, wherein workers vote if they want to be represented by the union. Opponents of the PRO Act claim that it would eliminate the secret ballot elections, which they see as an invasion of privacy that allows unions to essentially strongarm their way into control.
 
According to Haney, that’s not true. “Under the PRO Act, the initial vote whether to certify a union will still occur via secret ballot,” he said. “What the PRO Act changes is the process by which the union can appeal the result of such an election.”

If the PRO Act becomes a law, unions that lose initial votes can petition the National Labor Relations Board claiming employer interference or violation. If the NLRB finds probable cause of interference, the union can overturn the failed election result by obtaining signed authorization cards from a majority of employees in favor of certifying the union, Haney said. 

Opponents of the bill fear unions will be able to assert undue influence on employees willing to vote against the union when conducted by a secret ballot — as they may feel intimidated when asked by the union to sign their name to authorization cards, Haney said.

The future

Whether the PRO Act becomes law or not, discussions focused on labor relations are likely to take center stage now that Biden, who vowed to be a pro-union president, is in the White House. Union leaders are looking forward to a continued conversation about these issues, said Williams.

“What we’re excited about and what we know is that at least having a public debate about reforming our labor laws could be a healthy thing for this country,” he said. “We’re optimistic."

?
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   Please Share This Reminder with Your Employees: 2021 WECEF Scholarship Applications Due by Feb. 15!

wecef
For students enrolled in a WECA Apprenticeship program, Electrician Trainee program, or Journeyperson-level continuing education classes: there's still time to apply for money to help offset the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition!
 
Application Deadline:
February 15, 2021

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer its annual scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Apprenticeship; Electrician Trainee program (ET); or Journey Level continuing Education programs. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful candidate and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees and/or tuition. The availability of scholarships may vary as funds permit. Awards are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors. Awards are contingent upon the applicant’s ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements stated below. 

Please encourage your employees to visit the WECEF website scholarship page to learn more, review eligibility requirements and application submission options, and download your application.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   Want to Make Your Voice Heard on Issues Impacting Merit Shop Contractors?

Don't Miss Out on This Excellent Opportunity--Register Today to Virtually Join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs at the Joint Merit Shop Legislative Conference on March 17 & 18, 2021
 
Register today to attend this virtual event!
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Thursday, February 11, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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Thursday, February 04, 2021   WECA Political Update February 4, 2021

What a Marty Walsh-led Labor Department could mean for construction When Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former construction union leader, appears before a Senate committee this morning in the first round of hearings for his nomination as Secretary of Labor, it's likely many in the construction industry will be wondering how he might influence the federal policies and regulations under which they work. AGC and ABC agree that Walsh’s construction experience is a plus when it comes to understanding the needs of the industry. Story

Democrats Reintroduce the PRO Act Today, Senators Murray (D-WA) and Schumer (D-NY) and Representative Scott (D-VA) reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The members released text of the bill, a section-by-section analysis, and a fact sheet. The bill has 194 cosponsors, including two Republicans – Smith (NJ-4) and Fitzpatrick (PA-1). This bill includes over a dozen radical provisions drastically altering federal labor law and will devastate the economy during an already difficult time.

California Publishes User Guide and Templates for Pay Data Reporting SB 973 requires employers that (1) file EEO-1 reports and (2) employ more than 100 employees to submit data to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) annually that shows pay by race and gender for their California employees. It was signed into law on September 30, 2020, and DFEH has been busy providing guidance to employers and preparing the pay data reporting portal. Additional — perhaps final — guidance was released on February 1. DFEH posted FAQs addressing Professional Employer Organizations and Acquisitions, Mergers, and Spinoffs. It also released a 68-page User Guide that discuss the mechanics of data submission and provided templates (both in Excel and CSV format) to assist employers in submitting their required pay data.

Biden chooses Su as Deputy Labor Secretary According to Politico, President Joe Biden has offered Julie Su, who is the Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary, the role of US Deputy Labor secretary, and she has accepted. Su was among those initially floated for Labor secretary. But Biden nominated former Boston Building Trades Boss, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, whose confirmation hearing is on Thursday. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Su served as the state’s labor commissioner for about eight years before becoming its labor secretary. Prior to that, she spearheaded litigation at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a legal aid organization in Los Angeles. The announcement is expected sometime next week, one of the people said. If confirmed, Su would step into the job at a critical point for American labor, with millions of people out of work and a narrowly divided Congress poised to stand in the way of Biden's major legislative initiatives. Still, the Labor Department has the power to enact regulatory changes that can make the workplace safer and empower employees. Su is likely to face questions in her confirmation hearing about her role in an explosive unemployment fraud story plaguing California; she estimated during a press call last week that the state’s unemployment department, which she oversees, had issued at least $11 billion in fraudulent payments last year. Two state audits released last week about the Employment Development Department pointed to a series of “missteps” last spring that opened the door to fraud, including a decision to shut off a stop-payment safeguard in an effort to speed payments. Her selection is likely to somewhat appease Asian American Pacific Island advocates, who lobbied heavily for Su's selection as Labor Secretary and were disappointed when the role went to a white male. The role of deputy Labor secretary takes on outsize importance as Biden looks to resuscitate a limping job market that has seen the pandemic stoke permanent losses and compromise worker safety.

The Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act Proposes Aid to Union Pension Plans. Taxpayers would foot the bill (HR 423) if passed by Congress and signed by Biden. Of the 1,400 MEPS, 125 funds are in “critical and declining” (you can see the plans on the DOLs website) status that are projected to be insolvent within 20 years and some much sooner. Seven plans failed in the past year when they became insolvent or terminated after all the employers withdrew. And up to 12 more plans covering 245,000 participants signaled in filings with the U.S. Department of Labor that they are likely to fail by the end of this year. The plans are sponsored by union locals covering truck drivers, bricklayers and other workers. Story

Newsom will wait to announce California AG until Becerra Confirmed Gov. Gavin Newsom confirmed that he will wait until Attorney General Xavier Becerra is confirmed as President Joe Biden's Health and Human Services secretary before announcing a replacement. "I'm very close to making that decision," Newsom said, but "our current attorney general is still the current attorney general, has not been formally confirmed by the United States Senate, and so the timing of a public announcement will be determined on the basis of that confirmation." But Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank.) wants to be our next attorney general—and he has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s blessing, according to Politico. Schiff, a Harvard Law School graduate and former prosecutor who currently serves as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has lobbied California Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint him to the role, those individuals said. Pelosi has been advocating for Schiff’s appointment on his behalf, said people familiar with the matter.

Newsom has called a special election for the 79th Assembly District seat — a safely Democratic San Diego-area seat formerly held by Secretary of State Shirley Weber before she was appointed to her current gig. The primary is set for April 6, with the general election on June 8, 2021 if no one breaks a majority.

Brief Filed in Support of Request for Review in Amazon.com Services CDW filed an amicus brief with the NLRB in support of Amazon’s Request for Review of a Regional Director’s decision dealing with a representation election at an Amazon facility in Alabama. The brief calls on the Board to grant Amazon’s Request for Review and Motion to Stay the election in order to consider the dangers of allowing increased use of electronic voting in union representation elections and provide clarity on when electronic voting will be used moving forward. The brief explains that NLRB precedent strongly favors manual elections, since participation rates in mail-ballot elections are consistently lower than those seen during manual voting. CDW also calls on the NLRB to provide clarity on when the Board and Regional Directors will determine mail-ballot elections are required, including defining what qualifies as a COVID-19 “outbreak.” Finally, CDW cautions the Board against its increased tolerance of electronic voting methods. The statement on the brief can be viewed here.

Rep. Levin Introduced Electronic Voting Legislation Earlier this month, Rep. Levin (D-MI) introduced H.R. 308, which directs the NLRB “to implement a system and procedures to conduct representation elections remotely using an electronic voting system.” It would:

·        allow union organizers to bypass secret ballot elections and coerce workers into supporting unionization;
·        have a negative impact on participation rates in union elections, since electronic voting routinely results in lower participation rates among workers, as compared to in-person voting; and
·        increase fraud and potential identify theft due to the inability to authenticate who potential voters are and lack of cybersecurity protocols.

The bill already has 77 cosponsors, including four Republicans – Fitzpatrick (PA), Bacon (NE), McKinley (WV), and Smith (NJ). CDW’s statement on the bill can be viewed here.

House Republicans Press Biden Admin for an Explanation on Robb Termination On Feb. 2, Reps. Comer (R-KY), Foxx (R-NC), Walberg (R-MI), and Cloud (R-TX) sent a letter to the White House requesting additional information on the administration’s unprecedented decision to fire NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb and his subordinate Alice Stock. The letter questioned if the administration’s decision was influenced by two labor organizations (SEIU and CWA) that pushed the administration on Robb’s termination. The White House has said it will “respond appropriately to the letter” but claimed there was “broad consensus that these individuals were not carrying out the objectives of the NLRB.”

Acting GC Ohr Rescinds Ten Directives On Feb. 1, Acting NLRB General Counsel Peter Ohr rescinded ten guidance memos issued by Trump-era General Counsel Peter Robb. In a memo on the move, Ohr claimed the memos were “inconsistent” with the goal of the NLRA to encourage collective bargaining, were obsolete, or were contrary to Board law. The order included, among other things, policies on unions’ notification requirements to members, unions’ fair-representation obligations, and handbook policies

Timing is Everything CNN reported “In a sign of how contentious things have become, this week an effort by union officials to schedule a ‘vote of no confidence’ against the department’s top three leaders triggered a round of recriminations from officers who criticized the timing of the move, claiming it was inappropriate and overshadowed the memorial services this week for their slain colleague, Brian Sicknick, whose remains lay in honor at the Capitol this week.”

And since all life is not entirely political…

At least 13 Politicians have played in the Super Bowl Super Bowl week is here. So, let’s see, Super Bowl and politics...how can we bring the two together? How about exploring which political figures have ever played in a Super Bowl? Ballotpedia identified 13 people who played in at least one Super Bowl from 1970 to 2010 before running for elected office or serving in government. The first Super Bowl was played in 1967. Of those 13, Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings made the most Super Bowl appearances with four each. Swann ran for governor of Pennsylvania in 2006, and Page was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, where he served until reaching the court's mandatory retirement age in 2015. These 13 Super Bowl participants ran for office in 11 different states—Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Of the 13, six are current political figures, including two in the U.S. House—Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and Burgess Owens (R-Utah). Eight of the politicians who played in the Super Bowl ran as Republicans, and two ran as Democrats. Three served in offices that were officially nonpartisan. Nine of these 13 Super Bowl players were elected. Three were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, one to a state Senate district, one to a state supreme court, one to a local court, one to a county council, one to a county commission, and one to a mayoral office. The full list is presented in the chart below.

Read more >>


Thursday, January 21, 2021   WECA Political Update January 21, 2021

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
 
California Senate Republicans Replace Sen. Shannon Grove as Leader

Per various sources – State Sen. Shannon Grove of Bakersfield was replaced Wednesday as the leader of the California Senate Republicans after having served in the position for two years. Grove will be succeeded by state Sen. Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita. Her ouster as leader by the Senate Republican Caucus came after two of its 11 seats changed hands in the November election. “California is facing unprecedented challenges and Senate Republicans stand ready with solutions,” Wilk said in a statement. “For everyday Californians there is no greater priority than the pandemic — the health crisis it has created, its economic devastation and educational challenges for our students.” Per Politico, “In trading Grove for Wilk, Republicans are opting for a more moderate choice. Wilk periodically votes with Democrats, and he has scored rare endorsements from organized labor — the types of connections that could increase his clout in a Capitol dominated by Democrats.” (HA!) “He just won back a battleground seat, thanks in part to massive spending by the California Republican Party and interest groups, and he is termed out in 2024. Dissatisfaction with Grove’s leadership was already mounting after Senate Republicans lost two seats this election even as California Republicans picked up multiple House seats, shriveling the Senate GOP caucus to just nine members. Grove exacerbated the situation with a tweet blaming the U.S. Capitol riots on Antifa.”

CSLB Launches Online Payment for Citations

To make paying for CSLB-issued citations easier, licensees and non-licensees now have the option to either make citation payments online via CSLB’s website or submit them by mail. For those who want to pay online, visit CSLB’s website, select “Online Services,” and then click on “Citation Payment.” All you need is your citation number and a credit card (Visa or MasterCard only) and to follow the simple prompts on the screen. Please note that there is a 2.99% processing fee.

PBGC Simplifies Calculation of Liability for Withdrawal from Multiemployer Pension Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued a final rule intended to simplify the calculation of withdrawal liability for multiemployer plans that have adopted benefit reductions, benefit suspensions, surcharges, and contribution increases. Story

Other News and Views

SD Congressman Who Went to Prison for Bribery Gets a Pardon

Per Voice of San Diego: “As one of his final acts in office, President Donald Trump pardoned former Rep. Duke Cunningham. He served a chunk of northern San Diego in Congress during the 1990s and early 2000s, then served eight years in prison. Cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion for taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for Defense Department contracts. As City News explained it, the bribes were paid not only in cash but through rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees, boat repairs and more. The former prosecutor who put Cunningham behind bars told the Union-Tribune that he was “appalled” by Trump’s decision to pardon an assortment of ‘political cronies.’ Trump also pardoned former SD Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret Hunter last month.”

How The Biden Administration’s Big Policy Shifts Will Play in California

After the ceremonies and the scaled-back parade, Mr. Biden got to work. He signed 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations aimed squarely at undoing a number of Trump policies. Story. You can read the 17 actions here.

California Cabinet Collection

The Biden administration will, in addition to the Vice President, include several other Californians: pending confirmation, his cabinet will include Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Small Business Administration head Isabel Guzman. Yesterday, Biden named California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott a counselor to the Interior secretary. San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten got the nod to be number two at the U.S. Department of Education.

Peter Robb Forced Out as NLRB General Counsel Upon assuming office, President Biden immediately asked for the resignation of NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb (R). Robb refused to resign and Biden fired him later in the day. The termination is unprecedented and possibly unlawful. The role of General Counsel is now open for Biden’s own nomination, but the eventual candidate will need to be confirmed by the closely divided Senate. Per Bloomberg, “His term was slated to last until this coming November, but unions, including the Service Employees International Union and Communications Workers of America, have been urging Biden to break with precedent by forcing him out immediately, in order to begin reorienting the agency toward protecting workers.”

DOL Leadership Team Released The Department of Labor has updated its leadership team roster, which can be viewed here. The list also includes various individuals in acting roles, who will eventually be replaced by Senate-confirmed individuals. The list will be updated as new individuals assume offices.

Environmental Rule Changes Coming for Construction Sites

Per ENR, “Construction projects could be impacted by the review and possible rollback of more than 100 regulations that face scrutiny under a day 1 executive order signed by President Joe Biden. But industry officials say such reviews are par for the course and are withholding judgment on any potential changes until they actually happen.” Story
 
How to boost Instagram engagement with hashtags

Do you use Instagram to promote your projects or accomplishments? Utilizing strong hashtags in Instagram campaigns can significantly boost engagement and even make it viral, while the wrong selection can backfire and hurt a brand's response and reputation, writes Rafaella Aguiar. She offers pointers on hashtag numbers, placement and tracking and urges marketers to "avoid anything that's suspicious, spammy or just plain irrelevant." Story

Department of Energy Announces New Senior Leaders-To Include IBEW/NECA - Los Angeles Director The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced new Biden-Harris Administration senior leadership appointees. These new leaders will direct policy at DOE, coordinate across the Administration, and enact President Joe Biden’s vision for bold action on the climate crisis and on safeguarding the Americans most affected by it. These experienced professionals reflect President Biden’s pledge to equip his Administration with a team that represents America’s diversity. One of the appointees, Jennifer Jean Kropke, served as the first Director of Workforce and Environmental Engagement for IBEW Local Union 11 and the National Electrical Contractors’ Association- Los Angeles’ Labor Management Cooperation Committee. She focused on creating clean energy, port electrification, and zero emission transportation opportunities for union members. She is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law.
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   The finish line is in sight--a look at the progress on WECA's new Fresno training facility!

 

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for WECA--we opened our new Phoenix, Arizona training facility earlier this month, and the build-out of our new Fresno training facility is proceeding apace !

WECA's new Fresno training facility will be outfitted with final touches such as fire sprinklers, HVAC systems, electrical work, painting, and new ceiling tiles in the coming weeks--with the installation of doors and final inspections following right after.

We can't wait to begin providing more conveniently-located training to our Fresno area and Central Valley contractors' apprentices in 2021!

See you soon, in Fresno!
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   Behind the scenes at WECA's latest Train the Trainer meeting for its Get Wired instructor team

WECA's Get Wired! instructional and delivery teams kicked off the New Year with the first Train the Trainer meeting of the year.

The meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom, brought WECA's myriad Get Wired! instructors and delivery team together to discuss issues such as how the GetWired! program continues to reach students across California thanks to fully-online delivery in the time of COVID-19, technical updates to the Adobe Connect program that Get Wired! instructors and students utilize to deliver and access instruction, how instructors can encourage their students to apply for 2021 WECEF Scholarships during the now-open application period, and more.

"The meeting was cathartic," said Dan Bierly, the Curriculum Development and GetWired Training Manager. "Each instructor talked about how Covid-19 has personally affected them. Some of our instructors have had very personal and serious Covid-19 scares."

Galen Eckert, the Electrician Trainee and Continuing Education Online Education Manager, concurred with Dan. "It was nice to hear everyone open up, and build some camaraderie amongst the group," said Eckert.

However, the meeting also had its lighthearted moments. Bierly relayed that "hearty congratulations was given to all Get Wired! instructors for stepping up to the COVID-19 challenge with increased students and different conditions without missing a beat," and Rebecca Archer, the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, was quick to note that "a delicious lunch--of the attendee's choice--was provided via GrubHub gift cards." WECA has long known that a well-fed instructor is a happy instructor.

And last--but certainly not least--Ana Lopez, the Electrician Trainee and Journeyperson Program Manager, wrapped up the meeting with the good news of the continued success and expansion of the Get Wired! program.

Overall, the first Train the Trainer meeting of the year was a success, and laid positive groundwork for the year to come. We look forward to seeing how the Get Wired! program will continue to grow and succeed this year--all thanks to this large and diverse team's relentless work and passion!
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction to Host Educational Zoom Meeting

WECA Industry Partner
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
to Host Educational Zoom Meeting to Discuss the Issue of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)
?January 22 from 1 - 2 p.m.
 
The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC), a WECA Industry Partner, invites you to join them on Friday, January 22nd, from 1:00pm - 2:00pm PST, as CFEC will be hosting an educational Zoom meeting to discuss the issue of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).

On the call they will explain exactly what PLAs are, how they lead to higher construction costs, and how they impact contractors, apprentices, workers, and taxpayers alike.

If you're interested in joining them, please email cfec.ca@gmail.com for sign-up information.
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   The future of the solar energy industry is bright--employees skilled in solar installation in demand

The solar industry is expanding rapidly--especially in the sunny states we now serve, California and Arizona! As a WECA Member Contractor in these states, it may be worth encouraging your employees to expand their skill sets into solar for the benefit of your company.

If you have apprentices with us, you and they benefit from WECA's recent addition of a foundational level Photovoltaic (PV) System competency to our Commercial Electrical apprenticeship curriculum. Our apprentices learn how PV systems operate, installation practices, and the application of relevant code articles. They also reinforce their newfound PV knowledge by analyzing a stand-alone solar array and battery backup system onsite at our facilities.

Here's some recent solar industry research data from WECA Educational Partner Solar Energy International (SEI).

According to SEI, "In the last decade alone, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 49 percent." Such growth is due to many factors like strong federal policies supporting solar, the increasing affordability of solar, and more demand for clean electricity from private and public sectors alike.
This translates to increased demand for contractors specializing in solar energy. SEI notes that as of "Fall 2019, nearly 250,000 Americans work in solar - more than double the number in 2012 - at more than 10,000 companies in every U.S. state."
Although one tends to think of sunny locales when thinking of the word "solar", the solar energy industry is fair game for all 50 states. In fact, states outside of traditionally sunny climes like California made up "made up their largest share of the market in the last decade, led by rapid growth in Florida and Texas," according to SEI's data.
And this explosive growth is poised to keep going, despite economic challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. SEI's article asserts that "most utility-scale work has continued and a record pipeline in that segment will carry the industry to a record year for deployment in 2020," and that "Impending step downs to the Investment Tax Credit help to pull demand into the 2021 – 2023 time frame, setting the stage for a series of record years."
The future's bright for solar--so join us in harnessing the power of the sun and expanding your company's solar expertise by encouraging your journeyperson or advanced Trainee employees to enroll in WECA's solar courses in partnership with educational partner SEI. Our SEI-partnered courses qualify for not only California ET/CE hours, but also NABCEP hours! Click here to access all of WECA's solar course offerings!

Want to see more of SEI's comprehensive solar industry research data? Click here!
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECA's Student Referral Service has qualified Electrician Trainees ready to work in your area

Full county list included within
 


Are you looking to hire Electrician Trainees? We have qualified individuals in the Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Shasta, and Sutter county areas looking to get referred to a WECA Member Contractor through our Student Referral Service. Don't see your county listed? Let us know of your interest anyhow; new participants sign up every week.

What is this Service?

A free job referral service that introduces our current Electrician Trainee, Journeyman, and WECA-grad job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help you meet your staffing needs. It's included with your membership! (Please note: We do not currently have any journeymen looking for referrals.)

Who does this benefit?

Everyone! WECA Member Contractors are referred qualified, WECA-trained applicants to help meet their staffing needs. And in turn, WECA student and grad participants get valuable job referrals.

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

WECA's current Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is a self-service portal where members and electrical and low voltage employment job seekers submit and review resumes and job postings online.

This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words--we take some of the hard work off your plate!

The Student Referral Service refers employees to you, and you hire them directly.

To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Trisha Hughes, WECA Client Services Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com or at (877) 444-9322. 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   Use Your Member-Exclusive Job Board Benefit: Post Open Positions to WECA's Job Board Today!

WECA Member Contractors: Remember To Utilize This Valuable Member Benefit: You can post open positions on the WECA Industry Job Board

Get your open listings in front of electricians and industry workers hoping to work for a great company like yours.

WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the contractors who want to hire them. 

Our job board exists for...
  • Talented electricians, 
  • Low voltage technicians, 
  • Electrician Trainees and Journeymen,
  • Industry employees (including office personnel!),
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 


This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

WECA Members: Post a job today
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECEF announces 2021 scholarship opportunity for Apprentices, Electrician Trainees & Journeypersons


Encourage your employees to submit an application for consideration by February 15, 2021
 
wecef


For students enrolled in a WECA Apprenticeship program, Electrician Trainee program, or Journeyperson-level continuing education classes.
 
Application Deadline:
February 15, 2021

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to once again offer its annual scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Apprenticeship; Electrician Trainee program (ET); or Journey Level continuing Education programs. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful candidate and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees and/or tuition. The availability of scholarships may vary as funds permit. Awards are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors. Awards are contingent upon the applicant’s ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements stated below. 

Please encourage your apprentices and other employees training with WECA to visit the WECEF website scholarship page to learn more, review eligibility requirements and application submission options, and download your application.
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   Invest in the next generation with the North State Building Industry Foundation

Host an intern with North State's Thousand Strong program
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   IEC-Chesapeake Offers Discount to WECA Members for online , 8-week Project Management Class

To get your WECA Member Discount Code for the course below, please log in to your secured member dashboard and scroll to the discounts section.
If you're interested in this course, click here to enroll!

But--before you enroll, be sure to log in to your WECA dashboard to get your WECA Member Contractor discount code.
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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