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ANLA Continues Efforts with
Department of Labor

WASHINGTON - The American Nursery and Landscape Association's (ANLA) Government Relations Staff continues its efforts with the Department of Labor (DOL) to support the H-2B visa program. The ANLA hopes to ensure the program will remain viable for its member landscape and landscape distribution businesses.

The H-2B visa program allows for guest workers to be hired under a specific definition. The ANLA sees the limited job description of a "Landscape Laborer" as a potential problem. As set forth by the DOL, it may not encompass the duties normally and routinely performed by landscape laborers.

Furthermore, the DOL's job description of "laborer, landscape" was last updated in 1981, and does not reflect some of the typical and routine duties for the occupation as currently practiced. According to the ANLA, this has resulted in the DOL and state certifying agencies assigning inappropriate and higher-wage job classifications for H-2B landscape laborer applications.

The ANLA brought their concerns to the DOL and provided a revised job description, and are now awaiting a response.

The ANLA also recently announced the dates for the 2003 Legislative Conference. The biennial conference has been slated for September 21-23, 2003.

The Legislative Conference offers an opportunity for the ANLA to educate Congress on the issues facing green industry businesses. It is also a chance for Congress to be made aware of other initiatives.

To find out more about the H-2B guest worker program, contact the ANLA at

Ohio Contractors Just Say No

Bob Taft

COLUMBUS - Governor Bob Taft signed an executive order recently that implements a stronger drug-free workplace policy for state construction projects.

Contractors and subcontractors will be required to enroll in the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's (BWC's) Drug-Free Workplace Program, Drug-Free EZ Program or a comparable program approved by BWC and to remain a member in good standing in order to be eligible for construction projects administered by the state. "We can't allow workers to put themselves and others at risk of being seriously injured or killed because of drug use on state construction projects," Taft said.

According to BWC, national statistics show 33 percent of all workplace deaths have some link to drug or alcohol use. A recent Cornell University study of drug use in the construction industry found 71 companies reduced injury rates by an average of 51 percent within two years of implementing a drug testing program compared to a 14 percent reduction at companies without programs in the same period.

The policy will be phased in to allow contractors time to get programs in place and fully functioning by July 1. As of January, contractors may submit bids without previously being enrolled in a drug-free workplace program. However, they must enroll in a program approved by BWC within 10 days of the bid opening. The Bureau, The Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the Ohio Department of Transportation will jointly administer the policy. State government is the leading source of construction spending in Ohio.

Temp. Agencies Required to Pay Workers Comp

Gray Davis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Governor Gray Davis recently signed a measure that requires temporary employment agencies and similar entities to pay workers' compensation premiums based on their client's experience modification rating when the client is a licensed contractor and the temporary employees are doing work for which a license is required.

Effective on January 1, the measure, AB 2861, also requires contractors who use temporary workers to notify the temporary agency if any of the workers are being used on a public works project or reassigned to a different work classification. In addition, agencies must now report to their insurance companies payroll information as well as the "ex-mod" factor for each of their contractor clients.

AB 2861 allows the agencies to pass through to their clients any additional costs incurred as a result of it, including the costs of higher workers' compensation premiums.

Authored by Kevin Shelly (D-San Francisco), the new law is intended to encourage contractors who use temporary employment agencies to be careful about job site safety. The California Landscape Contractors Association vigorously opposed an earlier version of AB 2816 that would have required landscape contractors to secure payment of workers' compensation for these workers. The association took a neutral position after the bill was amended to address this concern.

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June 16, 2019, 10:37 pm PDT

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