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The Legal File
Recent Rulings and Regulatory Actions that Impact the Landscape Industry.


Set to take effect December 1 of this year, the Department of Labor just released its new overtime rule, which raises the threshold that white-collar salaried workers have to earn less than to qualify for overtime. Presently any of these workers making an annual salary of less than $23,660 are due overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The new rule raises the salary level to $47,476, which officials say would extend overtime benefits to over four million people.

The National Association of Homebuilders joined a lawsuit that states that the DOL's new rule as of July 1 requiring employers to report all communications with legal counsel regarding union organizing violates First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and is fundamentally unfair because the unions are not held to the same standard. In the past, employers only had to notify the agency when their legal representatives communicated directly with employees.


After OSHA issued a final ruling on the permissible exposure limit to silica dust found in sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar among other materials, eight construction industry organizations, including the Associated Builders and Contractors, American Subcontractors Association, and Mason Contractors Association, filed a petition for review in federal court. The filing claims that the agency did not give just weight to evidence presented that the new limit, 50 micrograms of silica exposure in a typical day, down substantially from the previous 250 microgram limit, was not technically and economically feasible.

Labeled as "short" by the Associated General Contractors of America, the public comment period on the EPA's reissue of its Construction General Permit has ended. The current CGP, which authorizes stormwater discharge from construction activities, will expire February 16, 2017. Among the concerns that the AGC found in the agency's draft are more frequent site inspections, shorter land stabilization deadlines, extra regulations on construction dewatering, and additional requirements for construction waste containers. The federal CGP directly applies in only a few states and Washington D.C. but serves as a model for state-issued CGPs.

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, June 2016.

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December 5, 2019, 7:02 am PDT

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