ALCC news center
How will the proposed rule updating exempt employee status affect your business? Email
Friday, August 14, 2015 11:15 AM

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is conducting a survey to learn how landscape businesses would be affected by the Department of Labor's proposed rule change regarding exempt employee status.

The following is a Legislative Alert from NALP:

Help Stop the Detrimental Proposed Changes by the Department of Labor that Could Change the Exempt Status of Overtime Pay to $50,440

Please participate in this survey to help us respond to the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed devastating changes to the white collar exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements.

Currently, a person must satisfy three criteria to qualify as “exempt”:
1.    They must make a salary;
2.    That salary must be more than $455/week ($23,660 annually);
3.    Their “primary duties” must be consistent with managerial, professional or administrative positions as defined by DOL.

In the proposal, DOL is considering raising the minimum salary threshold to $970 per week ($50,440 annually); an increase of more than 100%. We need your help in collecting data about how this will impact your business. This information will help us provide comments to the federal register notice so we can document with data its impact to the industry as a whole; they will also need to hear directly from the businesses that will be affected. This data will help answer the Department’s questions regarding the current primary duties test used to determine whether an employee's primary responsibilities exempt them from overtime.

Please complete this survey before August 27, 2015.

Thank you,
Tom Delaney, NALP director of government affairs

Previously on the LAB:
Help request an extension to comment period on DOL Proposed Overtime RuleSubcommittee discusses Proposed Overtime Rule
DOL proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility for 'white collar' workers

 
Upcoming H-2B Final Wage Rule Webinar Email
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:30 AM

H-2B visa program
From an email sent today from the H-2B Ombudsman:

The National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) is sending this e-mail to all survey contacts we’ve identified as those who have submitted H-2B surveys to our office within the past year.  This email is pertaining to the upcoming H-2B Final Wage Rule Webinar scheduled for August 21, 2015. Survey standards will be the focus of the webinar briefing.
 
The Department will host a public webinar to educate stakeholders, program users, and other interested members of the public on the changes to the H-2B program made by the H-2B 2015 Final Wage Rule, in effect as of April 29, 2015. The webinar briefing is scheduled for August 21, 2015, from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight time. There is no pre-registration for the public webinar. The webinar will be accessible to the public on a first-come, first-served basis on the date specified.  For further information and instructions, please see the Department’s H-2B Final Wage Rule public webinar announcement located on the Department’s website at: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ombudsman Program
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Department of Labor
[email protected]

 
Drought: Pain or profit? Email
News
Written by Christy Eull   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 08:00 AM

Drought impacts the landscape industryThe majority of owners and managers of Colorado landscape companies believe drought positions their companies more for profit than for pain according to a poll earlier this season by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. In this poll, 85% of responding companies statewide said their businesses would not be hurt by drought – whenever it comes.

Optimism ranged from an enthusiastic, “I am SO going to profit off of drought!” to an optimistic, “We were fine in the last drought, and expect that with our reputation for Xeriscaping, we would do well in the next drought.”

Read more...
 
Drought: Pain or profit? guest Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 08:00 AM

 

Drought impacts the landscape industryThe majority of owners and managers of Colorado landscape companies believe drought positions their companies more for profit than for pain according to a poll earlier this season by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. In this poll, 85% of responding companies statewide said their businesses would not be hurt by drought – whenever it comes.

Optimism ranged from an enthusiastic, “I am SO going to profit off of drought!” to an optimistic, “We were fine in the last drought, and expect that with our reputation for Xeriscaping, we would do well in the next drought.”

Read more...
 
ALCC Affiliate members recognized for community projects Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 07:00 AM

Opening of Cuatro Vientos Park. Photo by Evan SemónLast month, the Colorado Lottery 2015 Starburst Award winners were announced. Twenty-one winners in 19 different communities were recognized for excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects. Winners were chosen based on the creativity of the project, the economic and social impact on the community, and whether the project achieved its goal.

ALCC is pleased to announce that seven of those award-winning community projects were implemented by ALCC Affiliate members:

Read more...
 
Colorado law is clear: no reimbursement for medical use of marijuana Email
Written by ALCC   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 07:00 AM

The Colorado Supreme Court opinion in June regarding Coats v. DISH Network LLC reinforced employers’ rights regarding zero-tolerance drug policies. That decision helped clarify rules regarding marijuana use by employees. 

However, a recent case in New Mexico found that an employer is required to reimburse an employee for medical marijuana deemed “reasonable and necessary” to treat a work-related injury. This leaves some employers wondering if such a case could be brought up in their own business.

Similar cases will likely not be an issue in our state. Colorado’s medical marijuana code clearly states that “no governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be required to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.” It also states that “nothing in this section shall require any employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any work place” [Col. Const., Art. XVIII § 14 (10)(a)]. 

This code, along with the Coats v. DISH opinion, make the current rules quite clear that medical marijuana, even if prescribed for an injury covered by worker’s compensation, does not fall under the claim.

Previously on the LAB:
Judges' opinion on Coats v. DISH means employers may keep zero-tolerance policies

 
Time for a mid-year tax check-up Email
News
Written by Barbara Weltman   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 04:00 AM



Do a mid-year tax checkupLike most small business owners who don’t think of July as an important tax time, you may not be thinking about taxes right now, but you should be. Here are three things to do now to help achieve a good tax outcome for the year.

Read more...
 
Colorado construction is booming Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 03:00 AM

Colorado construction is boomingStats and forecasters show a construction, jobs and population boom are underway in Colorado. 

Contracts awarded for future construction in June 2015 are 2 1/3 times more than those awarded in June 2014. This is according to Dodge Data Analytics, which monitors and reports changes in construction activity each month. In addition, year-to-date comparisons of January through June 2014 to January to June 2015 show total permits – both residential and non-residential – are up 37% in 2015. In dollars, YTD total contracts awarded through June 2014 were $2,593,732,000 and YTD through June 2015 were at $3,549,620,000.

Read more...
 
3 online tools for managing your business’s social media Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 02:00 AM


social mediaWith changes in technology and the ways that the consumers interact with businesses and brands, it can be overwhelming to consider how many channels your business must manage in order to stay connected. If you’re a small company, the job of managing social media may also fall on the shoulders of the person who is busy providing services. Finding the time to promote your company and communicate with customers can be a challenge.

Read more...
 
Help request an extension to comment period on DOL Proposed Overtime Rule Email
Thursday, August 06, 2015 06:15 AM

Contact DOL and legislatorsPlease help us by requesting an extension to the comment period on the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed rule on exemptions to overtime pay requirements under the FLSA. We urge you to contact DOL and request a 60-day extension to the current comment period that ends on September 4. We need the additional time to provide accurate, comprehensive comments on the proposal's potential impact.

Read more...
 
Subcommittee discusses Proposed Overtime Rule Email
Tuesday, August 04, 2015 06:15 AM

The Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), recently held a hearing on the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to federal overtime rules. The hearing explored the impact the proposal would have on employee choice and opportunity, as well as the significant costs it would create for the nation's job creators. [video of the hearing after the jump]

Read more...
 
Day on the Hill recap Email
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 09:20 AM

 

Colorado landscape professionals visited Capitol HillRepresentatives of ALCC joined other members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) visited Washington, DC last week for the landscape industry’s annual Renewal & Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill. Nearly 450 professionals participated in the Renewal & Remembrance day of service at Arlington National Cemetery, and nearly 100 of those participants were on hand the next day to meet with legislators.

Read more...
 
Landscape professionals visit Capitol Hill today Email
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:58 AM

US CapitolToday, landscape professionals from across the nation have gathered in Washington, D.C. "to visit the offices of representatives and senators to discuss the issues that are vital to the future of the industry and to make sure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill." This initiative, known as Legislative Day on the Hill, is organized by National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

A delegation from ALCC has joined the group to represent the Colorado landscape industry. Issues to be addressed include:

          • Comprehensive Immigration Reform
          • The H-2B Program
          • Seasonal Employee Healthcare
          • Waters of the United States
          • Pollinator Stewardship

You can follow the effort on Twitter by following NALP (@the_nalp) and the hashtags #landscapeadvocacy #nalpadvocates. You can also check for updates on NALP's page on Facebook.

ALCC will follow up after the event with an update about member participation in DC.

Previously on the LAB:
2015 Legislative Day on the Hill

 
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