On January 6, 2021 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule to clarify the standard for “employee” versus “independent contractor” status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule becomes effective six weeks from the day it was issued – March 8, 2021.
DOL published a Proposed Notice of Rulemaking on the issue in September, 2020, and considered comments from the public before issuing its final rule, which includes the following clarifications:
- Establishes an “economic reality” test for helping to determine whether an individual is economically dependent on a potential employer for work (an “employee” and not an “independent contractor” per the Fair Labor Standards Act).
- Identifies two “core factors” to help establish whether an individual is economically dependent on someone else’s business. Those factors are the nature and degree of control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment.
- Identifies three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts in the analysis:
– The amount of skill required for the work.
– The degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer.
– Whether the work is part of an “integrated unit of production.”
- Establishes that the “actual practice of the worker and the potential employer is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible.
In short, it will be much more difficult for an employer to use “subcontract labor” without meeting these clarifications. Even more important, it will be much more difficult – if not impossible – for an employer to exert any control over workers it claims are subcontract labor.
What does that mean for roofing or sheet metal work on your building? There are only two possibilities for contractors who use “subcontract labor.” One is that they control the work and do not allow the subcontractor the opportunity for profit or loss. In that case, they are in violation of the new rule. The other is that they follow the new “clarifications,” which means they cannot train the “subcontract labor”; they cannot make the “subcontract labor” adhere to a schedule; and they cannot supervise the “subcontract labor” to make sure the work is up to the contractor’s standards.
The choice they have is either to ignore the new rule and be subject to fines and other penalties, or to abide by the rule and give up the ability to exert proper control over the “subcontract labor.” Neither choice is good for the contractor – and certainly not the building owner.
When you hire Tri-State/Service Group for your roofing and sheet metal work, the people who work on your building will be our people. They will be trained in proper installation and in safety. They will be well paid, with a full range of benefits. They will be covered by workers compensation insurance. Their work will be supervised to be sure it meets our quality standards. And they will work for a company with nearly a century of experience.
Contact the office nearest you to discuss your roofing and sheet metal needs, and have the peace of mind that comes with working with true professionals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has prepared the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) each year since 1992, collecting and publishing a comprehensive count of work-related fatal injuries and descriptive data on their circumstances.
In 2019, 5,333 fatal work injuries were reported in the CFOI, a 2 percent increase from 2018 when 5250 fatal work injuries were reported. This is the largest annual number since 2007. The fatal work injury rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers remained the same, at 3.5.
Of note for the roofing and construction industries:
- Fatalities in the private construction industry increased 5 percent to 1,061 – the largest annual number since 2007.
- Roofers suffer more fatal work injuries than general construction trades/helpers, drivers, structural iron and steel workers, and farmers.
- Only fishing and hunting workers, logging workers, and aircraft pilots/flight engineers reported a higher rate than roofers.
- Hispanic or Latino workers accounted for 20 percent of all fatal occupational injuries, up from 9% in 1992.
At Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group, we know that performing work by our own in-house professionals is the safest way to operate. Our workers are paid an excellent wage with good benefits. They are trained regularly in the best practices of roof installation. And they receive ongoing safety training, to be sure they go home safely every night – protecting them, and protecting our customers.
According to a recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlighted by the National Roofing Contractors Association, two laborers have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against a drywall company and two labor brokers alleging unfair practices on almost three dozen major construction projects in Virginia.
The suit alleges that that the drywall company used a labor broker to provide laborers whom they treated as independent contractors instead of employees who would be entitled to wage protections and certain benefits.
The suit seeks unpaid wages, benefits, and damages denied because of alleged misclassification.
Two law firms – one in Arlington County, Va. and one in Washington, D.C. filed the suit on behalf of the two laborers and other “similarly situated” workers involved on other projects. It charges the drywall company with maintaining “many of the traditional functions of employment relationship” with the workers, including setting their schedules, supervising them, setting or influencing their rate of pay and maintaining the ability to fire or demote them.
Building owners should be cautious when hiring contractors who use “independent contractors.” If their schedules cannot be set by the contractor; if the contractor can’t train them; if they can’t be fired or demoted, then the contractor has little ability to perform any kind of quality control on the project the workers were hired for.
At Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group, our work is performed by our own in-house professionals. They are paid an excellent wage with good benefits. They are trained regularly in the best practices of roof installation. And they receive ongoing safety training, to be sure they go home safely every night – and to ensure there are no needless interruptions on any of our projects.
Contact the office nearest you for more information about reducing risk with the Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group.
The first day of winter is marked by the winter solstice on December 21 at 5:02 a.m. EST. At that time, the sun will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn – the southern-most point the sun will be directly overhead during the year.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains that on the day of the winter solstice, we are tilted as far away from the sun as possible, which means that the sun’s path across the sky is as low in the sky as it can be.
The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year with only about 9? hours of daylight. The good news is, after reaching the winter solstice, days grow longer until the summer solstice at 11:31 PM on Sunday, June 20, 2021.
Severe winter weather can be the toughest test for any commercial roofing system: winds, temperature extremes, condensation issues, and expansion and contraction of materials all contribute. Plus, roofing materials perform differently in lower temperatures, potentially limiting repair options.
While it’s best to prevent problems with inspection and maintenance, when leaks do occur, the Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group is your knowledgeable, experienced, and safe choice for roof repair in tough winter conditions.
Contact the location nearest you for help with roof repair this winter.
Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal Company in Charleston, WV was recently honored with the 2020 Encova Safety Recognition award.
According to Allan Williams, Encova Senior Safety and Loss Control Consultant, Encova is committed to building safer workplaces, and is proud to recognize Tri-State as an industry leader in safety.
Considerations for the award include overall safety performance during 2020, safety culture and training, dedication of management and supervisors to maintenance of safety goals, and number of claims.
In its second year, the annual award is chosen among companies partnering with Encova for at least three years that demonstrate overall safety excellence and commitment to safety.
Elastomeric roof coating is a spray-applied roofing material designed for resurfacing metal and single-ply roofs.
After application, the coating cures to form a protective membrane that restores and shields the roof surface without weight stress or wind uplift concerns.
Elastomeric roof coating provides increased reflectivity to reduce thermal movement and to cool ambient air at AC intakes, resulting in energy cost savings.? It helps to safeguard your roof, enhance UV and chemical resistance, reduce noise, as well as beautify the appearance of your building.
Our experienced team can select a product compatible with your system, and has the experience and attention to detail required for proper surface preparation and application.
Contact the office nearest you to see if elastomeric roof coating is the right maintenance choice for your facility.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the use of subcontract labor. Under the proposed rule, which still has to go through a formal rulemaking process, the Department’s Wage and Hour Division will evaluate whether a “subcontractor” should really be considered an employee by using an “economic reality” test.
The proposed rule makes it clear that the Department will make it more difficult for a contractor to classify workers as subcontractors, when in fact the workers are often treated like employees. And that means building owners and managers should take extra care when choosing roofing contractors – a profession that has increasingly relied on “subcontract” labor.
DOL says the economic reality test will look at two “core factors”: the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity for profit and loss based on initiative and/or investment.
In addition, DOL will consider three other factors as “guideposts.” They are: the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence in the working relationship between the worker and the employer; and whether the work is part of an “integrated unit of production.”
DOL goes on to say that these factors will apply regardless of any contractual provisions.
If the “subcontractor” is NOT following the letter and spirit of this proposed rule, there could be problems.?
What does this mean for building owners and managers? There could be visits to the jobsite from ICE; from the Wage and Hour Division; from OSHA; and from others – all of which could be incredibly disruptive not only to the work in progress but to the building owner. No building owner wants to be on the evening news because of the actions of an illegal subcontractor.
But if the “subcontractor” really IS following the letter and spirt of this proposed rule, there could be different kinds of problems.
Under the rule, the employer should not be training subcontract workers, so there is no assurance the workers are properly trained for difficult roof installations. The employer should not be supervising the work, so there is no assurance of a proper installation. And many roofing material manufacturers and insurance companies also require roofs to be installed by full-time employees of the contractor in order for coverage to apply. Obviously, no building owner wants to discover, ten years later, that the roof’s warranty is void because of the labor that was used when it was installed.
The only prudent course of action is to use a roofing company that employs its own labor.
Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group workers are paid top wages and excellent benefits; receive continual training, including safety training; they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance; and they are subject to the company’s disciplinary policies.
Call us for more information about this rule, or to learn more about our full line of roofing and sheet metal services.
What could possibly go wrong? According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), plenty:
- Natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
- Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.
- Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.
- Technology-related hazards like power outages and equipment failure.
That’s why FEMA launched National Preparedness Month (NPM) in 2004. Each September, this event encourages and reminds us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies like these, and provides resources to help.
Consider Tri-State/Service Group a trusted resource in the event of an emergency causing disruption to your organization.
- Available 24 / 7 / 365
- Licensed to do warranty repair work for all major roofing product manufacturers.
- Experienced with emergency assistance to facility managers following fires, floods, high wind events, snow emergencies
- HVAC/mechanical service including maintenance of recommended humidity levels and improving indoor air quality
- Automatic stand-by generators
Contact the Tri-State/Service Group nearest you for help with an emergency, or help with preparation for one.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds the annual “National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls” each May. This year, the event was postponed due to COVID-19, and will now be held September 14-18.
As the leading cause of fatal injuries in construction and consistently one of OSHA’s most cited hazards, construction falls inspired the creation of this event in 2012.
At the Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Group, we remain focused on fall hazards every day – not just during the stand-down.? Through our “Working. Safe.” program, we work continuously to improve safety performance–evaluating and refining our processes daily–with a zero injury and illness goal.
Did you know?
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018.
- Hearing loss is linked to three times the risk of falling; and one in four noise-exposed construction workers suffer some level of hearing loss.
- Small construction companies (10 or fewer employees) account for 61% of all fatal falls.
All falls can be prevented through planning, training, and proper use of safety equipment. When you choose the Tri-State/Service Group, you’re partnering with an experienced and safe roofing contractor.
Even when the season changes to fall in September, it may still feel like summer for much of the country. AccuWeather is predicting that peak fall foliage could be delayed by about two weeks due to warm weather predicted for September.
Weather predictions aside, fall will officially begin on Tuesday, September 22. Cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, and beautiful foliage are sure to follow.
When the colors do change, it’s always a great time to get outdoors and take it all in. Be sure to take care of your building maintenance checklist for fall as well.
Leaves and debris can accumulate on the roof and keep water from draining properly, putting a roof inspection at the top of that checklist.
Our group can help maintain thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality with a fall/winter HVAC inspection.
Your building will be ready to take on cooler weather ahead.?
- Final DOL rule makes hiring a contractor that uses “subcontract labor” riskier than ever for building owners. January 6, 2021
- Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 2% increase in fatal work injuries in 2019. December 17, 2020
- Richmond, VA class action lawsuit highlights risks of using “subcontract” labor. December 14, 2020
- December 21 at 5:02 a.m. EST December 9, 2020
- Tri-State honored with 2020 Encova Safety Award. October 27, 2020
- Elastomeric roof coating can be a cost-effective roof maintenance option. October 21, 2020
- Department of Labor issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the use of subcontract labor. October 7, 2020
- September is National Preparedness Month. September 3, 2020
- 2020 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls rescheduled for September 14-18. August 31, 2020
- Fall is approaching fast. August 24, 2020
- Safe + Sound Week: August 10-16, 2020 August 10, 2020
- Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal Company achieves Zero Injury and Illness Incidents; honored with SMACNA Safety Excellence Award. June 26, 2020
- COVID-19: Physical barriers provide vital protection. June 25, 2020
- NOAA predicts busy Atlantic hurricane season, and names names. June 4, 2020
- Roofing, HVAC are essential services during COVID-19 pandemic. March 24, 2020
- COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can do that: dust collection systems March 10, 2020
- Time to “Spring Forward.” March 5, 2020
- Charleston and Parkersburg divisions demonstrate safety excellence, share corporate Safety Award. January 23, 2020
- Winter can highlight your roof’s weaknesses. December 12, 2019
- Dealing with Post-Storm Roofing Issues September 5, 2019
- U.S. Department of Labor Kicks Off Safe + Sound Week on August 12 August 8, 2019
- Anything out of metal – Yes we can make that: deflectors July 29, 2019
- NOAA creates map predicting the warmest day of the year. Welcome, summer! June 20, 2019
- Tri-State/Service Group proud to adopt the roofs of 11 Ronald McDonald Houses. June 12, 2019
- 2019 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: May 6-10 May 6, 2019
- Tri-State honored with second safety award by the Contractors Association of West Virginia. April 4, 2019
- Contractors Association of West Virginia honors Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal Company for Safety Excellence. March 21, 2019
- Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Company – Greenville demonstrates safety excellence, honored with corporate Safety Award. March 19, 2019
- See you at the Construction & Design Expo March 20-21. March 12, 2019
- March is National Ladder Safety Month. March 1, 2019
- Anything out of metal – Yes we can make that: equipment platforms February 15, 2019
- Winter solstice marks season’s first day. December 20, 2018
- Bureau of Labor Statistics reported slight decrease in number of fatal work injuries in 2017. December 18, 2018
- Custom-fabricated machine guards keep workers safer. December 14, 2018
- Researchers offer checklist for increasing resiliency of new and existing buildings. December 6, 2018
- Rate of non-fatal injuries declines: Bureau of Labor Statistics November 14, 2018
- Roof maintenance doesn’t have to be scary. October 30, 2018
- Fall is here. Is your roof ready for winter? September 25, 2018
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can make that: hopper and support rack August 29, 2018
- Safe + Sound Week 2018 August 13, 2018
- General Services Administration studies 200 of its buildings for energy and water use, operating expenses, waste, and overall tenant satisfaction. July 30, 2018
- Welcome, summer! June 19, 2018
- Hurricane season is here. What’s in a name? June 7, 2018
- 2018 National Roofing Week: June 3-9 May 30, 2018
- May is Building Safety Month. May 17, 2018
- Fifth Annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls Begins May 7th May 3, 2018
- Just Drive. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. April 2, 2018
- Stepping up safety during National Ladder Safety Month, and beyond. March 21, 2018
- If you only see one booth at the West Virginia Construction & Design Expo, make it #520. March 19, 2018
- Spring forward and schedule that roof inspection. March 9, 2018
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can make that: drain pans March 2, 2018
- Bureau of Labor Statistics reports occupational injury statistics for 2016. January 15, 2018
- We have something to celebrate: 2018 marks our 95th year! January 3, 2018
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can make that: diverter valves December 28, 2017
- Brrr. The first day of winter is December 21st. December 19, 2017
- Top ten most dangerous roads November 16, 2017
- Honoring all who served – Veterans Day 2017 November 6, 2017
- Spring forward, fall back, and safety November 1, 2017
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can make that: flow racks October 19, 2017
- Is your metal building trying to tell you something? October 19, 2017
- Driving home the dangers of distracted driving October 2, 2017
- OSHA announces top 10 safety violations for 2017. September 27, 2017
- Inspections help extend the service life of your roof. September 21, 2017
- FEMA: Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can. September 5, 2017
- Anything out of metal – Yes, we can make that: sample test bins August 23, 2017
- The fine art of metal fabrication July 17, 2017
- Report: 73% of sunscreens do not actually work or may damage skin. June 27, 2017
- Summer is here. Let’s stay cool & safe. June 20, 2017
- Safe + Sound Week: June 12-18 June 12, 2017
- June is National Safety Month. Can you identify these hazards? June 8, 2017
- It’s National Roofing Week! June 5, 2017
- Anything out of Metal: Yes, we can install that. May 18, 2017
- Predict the possibility of severe weather ahead. May 8, 2017
- April is National Welding Month. April 3, 2017
- Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal receives second safety award from Contractors Association of West Virginia March 28, 2017
- Contractors Association of West Virginia recognizes Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal with Safety Award. March 22, 2017
- See you at the West Virginia Construction & Design Expo – Booth #520 March 20, 2017
- Sharing a little green this St. Patrick’s Day March 10, 2017
- March is National Ladder Safety Month February 27, 2017
- “Working. Safe.” It’s what we do. It’s how we do it. February 15, 2017
- Punxsutawney Phil has spoken: 6 more weeks of winter February 2, 2017
- Anything out of metal — Yes, we can make that: tanks January 9, 2017
- Tax credits, rebates, and incentives to ring in 2017 December 29, 2016
- Happy First Day of Winter! December 20, 2016
- West Virginia Capitol Office Building 3 featured in national building contractor magazine November 22, 2016
- Honoring all who served November 10, 2016
- Just in time for Halloween: scary things on the roof October 25, 2016
- Anything out of metal — Yes, we can make that: dust collection system components October 18, 2016
- America’s 11 most endangered historic places announced. October 6, 2016
- Weather resources inform residents in Hurricane Matthew’s path. October 6, 2016
- Drive Safely Work Week – Oct. 3 – 7, 2016 October 3, 2016
- Fall has arrived! Enjoy the show. September 21, 2016
- National Tradesmen Day is September 16th. September 15, 2016
- Here’s a reason to celebrate National Ampersand Day: September 8, 2016 September 7, 2016
- Honoring our workers this Labor Day September 1, 2016
- September is National Preparedness Month. September 1, 2016
- First half of 2016: on track to surpass 2015 as hottest on record July 27, 2016
- When thunder roars, go indoors. July 19, 2016