Revised Form I-9 Released by Citizenship and Immigration Services

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a newly-revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which will be made mandatory starting Sept. 18, 2017.

Employers may use the revised version immediately (revision date of 7/17/17 N), but may also continue to use Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through Sept. 17.

Changes to the revised form include:

A new name for the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, which has been changed to the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER).The changed language in Section 2, which now reads: “Employers or their authorized representative must complete and sign Section 2 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of employment.”The List of Acceptable Documents includes the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) as a List C document.All certifications of report of birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) h…

Construction Industry Could Lead the Way on Closing Gender Pay Gap, RICS Says

The construction industry could become a leader in closing the gender pay gap, according to a new survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that nearly half of construction workers predict the gap will be less than 15 per cent by April 2018. It is currently 18.1 per cent.

More than one in ten respondents said they thought that there will be no gender pay gap at all by April 2018, which marks the end of the UK Government’s mandatory gender pay reporting period.

However, this positive sentiment is markedly absent in the nation’s capital, with Londoners in the construction sector predicting an average pay gap of 21 per cent

Despite a positive outlook, the research found that businesses still need to do more to tackle gender inequality and sexism in the industry.

Nearly a third of women surveyed said they thought sexism holds them back from pursuing senior roles in construction, whilst 38 per cent of men said their skills are better suited to the sector than women.

New Homes Will Now Require Solar Panels in South Miami, a First in Florida

July 18, 2017

Anyone building a new house in South Miami — or in some cases renovating existing ones — will have to install solar panels after the city commission approved a groundbreaking law Tuesday night.

The measure, the first of its kind in Florida, will go into effect in two months on Sept 18.

The ordinance passed 4-1 Tuesday night, with commissioner Josh Liebman dissenting.

Under the rules, new residential construction would require 175 square feet of solar panel to be installed per 1,000 square feet of sunlit roof area, or 2.75 kw per 1,000 square feet of living space, whichever is less. If the house is built under existing trees, the shade may exempt it.

Home renovations that replace more than 75 percent of the structure or extend the structure by more than 75 percent would also have to follow the new ordinance.

South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, a biology professor at Florida International University, has championed this measure. His entire home runs on solar and he drives …

Flexibility and Culture Creates Happy Employees

Finding and hiring good employees is hard enough with the lower unemployment rates the country is experiencing. Once found, retaining those key employees can be just as challenging. Losing talented employees doesn’t just affect your company’s productivity; it can also impact team morale, causing other employees to question whether the grass might be greener outside your organization. Once you have found the right person, it’s important to think about creating an environment that doesn’t have them thinking about leaving after only a short time.

First, be sure to clearly spell out the benefits your company offers in employee manuals and in offer letters. Clearly define what the benefits are – such as health insurance, retirement plans, health savings accounts, etc. – and explain what the company’s contributions toward those benefits will be and what the responsibility of the employee will be. Also include information on working hours, travel, leave, time off and vacation time accrual and…

Contractors: Don't Ignore Your Chief Financial Officer

It's a frightening truth. Construction company failures are often unpredictable and, in most cases, the accounting people saw it coming. The chief financial officer of a business often plays multiple roles, including steward of the company's assets and strategist in the use of funds and credit. After 30 years researching the causes of construction-business failures and participating in the resolution of hundreds of distressed firms, I came to the conclusion that there was another role played by the CFO: ignored.

The problem: When a construction CFO sounds the alarm, no one may be listening. Some CFOs are isolated or considered a necessary but unimportant function of the business. In discussing the issue with contractors, I've been told: "They don't know anything about construction."

And a common response from the CFO is: "And you don't know anything about accounting or finance."

A construction company has three primary functional areas: get the …

The Heat Is On! 6 Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

The long, hot days of summer will be here before we know it. In fact, most of the United States is expected to be hotter than normal June through August 2017, according to the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.

That means heat safety should be top priority in any industrial work environment. To keep your talent safe and productive, employers must educate employees and supervisors alike about the potential dangers of heat stress and heat stroke.

Managing the Risk

Heat stress occurs when the body in unable to regulate itself by sweating and the core body temperature rises to critical levels. Heat-related illnesses occur when the body is not able to lose enough heat generated by physical work and external heat sources. It is a medical emergency that can lead to cramps, exhaustion, stroke and in severe cases, death. In 2014, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job, according to OSHA.

The good news is that he…

Additional Insureds

Additional insureds are typically required on Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies of prime contractors and subcontractors. An owner may require the prime contractor to name them as an additional insured on their CGL policy. Similarly, a prime contractor may require the roofer to add the prime as an additional insured on the roofer’s CGL policy. When either of these situations take place, the additional insured (whether it be an owner or the prime contractor) receives two primary benefits. First, the additional insured receives added coverage without having to pay the insurer directly, because only the named insured is required to make payments on the premium; however, the cost of additional insured is usually passed on to the customer. Second, generally, an insurer may not pursue a subrogation claim against any additional insured because an insurer cannot sue its own insured for indemnity (although there are exceptions). In other words, if a customer was partly at fault for a …