Month: March 2015

Local HR Professionals Share Perspectives on Workplace Legislation on Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2015 – Members of the Society for Human Resource Management were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 25, to share views on four legislative issues being considered by Congress that impact the workplace.

The group included Vandeventer Black’s Anne G. Bibeau, Esq., who is currently the Virginia SHRM State Council’s Director of Legislative Affairs and was formerly president of the Hampton Roads SHRM chapter, Kandy Grenier with Sodexco in Chesapeake, Heather Wagner with Domino’s in Tyson’s Corner, and a federal employee from Prince William County.

They were among more than 200 human resource professionals from across the country that met with their representatives and congressional staffs in Washington for the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual Advocacy Day.

They spoke about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of a full-time employee; proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations; employment verification for employers; and the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) union election rule.

“It was surprising to learn that both senators from Virginia, which is a right to work state, are very much in favor of the NLRB’s ambush election rule. Senator Warner, in particular, was known in the past as being pro-business. Obviously, that has changed,” said Ms. Bibeau.

The event was part of the SHRM 2015 Employment Law & Legislative Conference, held March 23-25 in Washington.

They discussed the following issues with lawmakers:

CA definition of full-time employee: Under the ACA, employers with more than 50 full-time employees are required to provide affordable group health insurance coverage to those employees working more than 30 hours a week and their dependents, or they will face financial penalties in 2016. Four years after enactment of the health care reform law, employers are encountering difficulties implementing the ACA requirement. SHRM members told Senate representatives that the ACA’s definition of a full-time employee should be modified to 40 hours a week, as the 30-hours-a-week designation is inconsistent with standard employment practices and other federal laws.

Proposed changes to FLSA overtime regulations: Under the FLSA, employees are to be paid at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular rate for working more than 40 hours a week. President Barack Obama has proposed to modernize and streamline the FLSA overtime regulations, yet no details have been shared about exactly what changes will be proposed. Since Congress will have hearings about this issue, SHRM members discussed with both House and Senate leaders how current FLSA regulations present challenges to employers because the classification of positions is based on both objective and subjective criteria.

Employment verification for employers and HR professionals: On March 3, the House Judiciary Committee approved its first immigration enforcement bill, the Legal Workforce Act, which requires U.S. employers to check the work eligibility of all new hires through the E-Verify system. In conversations with House and Senate representatives, SHRM members and SHRM’s affiliate, the Council for Global Immigration, supported the goal of a legal workforce. But they also urged Congress to improve E-Verify to include an electronic verification system that will eliminate virtually all unauthorized employment, provide security for employers to eliminate the current I-9 paper-based system, protect the identity and personal information of legal workers through identity authentication tools, and prevent employment discrimination based on national origin.

NLRB union election rule: In December 2014, the NLRB issued a final rule that would shorten the time frame between when the union asks an employer for a secret-ballot election and when that election occurs. Earlier this year, SHRM filed a lawsuit challenging the NLRB elections rulemaking; the lawsuit is pending. Under two resolutions of disapproval (S.J. Res. 9 and H. J. Res. 29), Congress can block the federal rule from being implemented if resolutions are passed in both the House and Senate. SHRM members told their Senate and House representatives that the union election rule limits employees’ ability to make an informed choice, and SHRM members from other states thanked their representatives for voting to block the rule. Both Virginia senators, however, voted against blocking the rule, and made clear to SHRM that they strongly favor the NLRB’s new rule.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

Select US Summit in the Washington DC Area

Monday, March 23rd  marked the start of the Select US Summit in the Washington DC area. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker kicked off the Summit with a discussion regarding growing the US economy.  “America’s economic resurgence is real and there is no better time to invest in our country,” Secretary Pritzker said.  This two-day event provided those in attendance, more than 2,600 potential foreign investors from around the world, with the opportunity to receive and exchange pertinent information.  The Summit consisted of break-out and joint sessions on important topics such as trade agreements, foreign trade zones, immigration, intellectual property, etc.; led by CEO’s and Senior US leaders. Notably, both President Obama and Secretary Kerry spoke at this event. In addition, the Summit created some unique networking opportunities, online matchmaking, and provided the potential foreign investors a chance to meet with all 50+ State development authorities at a trade show held during this event.

Michael Sterling, Managing Partner, Vandeventer Black LLP to Speak at the Knowledge Group’s Payments-Based Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Public Benefit and Private Capital in 2015 Live Webcast

New York, NY, February 19, 2015 — (PR.com) — The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, has announced today that Michael Sterling, Partner, Vandeventer Black LLP will speak at the Knowledge Group’s webcast entitled: “Payments-Based Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Public Benefit and Private Capital in 2015.” This event is scheduled for June 18, 2015 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm (ET).

For further details, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/event_name/payments-based-public-private-partnerships-ppp-public-benefit-and-private-capital-in-2015-live-webcast/

About Michael Sterling
Firm Managing Partner; Chaired or Vice-Chaired law firm Construction and Public Contracts Department for over a decade; practice concentrated on complex projects and disputes with particular focus on accounting, scheduling, contract terms, insurance, safety, ethics, environmental and other regulatory issues; experienced in a wide range of project delivery methods including design-build and public-private-partnerships; projects included co-generation and processing plants, wind tunnels, cable stay bridges, highways, stadiums, hotels, courthouses, hospitals, water and wastewater treatment plants, parking garages, high-rise condominiums, environmental site restoration, demolition and large scale residential developments as well as ship construction and repair; represented both national and international general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, manufacturers and design professionals, as well as private and public owners; experienced with the Federal Acquisition Regulations, related agency regulations and statutes applicable to federal government funded contracts and grants; appeared before federal and state courts, boards of contract appeals, agency administrative judges and arbitration panels; assignments have been in various locations throughout the U.S. and its Territories.

About Vandeventer Black LLP
Vandeventer Black LLP is a full-service business law firm established in 1883. We focus on responsiveness and results while providing internationally recognized services across a wide variety of legal sectors. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, we employ more than 60 accomplished attorneys from five offices located in North Carolina and Germany in addition to Virginia.

Event Synopsis:
Despite its fundamental importance in economic health, infra-structure in the United States has been very inadequately maintained and poorly funded. Political dysfunction, fiscal difficulties, technological complexity and size of contracts, and other issues are forcing a re-examination of financing.

Partnerships between government agencies, private firms, banks, financiers, and the public are becoming more common. Such Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are neither the ultimate solution nor an overt corporate control of public funds. A PPP is a legally binding contract between a public sector entity and a private company, the concessionaire, in which the partners agree to share risks and benefits in funding and developing infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure PPPs are politically, economically, contractually, and technically challenging. However, in tax averse and politically grid-locked societies such as the United States, they can be appealing. However, there are legitimate concerns voiced by the public and legislators including the role of private companies in managing prison services, speed-trap cameras, and other ‘services’ that might be viewed as conflicts of interest.

Creating an effective, lasting, and accountable PPP requires sound legal contracts, competent public officials and skilled private expertise, rational use of public funds, and strong cooperation among all parties in addition to informed consent of the public.

The Knowledge Group has assembled a panel of key thought leaders to provide an over-view and discussion of the complex issues relating to Payments-Based Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). Panel members will offer their expertise and provide information to help design efficient PPP Contractual and Procurement Processes.

About The Knowledge Group, LLC/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series
The Knowledge Group, LLC was established with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webinars that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives. The goal is to deliver a unique multilevel analysis of an important issue affecting business in a highly focused format. To contact or register to an event, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/

American Arbitration Association Appoints Fanczek to Construction Mega Project Panel

William E. Franczek, partner in the law firm Vandeventer Black LLP, was recently appointed by the American Arbitration Association to its AAA Construction Mega Project Panel.  According to the AAA, the new panel is comprised of the top construction arbitrators as rated by counsel on construction mega projects.  Bill has been a construction arbitrator for the AAA for over 30 years.

Bill was the former Managing Partner for the firm from 2000-14, and continues his practice in representing parties on construction projects, and in Alternative Dispute Resolution as both an arbitrator and a mediator, specializing in construction and government contracting.

American Arbitration Association Appoints Franczek to Construction Mega Project Panel

Norfolk, VA. (March 3, 2015) – William E. Franczek, partner in the law firm Vandeventer Black LLP, was recently appointed by the American Arbitration Association to its AAA Construction Mega Project Panel.  According to the AAA, the new panel is comprised of the top construction arbitrators as rated by counsel on construction mega projects.  Bill has been a construction arbitrator for the AAA for over 30 years.

Bill was the former Managing Partner for the firm from 2000-14, and continues his practice in representing parties on construction projects, and in Alternative Dispute Resolution as both an arbitrator and a mediator, specializing in construction and government contracting.

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