Monthly Archives: June 2014

Group Health Insurance Program Seminar – June 11, 2014

Presented by:

Snowden Logo

Learn about the discounted Anthem group health insurance plans that are available to Builders Exchange of Kentucky member firms. This is a very unique program that offers large group pricing to small group employers.

Please register now for the 30 minute Builders Exchange Group Health Insurance Program webinar which will be held on June 11, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT.

Builders Exchange LogoIf you have questions or difficulty registering, please contact Leesa Hayes at (502) 339-7980 or leesa@snowdenbenefits.com. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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President Obama signs Executive Order to increase minimum wage for federal contractors and to expand eligibility for overtime pay

By: Joseph L. Hardesty

Stites & Harbison PLLC – Builders Exchange Allied Member

Joseph Hardesty

 

 

 

 

President Obama has issued two Executive Orders that will have the effect of increasing workers’ wages and which will affect business owners throughout the country. On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring Federal contractors to pay their employees at least $10.10 an hour. Then, on March 13, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Labor to review overtime rules in order to expand the number of workers who would be eligible for overtime pay.

The Executive Order regarding minimum wages for employees of Federal contractors, directs the Secretary of Labor to issue new regulations increasing the minimum wage for these workers to $10.10 per hour.

The Executive Order states that the minimum wages will only apply to the following type federal service contracts:

• Procurement contracts for services or construction;
• Contracts or contract-like instruments for services covered by the Service Contract Act;
• Contracts or contract-like instruments for concessions including any concessions contract excluded by Department of Regulations at 29 CFR 4.133(b); and
• Contracts or contract-like instruments entered into with the Federal government in connection with Federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

The Executive Order requires the new minimum wage to be paid by “Federal contractors and subcontractors” and states that the obligation to pay the new minimum wage will be imposed by requiring all federal contracts to contain a clause that requires a certification as a condition of payment that workers have been paid the new minimum wage. The contractor will be required to include a similar clause in lower tier subcontracts. These clauses should be developed by the FAR Council within 60 days after the Labor Department issues its regulations. These provisions of the Executive Order suggest that the regulations will apply to contractors and all of the lower tier subcontractors. It is not clear whether the new minimum wage requirement would apply to all employees of federal contractors, or only those employees who perform work on the qualifying government contract but the Executive Order seems to suggest that it would only apply to employees who perform work on the federal contract. This will not be clear until the Department of Labor issues its regulations. The Executive Order does not change the wages required by the Davis-Bacon Act or the Service Contract Act. The Executive Order will not take effect will not take effect until the Labor Secretary issues the new regulations on before October 14, 2014 and will only apply to contracts executed after January 1, 2015.

The Executive Order expanding overtime pay directs the Labor Secretary to revise the federal rules on overtime pay in order to make more workers eligible for overtime pay. The revisions would change the overtime exceptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow more workers to be eligible for overtime pay. Currently, an employee who is paid a salary basis of not less than $455 per week and who performs exempt duties is not eligible for overtime pay. The proposed regulations would likely increase the weekly pay for exempt employees from $455 per week to a higher amount thus making more workers eligible for overtime pay. The new regulations would probably not come issued until the fall of 2014 and would likely not take effect until next year. The last time these rules were changed was in April 2004, under the Bush Administration, when the salary floor for exempt status was raised from $155 per week to $455 per week.

Neither Executive Order has been implemented by Federal regulation. However, employers and those who do business with the Federal government should be aware of these prospective changes for business planning and budgeting.

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IPIN Tip of the Month: Batch Selecting Plan Divisions in One Click

In our recent survey, one of the most frequently requested features that was cited as missing from the IPIN system was the ability to batch select multiple plans by division with one click for downloading or purchasing.

You spoke and we listened: members can now select multiple plans under each discipline in one click of the mouse.

This new feature is easy to learn and can potentially save your index finger from a lot of extra clicking.

 

Step 1. Navigate to the “Plans” page of the project.

Batch Select

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Step 2. Click the empty box to the left of the division you would like to download or purchase. This will add a checkmark to every plan underneath that division. You can also deselect or add individual pages within the division or other divisions.

Batch Select 2

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Step 3. Once every desired plan has been checked, click the “Download PDFs”, “Download TIFFs”, or “Purchase Plans” icons at the top of the page to download or purchase the selected plans in the selected format.

Batch Select 3

That’s all there is to it!

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For more tips like this one, join us in Louisville on the third Friday of every month from 10-11:30 a.m. for free IPIN training at the Builders Exchange Center for Education & Training Excellence, 2300 Meadow Drive, Louisville, KY 40218 or at the same time on the fourth Friday of every month at our Lexington location, 1035 Strader Drive, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40505. Online webinar training is also available on the third Thursday of every month from 10-11:30 a.m.

Call me, Aaron Thomas, at (502) 459-9800 or e-mail athomas@bxkentucky.com to RSVP.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for IPIN Tip of the Month, comment below or e-mail me at the address listed above.

Looking for more tips? Click here to look at every IPIN Tip of the Month.

Thanks for reading!

Aaron Thomas
Director of IT
Builders Exchange of Kentucky

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2014 Online Planroom Survey Results

In March, Builders Exchange of Kentucky offered online planroom users an opportunity to provide us with opinions and suggestions for improvement of our online planroom (also called IPIN system), and we listened.

The survey asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with the Builders Exchange online planroom in five key categories as well as compare the online planroom to competing services in those same categories.  Questions were also asked about the format and presentation of bid documents, open-ended suggestions for improvement, and identifying interest levels in mobile applications.

And the survey says…

Over 70% of applicable respondents are satisfied with their experience with the Builders Exchange online planroom in four out of five key categories (see below). The majority of respondents in the fifth category (Software provided for conducting online takeoffs and estimates) were “Neither Satisfied or Unsatisfied”.

Survey1

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A majority of all applicable respondents judged the Builders Exchange online planroom favorably in all five key categories compared to competing services, with over 80% judging favorably in three out of the five categories.

Survey2

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With your feedback, we also identified three primary areas to bolster the member experience on the online planroom:

  1. Timeliness of post-bid reporting
  1. Improved software options for conducting online takeoffs/estimates
  1. Ability to batch select multiple plans in different divisions with one click

Timeliness of post-bid reporting and improved options for online takeoffs will be main areas of focus for Builders Exchange as we move forward with upcoming upgrades to the online planroom and continue evaluate our project reporting coverage.

We are also pleased to report that the ability to batch select plans has already been addressed, and as a direct result of your feedback, members now have the ability to batch select entire divisions with one click of the mouse (see this IPIN Tip of the Month).

 

While the majority of members feel that Builders Exchange offers the most user-friendly and easy to use tools in the industry, we remain committed to improving and expanding our products and services to enhance the value for our trusted members using the online planroom.

 

Thanks again to all of those who took the time to take the survey and congratulations to Chris Revell with Mills Supply, who won the drawing for the free iPad Air!

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