November 21st, 2019 
Volume 21, No. 47

Contents


ASA Celebrates the Life of Board Member,

Chip Mabus

 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ASA Board member, Chip Mabus, of F.L. Crane & Sons, Inc in Fulton, MS on November 16th, 2019. Chip was a great friend to so many within ASA, and his infectious smile and sense of humor was loved by so many. 

Chip began his career with FL Crane in 1998 as a drywall mechanic. Within a year, he was identified as a peak performer and began training as an estimator and project manager.  Over the last twenty years, Chip has served as an estimator in both the Memphis and Fulton Divisions until being promoted to Fulton Division President in 2014.  As a division president, Chip oversaw a staff of eight estimators/project managers and over 100 field employees.  Additionally, Chip served as a member of FCICA and on the Board of Directors for both National and the Mississippi chapters of ASA.

All of us at ASA send our sincere sympathies to all Chip's family, his friends, and his work colleagues. Our prayers are with them as they try to deal with this tragic loss. Remembrances have poured in from his fellow members of the National Board of Directors since word came out of his death, each speaking of a hardworking, loving, caring man.  He was a friend and colleague of so many, and the joy he brought to ASA will be sorely missed.

In lieu of flowers,  memorials may be made to April’s Angels or Crossroads Ranch.


ASA Joins the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC)

On Monday, November 18, 2019, ASA became a member of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), a national coalition of businesses, associations, taxpayer organizations and think tanks that are committed to reducing all forms of unfair government created, sponsored and provided competition with the private sector. BCFC believes the free enterprise system is the most productive and efficient provider of goods and services and strongly supports the Federal government utilizing the private sector for commercially available products and services to the maximum extent possible.  
    
Our alliance with the BCFC organically grow out of our work regarding the Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s   audit of the Federal Prison Industries (FPI) authorized by Congress with the passage of the FIRST STEP Act of 2018 (P.L.115-391) signed into law on December 21, 2018.  On August 29, 2019, ASA met with the GAO regarding the following questions: 

  • Please identify the challenges, if any, private companies face in competing with FPI.
  • FPI’s sales have declined when compared to the early 2000s. Has the extent of the burden, if any, FPI places on the private sector declined commensurately?
  • Please identify those elements of prior reform efforts that remain relevant today?
  • What are the primary differences in the cost structure between FPI and private sector (non-profit, as applicable) producers and how are these differences reflected in product prices?
  • To what extent have you analyzed the effect of the First Step Act’s expansion of markets available to FPI? Are there any recent analyses of FPI of which we should be aware?

Currently, ASA members working in prison construction are unfairly competing with the FPI.  We will continue to update you on our BCFC relationship and progress on this important issue. 


 

Registration for SUBExcel 2020

is Now Open!

March 4-7, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV

 

SUBExcel is American Subcontractors Association's annual meeting, the perfect place for you to join YOUR association working hard for the needs of construction subcontractors, specialty trade contractors and suppliers. Perks of attending SUBExcel include:

  • Get proven business tips from acclaimed speakers that will transform your company and your bottom line to succeed in today’s construction markets.
  • Learn about the latest productivity-enhancing products and services provided by ASA exhibitors.
  • Enjoy the luxury hotel accommodations.
  • Enjoy special events, including the ASA President’s Welcome Reception and the Final Reception & Banquet.
  • Take a deeper look at your industry, your chapter, and your association and be part of mapping our industry’s path forward in ASA’s task force, committee and council meetings.
  • And much more!

Today's economy is changing at an ever-increasing pace, and business owners need to be prepared for both the successes and the obstacles of the future.  Making sure your business is financially sound is crucial in today's competitive market, and ASA wants to help you be as strong as you can be for the years ahead. 

In keeping with this idea, the theme of SUBExcel 2020 will be “The Economy Moving Forward”. Several education workshops will focus on strengthening your business financially for the future.
Register Today for SUBExcel 2020!

Are You Working To Engage Young People in the Trades?  Tell ASA About It!

We want to hear from you!  Tell us how you are working to engage young people and new employees in the trades.  Are you working with programs like Helmets to Hardhats?  Does your company have a partnership with a local community college, university or apprenticeship program??  How do you connect with your local community?

The American Subcontractors Association is currently working to gather all of your amazing ideas to be able to share with other ASA chapters around the country.  Let us know how you reach out to young, new talent, as well as your best practices in each initiative.

Have something exciting to share?  Email us your ideas at communications@asa-hq.com.  We can't wait to hear from you!


ASA Joins the TEAM

On Monday, November 18, 2019, ASA became a member of TEAM (Taxpaying Employers Against Misclassification), a growing group of employers and employer organizations concerned about the issue of employee misclassification and payroll fraud and how it is harming American businesses and workers.  These practices result in non-payment of owed taxes and in unfair competitive practices against employers who are legally compliant.  
    
The goal of TEAM is to educate and inform those who may not fully understand the issue of payroll fraud or fully comprehend the negative consequences for lawful employers, workers and government and the taxpayers.   The website will provide information on the law, recent research, and legislation as well as identify and expose examples of payroll fraud.

  • What is employee misclassification? Misclassification occurs when employers incorrectly classify workers as independent contractors rather than full-time employees to avoid paying the required taxes and benefits. Simply put, it is a form of payroll and tax evasion.
  • Why is misclassification such an important issue? By misclassifying workers, an employer is able to save money and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses that follow the rules. Misclassification also hurts the workers, who often assume the employer is making the required deductions from their paychecks and providing them with the basic benefits of full-time employees, only to find out later that they have few or no benefits and are “on the hook” for the unpaid taxes. Ultimately, misclassification also hurts the American taxpayer. When employers fail to make their required contributions, the burden is shifted to everyday citizens.  Although misclassification of full-time employees as independent contractors is sometimes inadvertent, due to a payroll error or misunderstanding of current law, more often than not it is intentional, and the employer deliberately short-changes workers to gain an edge in the marketplace. To make matters worse, laws against misclassification haven’t been enforced aggressively enough, making it easier for unscrupulous employers to slip through the cracks.
  • What can be done to stop employee misclassification? Due to the economic downturn, federal and state authorities are facing declining revenues and the threat of budget shortfalls. Fiscal solvency is a top priority, and as a result, more attention is being paid to misclassification than ever before. By stepping up enforcement and cracking down on the bad actors, governments can recoup badly needed taxes and, at the same time, level the playing field so that all businesses are competing in a fair and honest environment.

 

Become a Sponsor at SUBExcel

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for SUBExcel 2020, "The Economy Moving Forward".  Becoming a sponsor is the perfect opportunity to put your company's brand and logo in front of over 200 of the nation's industry leaders in the subcontracting community.  There is a sponsorship available for every budget, and we would love to see your company represented at this top-notch event.

Opportunities include:
  • Registration Sponsor
  • Keynote Speaker Sponsor
  • Wine at the Banquet Sponsor
  • Top Golf Food Sponsor
  • and much more!
 
To learn more, download the Exhibitor and Sponsor Guide.

 

Help Defend Our Future by Supporting the Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund

ASA underwrites the legal costs of filing "friend-of-the-court" briefs to inform the Court regarding the broader impact of relevant cases throughout the country. We have won dozens of these cases since 1997, vindicating subcontractor rights today and into the future!

Each year, courts across the country hand down hundreds of decisions on federal and state laws, as well as court-made or "case"law, that apply to subcontractors' businesses. Many of the decisions impacting subcontractors interpret the contract provisions of subcontract agreements—provisions like pay-if-paid, hold harmless, duty-to-defend, and no-damages-for-delay. Some of these decisions are precedent-setting and carry significance for subcontractors across state lines.

ASA's Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund supports ASA's critical legal activities in precedent-setting cases to protect the interests of all subcontractors. ASA taps the SLDF to fund amicus curiae, or  friend-of-the-court," briefs in appellate-level cases that would have a significant impact on subcontractor rights.


Support the SLDF Today!
 

Impeachment Inquiry Update

The public phase of the impeachment inquiry continued this week with eight witnesses scheduled to testify:  

  • Tuesday: Jennifer Williams, special adviser for Europe and Russia in the office of the vice president, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the National Security Council.  Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, special assistant to the president and senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council.
  • Wednesday: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Laura Cooper, deputy assistant Defense secretary for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs, and David Hale, undersecretary of State for political affairs.
  • Thursday: Fiona Hill, former senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council.

 

Upcoming Events


December 10th, 2019

DOL Issues New Salary Threshold Requirements,
Effective January 2020

by Bill Ford, SESCO Management Consultants

January 7th, 2020


Payment Clauses: What to Watch For and How to Negotiate Them
by James Yand and Brian Esler


 

 

Advocacy

ASA is the united voice dedicated to improving the business environment in the construction industry, representing subcontractors before all branches (executive, legislative, judicial) and levels (federal, state, local) of government, to organizations representing other parts of the construction industry, to the news media, and others.


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