NJECPAC & NJ-IEC Partnering to Protect You And Your Business

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New Jersey, United States
NJECPAC is a Continuing Political Committee (CPC). A CPC is any group of two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership, or any other incorporated or unincorporated association, civic association or other organization, which in any calendar year contributes to aid or promote the candidacy of an individual, or the candidacies of individuals, for elective public office, or the passage or defeat of a public question or public questions, lobby for the passage or defeat of certain legislative bills introduced in the NJ Legislature in accordance with N.J.S.A. 19:44A-8(b). A CPC is frequently referred to as Political Action Committee (PAC). The NJECPAC was formed to provide funding for legislative initiatives of its members and its member organizations representing the interests of Electrical Contractors, Small Businesses and Taxpayers throughout the State of New Jersey.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Legislation Would Require Standby Generators


Legislation Would Require Standby Generators for a Variety of Businesses and Facilities 

The widespread power outages resulting from Hurricane Sandy crippled many businesses which serve the public by providing essential services. To prevent that situation from recurring, a number of bills have been introduced in the New Jersey legislature which would require a variety of private businesses and facilities to install standby generators.
The most comprehensive of the bills, called the New Jersey Residents’ Power Protection Act and designated as A-3495, requires that "facilities and businesses...which provide critical and unique services that are vital to public safety and economic recovery during times of widespread power loss due to a natural disaster or other catastrophic event...have secondary sources of power.” They include new grocery stores, gas stations; nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities; first aid, ambulance, and rescue squads; pharmacies; firehouses; and boarding houses. To offset the cost of implementation, the bill establishes a corporation business tax deduction and gross income tax deduction (maximum of $10,000), and a sales tax exemption, for the purchase of equipment. 

A similar bill, designated as A-3064, would require installation and use of generators by specified eligible businesses, defined to encompass retail motor fuel dealers, motor fuel wholesalers, motor fuel terminal facilities, motor fuel refineries, and many of the facilities listed under A3495 The New Jersey Economic Development Authority would be required to offer low-interest loans to these businesses to facilitate acquisition and installation of generators.

A number of other pending bills apply to only specific facilities and businesses: 
  • Grocery and convenience stores (newly constructed stores only) (A-3486  and S-2357);
  • Gas stations (existing and newly constructed stations) (A-3473 and S-3484, also A-3563 and S-2361);
  • Senior housing and/or disabled housing (newly constructed only) (A-1632 and S-402, also S-2372);
  • Senior residential multiple dwellings (existing and newly constructed) (A-3569);
  • Retirement community (existing and newly constructed) (A-3479 and S-2341);
  • Assisted living residences and certain other licensed residential health care facilities (existing and newly constructed) (A-2860A-3514).

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Newark passes ban on pre-employment criminal background checks


Employers beware: 
Newark Passes Law Limiting Pre-Employment Criminal Background Checks

The City of Newark has passed municipal ordinance that limits background checks on potential employees, The City joins more than 40 other municipalities around the country in limiting an employer's right to inquire into a job applicant's criminal history. 

The Law prohibits criminal background checks before extending an offer offer of employment, the Ordinance limits the criminal background information about which an employer may inquire and that an employer may use in making a hiring decision. 

This limitation on employer hiring practices has been referred to as the "ban the box" movement and has been gaining momentum nationwide. Newark's Ordinance is one of the most expansive and one of just two "ban the box" ordinances to cover nearly all private employers doing business in the city. 

Covered "Employers"
The Ordinance applies to any "employer" that "does business, employs persons, or takes applications for employment within the City of Newark" and has at least five employees. The Ordinance includes job placement, referral agencies, and "other employment agencies" within the meaning of "employer." 

The law is scheduled to become effective November 18, 2012.  Read More Here

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Senate President Proposes Mandate On Gas Stations


Senate President Steve Sweeney says NJ must learn lessons from Super Storm Sandy.

Gas stations without electricity or fuel are just the beginning of the issues that need to be addressed following the Super Storm Sandy. Sweeney says he’s working in a bi-partisan fashion with Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. to figure out what New Jersey can and must do.

He explains, “There were seniors trapped 30 floors up because the elevators were out (due to power loss)…….My brother is the head of an emergency room in central New Jersey and he told me (some) places that provide kidney dialysis (have) no back-up generators.”
Sweeney says, “We can do something about this stuff. We absolutely can do something and we’re going to.”
Although we have not yet seen legislation introduced in the Senate or Assembly, the Senate President claims to have had a bill in place long before Sandy struck that would require gas stations to have back-up generators. In a typical reactive manor that so often sums up our Legislators actions in Trenton, He is now hoping to have that legislation passed. He also claims to be working with Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. to usher through measures requiring back-up power in every location where it’s necessary. 

“Another thing we’re going to do is we’re going to have a hearing in the near future and we’re going to bring in the utilities,” says Sweeney. “There have been a lot of lessons learned and the one thing you don’t do is exactly what you've always done which is put it back the way it was.”
Electrical Contractors would not oppose the Generator measures, However, as Electrical Contractors we have rarely been supportive of measures from Government that impose their will on us. That especially applies to measures that impose added costs to doing business. In regard to the Fuel Stations we do not believe this will be accomplished without opposition from the Independent Fuel Oil Distributors and Service Station Owners who would be forced to bear additional costs to their businesses. 
Electrical Contractors would move to make sure that language was included in the bill that would reiterate existing law that ONLY Licensed Electrical Contractors can install the electric wiring associated with Stand By Generators. This would not only protect the interests of Electrical Contractors it would protect the Safety of the General Public. 
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Friday, October 26, 2012

IEC Submits Comments On 2014 National Electrical Code



IEC Submits Comments On 2014 National Electrical Code
October 17 was the deadline to submit comments for the 2014 National Electrical Code. IEC staff and IEC members on code making panels submitted over 40 comments for the 2014 NEC, covering an array of issues important to electrical contractors. 

IEC has two members seated on each of the 19 NEC Code Making Panels to represent the interest of electrical contractors. This year, IEC representatives, under the direction of Terry Cole, Chairman of the IEC National Codes and Standards Committee, have attended meetings and are holding conference calls in preparation of the 2014 NEC. 


One important issue this year is a proposal to change all references in the NEC from 600 volts to 1,000 volts. IEC is concerned this change will require increasing the spacing in electrical products, meaning electrical products may become larger and more expensive. In addition, this may necessitate changes to installation procedures as well as additional safety training and protective equipment for electrical workers. IEC is opposed to increasing the voltage from 600 to 1,000 volts until we have had more time to understand all of the ramifications of the proposed change. 


The NEC Code Making Panels convene in Redondo Beach, California, November 28 to December 8, 2012, where all panel members will consider the merits of changes submitted for the 2014 NEC.  


To review all NEC proposals for the 2014 NEC, ClickHere.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Employers Must Read NLRB's Notice Aloud To Employees


Late in 2010, the Acting General Counsel announced his intent to pursue additional remedies against employers alleged to have violated the NLRA.  The recent decision in OS Transport LLC, 358 N.L.R.B. No. 117 (Aug. 31, 2012), is a good example of the NLRB's acceptance and enforcement of these remedial requests.

In OS Transport, the AGC alleged that the employer violated the NLRA by threatening employees engaged in union organizing activity.  The employer was also alleged to have discharged union supporters, and discriminated against union supporters in connection with work assignments.
Finding various violations of the NLRA, the NLRB affirmed some of the additional remedies that were ordered to address those violations.  For example, and consistent with the AGC's 2010 memorandum, the ALJ ordered the employer to read the NLRB's remedial notice aloud to the employees.  The ALJ also ordered the employer to supply the union with a list of employee names and addresses.  The NLRB found that these remedies were appropriate because:
  • The employees' protected, concerted activities were prompted by the employer's coercing the employees into signing sham independent contractor agreements that purported to strip them of their rights as employees under the NLRA;
  • The employer responded "swiftly" to the employee's union activity through a series of escalating unfair labor practices, including threats, reduced work opportunities, and discharges; and
  • The employer's "most senior officials" were directly involved in the commission of the unfair labor practices.
For the labor professional, the decision helps better inform the circumstances under which the NLRB will enforce the additional remedies the AGC outlined in his 2010 memorandum.  It also underscores the importance, as this blog has previously recognized, of careful planning and execution of the employer's response to a union organizing drive. Read More Here
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Monday, October 22, 2012

IEC Supports Extension of 179D Tax Credit


IEC Supports Extension of 179D Tax Credit 
The Independent Electrical Contractors, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and dozens of other construction and real estate groups have signed a letter in support of Senate Bill 3591, the Commercial Building Modernization Act (CBMA), which extends and enhances the tax deduction at Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings. Buildings use more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy and consume more than 70 percent of electricity in the country. 

179D was one of several key tax incentives enacted over the last several years focused on encouraging businesses to incorporate energy efficiency into their operational plans. 179D in particular relates to the design and construction of energy-efficient commercial building property. Intended to offset some of the costs of qualifying energy-efficient improvements to commercial buildings, the deduction allows building owners to take an immediate expense for the cost of property that would normally be recovered through depreciation. To qualify, energy-efficient improvements must reduce total annual energy and power costs with respect to the interior lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems by 50 percent. Partial deductions are allowed. 


179D expires at the end of 2013, but work on extending and improving this important deduction has already begun. Specifically, the CBMA improves Section 179D's effectiveness by making the tax incentive useable for a broader range of building owners, such as those owned by real estate investment trusts and certain LLPs. It also makes the incentive "performance based" and "technology neutral" mean that the greater the energy savings, the greater the deduction, and the incentive applies to projects not products, so owners and their contractors can decide among the best suite of efficiency measures that will achieve optimal energy performance in their assets rather than specifying particular equipment or products. 
Learn more at www.ieci.org





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT TOSSES NLRB'S "SUPERVISOR" STATUS


The National Labor Relations Board has been aggressively seeking to narrow the interpretation of "supervisor" in an effort to expand the opportunities for unions to organize "employees," who, by definition under the National Labor Relations Act, are not "supervisors." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently refused to enforce a Board decision against Lakeland Health Care Associates, LLC. 

The Act's Definition of Supervisor
Under Section 2(11) of the NLRA, a supervisor is … any individual having authority, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.

The Future: More Appeals Court Activity?
Given the continuing and possibly accelerating leftward tilt of the Board and the Regions, we expect an increasing number of petitions to the U.S. Courts of Appeal for review of the Board's expansive interpretations of the NLRA. Employers can be expected to resist and challenge any Board efforts to "meticulously exclude or disregard" evidence. Supervisory status was the issue central to the Lakeland case -- and it is a big issue -- but other areas where the Board positions are vulnerable to court challenge include social media policies, non-unionized workplaces, employee rules, and employment-at-will and other statements in employee handbooks and policy manuals. Read More 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Jersey Limited Liability Company Laws Undergo Major Revision

A new set of laws governing New Jersey limited liability companies will become effective March 2013.


The changes are profound.  The Limited Liability Company Act fundamentally changes the manner in which limited liability companies are organized and managed.

This is one of the most significant pieces of business legislation in a number of years.  Beginning in 2013, the default rules a New Jersey limited liability company are going to be much more like partnerships and the rules for starting and running a limited liability company are going to change drastically.  Every New Jersey limited liability company will be affected by the changes in the law and the principals of these businesses should begin to consider how they will address the revisions. 

The reason why the changes are so sweeping is that the legislature scrapped the existing Limited Liability Company Act that was modeled largely on the LLC law of Delaware in favor of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA), a model statute prepared by Uniform Law Commission.  

Most significantly, for NJECPAC members, the RULLCA is very different from what is existing now.  There are so many changes we can not cover them all in one post.  The changes will have to analyzed over the next few months. The new law takes effect in March 2013 for newly formed LLCs and in March 2014 for existing LLCs. 

The more basic changes include the following:

Oral Operating Agreement.  The new statute permits operating agreements be formed by oral agreements or conduct. 

New Remedies.  The new statute contains a provision that permits a forced sale of an interest in the event of oppressive behavior.  But the statute goes a bit further authority the court to compel sales of interests when necessary in the interests of equity.

Revised Duties Among Members.  Limited liability companies members were free to structure the rights and obligations of the members as they saw fit.  The new law expressly defines the members duties and restricts the ability of the LLC to limit those duties by contract.

Distributions.  The default rule for distributions is per capita under the new law, as opposed to distributions based on the amount of capital contributed under the present law.

The Uniform Limited Liability Company Act has not been widely accepted.  Of the major "commercial states," it has now been adopted only in California, Illinois and New Jersey. For businesses operating as LLCs, it is a new world with new rules. Learn More Here

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Study Confirms Most Employers Plan To Keep Health Coverage

The latest health care survey conducted by consulting firm Towers Watson has found that the vast majority (88%) of the 440 midsize to large companies surveyed claimed that they had no plans to drop health care coverage in the near future. Among other findings, the Towers Watson survey noted that employers did plan to take a number of steps to control projected health care cost increases and to avoid having to pay the 40% excise tax on high cost (“Cadillac”) health plans in 2018. A majority of employers (58%) expect that they will trigger the excise tax in 2018 if they do not make changes to their current benefit strategy. As a result, 83% of employers are planning to take steps to control their costs to avoid the tax.

Notable survey results include the following:

  • The number of employers stating that they would continue providing health coverage for their active employees increased 17% over last year’s survey.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) view health care benefits as core to their employee value proposition over the next several years, and more than one-third of companies will examine their health care benefits in a total rewards framework by 2013.
  • The cost of providing health coverage is projected to increase by 5.3% in 2013, down from the 5.9% projected increase for 2012.
  • The total cost of providing coverage is estimated to be $11,507 per employee in 2013.
  • To control costs, responding employers claimed that they will either adopt or continue to provide account-based health plans (ABHPs), which are plans “with a deductible offered together with a personal account (health savings account or health reimbursement arrangement) that can be used to pay a portion of the medical expense not paid by the plan.” According to the survey, by the year 2015, 80% of employers intend to offer an ABHP, up from 61% in 2013.
  • Companies are also considering other steps to reduce costs, including changing plan options (63%), significantly reducing subsidization of coverage for spouses and dependents (38%), and using spousal waivers or surcharges (29%). Additionally, 13% plan to increase their employees’ share of health care premiums in 2013 by five percentage points or more, while 42% plan to increase employees’ share by one to five percentage points.
  • Seventeen percent of responding employers claimed that they plan to offer telemedicine services by the year 2013, with another 27% considering doing so by 2014 or 2015.
  • A greater number of employers responded this year that they were “very likely” to discontinue sponsoring health plans for retirees in 2014 or 2015. Many employers are also considering reducing the subsidization of coverage for their employees’ spouses and dependents, and passing along a greater percentage of the increased costs to their employees.
A recently-released report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined a number of studies on the ACA’s impact on employer-sponsored coverage. Read More Here

Friday, September 21, 2012

Don’t Play & Pay: Navigating Employer Health Coverage Mandate

On Friday, August 31, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance regarding the application of the employer-sponsored health coverage mandate. Employers need to begin planning for these rules as soon as possible. While the employer coverage mandate itself does not apply until 2014, it may be necessary to begin tracking the hours of employees as soon as this October in order to facilitate compliance.
The Play or Pay Rules
The employer-sponsored health coverage mandate is designed to require non exempt employers to either provide employees with adequate and affordable health coverage or to require those employers to pay certain penalties for their failure to do so. Specifically, penalties are triggered if:
  • (1) An employer fails to offer all of its “full-time employees” the opportunity to enroll in an employer-sponsored health plan; or (2) the employer-sponsored health plan offered to “full-time employees” is “unaffordable” or fails to provide “minimum value”; AND
  • Any employee impacted by such a failure purchases individual health insurance coverage through a State-based or Federally-facilitated Exchange and qualifies for a subsidy.
Failure to Provide Coverage
Employers who fail to provide coverage to all of their “full-time employees” are subject to a penalty of $2,000 per year (assessed on a monthly basis) multiplied by their total “full- time employee” count. For employers that provide health coverage, the challenge with respect to this rule is identifying all of their “full-time employees”—and making sure all such employees are offered coverage. In the event that even one “full-time employee” is not offered coverage and subsequently attains subsidized coverage through an exchange, the penalty is applied to all “full-time employees.” Thus, with respect to any employees who do receive employer-sponsored coverage, the employer could end up “playing” and “paying.” Read More Here
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Do At-Will Employment Disclaimers Violate The NLRA?

This summer the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has taken the position that commonly used at‑will employment disclaimers could be a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 of the NLRA guarantees employees the right to engage in “concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” The NLRB’s recent actions continue a trend of stringent enforcement of employee’s Section 7 rights that many times brings non‑union employers within the jurisdiction of the NLRB.

Labor law is rapidly changing and the NLRB has drastically increased its activity. Specifically, the NLRB is finding more and more ways in which they believe an employer’s actions or policies violates an employee’s rights to concerted activity under Section 7 of the NLRA. Accordingly, employers should pay close attention and monitor these types of enforcement actions. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Congress Votes to Extend E-Verify for Three More Years

E-Verify is an Internet-based, free program run by the United States Government that compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States.
E-Verify was to expire in March 2009, lawmakers began working on an extension in the fall of 2008. New Jersey's Sen. Bob Menendez refused to lift a hold he placed on the extension without a massive increase in green cards, so Congress put the E-Verify extension on the shelf until the spring.
Neither action was about mandating E-Verify for all employers. But for the government to be allowed to offer E-Verify for voluntary use, the extensions had to be passed in 2009 and again this month.
The House of Representatives has now approved the extension of E-Verify for another 3 years. The electronic employment verification program, which could have big impact in ending the flow of illegal immigration to the United States, is set to expire at the end of the month, but, now that it's passed through both chambers of Congress, we fully expect Pres. Obama to sign the extension into law. Read More Here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bill Would Change How Businesses Sell Their Scrap Metals


ASSEMBLY, No. 3222  
STATE OF NEW JERSEY 
215th LEGISLATURE 

This bill, which amends P.L.2009, c.8 (C.45:28-1 et seq.), requires scrap metal businesses to maintain, for at least five years, a record of all receipts or purchases of scrap metal, instead of only for those purchases in excess of 100 pounds or $50, as currently provided by law.  This bill also requires that scrap metal businesses make payment to any person delivering or selling scrap metal only by non-transferable check made payable to that person, to be mailed to an address provided by that person as required pursuant to existing law. 

The bill requires scrap metal businesses to send copies of all records maintained pursuant to law to the appropriate law enforcement agency at the close of each business day.  Under the bill, scrap metal businesses may accept delivery of scrap metal by motor vehicle only, and must record the license plate number of any motor vehicle which is used to deliver scrap metal. 


One problem NJECPAC has identified is that if passed an employer that sends their employee to the scap yard would not receive payment for their scrap. Their employee would receive a check via us mail for the employers scrap. NJECPAC Board of Governors sees this as a major flaw in the legislation and will be seeking an amendment from the Legislature addressing this and any other issues that the Board identifies with this legislation. 
View Legislation Here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Senate Bill S2116 Would Grant Reciprocity Of All Professional Licenses

SENATE, No. 2116 
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
215th LEGISLATURE

Senate Bill S2116 would grant reciprocity of all of New Jersey's Professional licenses to Licensees of other states was reviewed by NJECPAC. The Legislature subsequently amended the Bill addressing the concerns provided by NJECPAC.

The original bill would have granted reciprocity to out of state contractors to work in NJ but did not grant reciprocity to NJ Contractors to work in other states

The bill as Amended would exempt the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors from the provisions contained within S2116. Assembly Bill A1545 is identical to the Senate Version. View Legislation Here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Governor and NJ Democrats Disagree On Success of Property Tax Cap

Governor Chris Christie says the 2% Property Tax Cap is working while the States Democrats are claiming it is an egregious failure

The Truth is that Democrats led by Senate President Steve Sweeney soundly rejected Governor Christie's plan for a flat 3% Cap that contained no loopholes. They then substituted their own 2% cap with various loopholes for Schools and Municipalities that they ultimately passed and sent to the Governor

Of course the Governor did sign the bill, so his name is indeed on it. We believe the Governor signed the slightly flawed Bill because he believed that if he did not compromise there would have been no Property Tax Relief at all. 

Now some are claiming the cap is an egregious failure. For purely political reasons those that are making that claim think the electorate will believe that it is all Chris Christie's Fault........


Although not perfect, what was passed was a compromise between the Governor and the States Democrats which gave some property tax relief, There is still room for more work to be done by both Parties to help Municipalities manage their affairs and provide services to Property tax payers including Small Businesses without raising taxes by eliminating waste that still exists around every corner. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't Miss Our 2012 Summer Networking Event

Missed Our 2011 Summer Fun Family Picnic?
 
There is Still Time To Register For Our July 19, 2012 Event

Email Us that you will be attending, njecpac@comcast.net
Bring Your Check to the Event, And See Us At The Gate For Your Ticket 


July 19, 2012 6:00PM

Bring Your Family, Friends, Colleagues, Neighbors & Clients

The Picnic Packages Includes All Of These GREAT Features!
  • Ticket to the game
  • Private picnic area for the whole game, with your OWN party host.
  • Complete BBQ grill for approx. 90 minutes featuring delicious baseball fare. ~ Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Grilled Chicken, Pasta Salad, Chips, Cookies, and more!
  • Unlimited Draft Beer, Soda and Bottled Water until the 7th Inning
  • 10% discount coupon for the Strike Zone gift shop.
  • Group recognition during the game.
Adults:                $60.00
Children:            $30.00


 
For more information,
please contact: 
Joe Coviello - 201-410-5487 or
Email the NJECPAC at njecpac@comcast.net

                                                    
  NJECPAC ~  P.O. Box 196
Fords, NJ 08863

Event proceeds will help to provide funding for Legislative Initiatives for the Electrical Industry
 and Small Business throughout New Jersey.

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