Colorado Green Now

The latest ALCC news, including Colorado Green NOW articles, legislative updates, and programming announcements. 

H-2B legislation updates Email
News

Below are a few updates on the current happenings with the H2B program & grassroots action needed. Feel free to call Kristen Fefes at 303 757-5611 with questions or comments.

H-2B legislation updatesNew H-2B Rules: Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. No amendments were offered to try to strike the beneficial H-2B language included in the bill. The bill includes language that would:

  • Allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule;
  • Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
  • Prevent DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee;
  • Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
  • Allow for the staggered crossing of H-2B employees.
Read more...
 
DOL proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility for 'white collar' workers Email
News

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding overtime eligibility for "white collar" employees:

With this proposed rule, the Department seeks to update the salary level required for exemption to ensure that the FLSA’s intended overtime protections are fully implemented, and to simplify the identification of nonexempt employees, thus making the executive, administrative and professional employee exemption easier for employers and workers to understand and apply.

The proposed rule extends overtime eligibility for nearly five million workers within the first year of its implementation. The DOL estimates that this change could cost employers an additional $1.2 billion per year. As proposed, the salary threshold would rise from $455 a week (the equivalent of $23,660 a year) to about $970 a week ($50,440 a year) in 2016. Details can be found in a fact sheet issued by DOL.

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Investigation on Herbicide 2,4-D Email
News

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) has issued the following legislative alert regarding a recent investigation of herbicide 2,4-D:

Background

2,4-D, a chemical found in some herbicides used in the landscape industry, was recently reviewed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The group rated 2,4-D as 2B – a possible carcinogen. The 2,4-D Research Task Force responded, saying “the IARC classification of 2,4-D as a '2B – possible' carcinogen is at odds with comprehensive cancer reviews completed by health and safety regulators worldwide.”

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Businesses can enforce drug-free workplace policy, judges rule Email
News
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 07:48 AM

Colorado state capitolA recent opinion issued by the Colorado Supreme Court has big implications in the workplace. The judges upheld the decision of the lower courts in Coats vs. DISH Network in a unanimous ruling on June 15, 2015. [Read the full ruling here.]

In the case, an employee who used medical marijuana—prescribed by a physician and legal in the state of Colorado—was fired under DISH’s drug-free workplace policy. The employee maintains that he used the drug outside of work hours and not on DISH property and felt that he was wrongfully terminated. The court maintained that since marijuana use violates federal law, DISH Network was within its rights to fire him.

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Turning a passion for sustainability into a marketing benefit Email
News
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 06:05 AM

 

Colorado Vista Landscape Design promotes sustainabilitySustainable landscapes and pollinator friendly gardens are a popular topic these days. But for Colorado Vista Landscape Design (an ALCC Sustainable Landscape Partner), it is a way of life that has also become a marketing strategy.

Tanya Fisher, owner of Colorado Vista, has incorporated her passion for water-wise, sustainable habitats into every aspect of her business. By promoting the importance—and the benefits—of wildscaping, xeriscaping, and other sustainable practices, she is helping improve the local ecosystem while gaining new clients.

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