ALCC LAB
More H-2B grassroots support needed Email
Monday, November 02, 2015 10:05 AM

 

H-2B senate legislation introduced

Last week on the LAB, we shared information about SB 2225, the H-2B legislation that was introduced late last week in the US Senate. Please call both Senator Gardner (202-225-5941) and Senator Bennet (202-224-5852) and ask them to support/cosponsor this bill.

Additionally, there is support needed for HR 2758, a House bill that will make the returning worker exemption permanent. We need some serious grassroots pressure to try and get this bill passed, as it’s almost certain the cap will be hit sooner this year than it was last year. Please call/tweet/post/email the Colorado House delegation and ask them to sign on to this bill.

You can view or download a sample grassroots letter here  (MS Word document).

View contact information for all Congressional delegates here .

Find Twitter contact information for Congress at the links below, and follow @COGreenNOW on Twitter for updates.

You can also follow the activities of the H-2B Workforce Coalition at their new web site, www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com. Read their recent media release in support of the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act here.

Previously on the LAB:
Senate H-2B legislation introduced
Urgent H-2B action needed (10/23/2015)
Quick H-2B update

 
H-2B Workforce Coalition supports the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act Email
Monday, November 02, 2015 03:05 AM

 

H-2B senate legislation introduced

The H-2B Workforce Coalition released the following statement today:

H-2B WORKFORCE COALITION LAUDS INTRODUCTION OF BIPARTISAN SENATE BILL TO REFORM H-2B VISA PROGRAM, PROVIDE CERTAINTY FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

Washington, D.C. – November 2, 2015 – The H-2B Workforce Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 various industry associations focused on protecting American workers by ensuring American small and seasonal employers have access to legal short-term temporary employees during peak business periods, today issued the following statement supporting S. 2525, the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act, which was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Mark Warner (D-VA).  The legislation is designed to help seasonal employers better navigate the H-2B temporary non-agricultural visa program and increase certainty for small businesses by allowing seasonal employers to better prepare for fluctuations in demand.

Read more...
 
Senate H-2B legislation introduced Email
Friday, October 30, 2015 02:00 AM

 

H-2B senate legislation introducedH-2B legislation – Save our Small & Seasonal Business Act of 2015 -- was introduced last night by a bipartisan group of Senators. Please call both Senator Bennet and Gardner and ask for their support. (To view or download the act, click here.)

Bennet’s office told ALCC this morning in a phone call that the calls and emails you all sent last Friday was the push they used to sign on to the Perez letter. Let’s see if it works again!

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Congress asks EPA questions on crumb rubber Email
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 02:00 AM

 

some athletic fields use rubber crumbA bi-partisan letter was sent to the EPA Administrator regarding the use of crumb rubber in sports fields. Representatives from the green industry, including the Irrigation Association, worked with the Congressional Energy & Commerce Committee to ask the EPA for answers related to the safety of crumb rubber used in synthetic turf fields.

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Urgent H-2B action needed (10/23/2015) Email
Friday, October 23, 2015 02:00 AM

Urgent H-2B action neededWe received the following email today from the H-2B workforce coalition. We ask you to take action TODAY by contacting Senator Bennet's office at (202) 224-5852 or at www.bennet.senate.gov/?p=contact. Ask him to sign the letters from Burr, Mikulski, Tillis, and Warner (Senator Gardener has already signed them). The deadline is 2:00 PM Mountain time (5:00 PM Eastern time), so please be sure to make your voice heard before the end of the day.

You can also tweet your support to @SenBennetCO and follow ALCC at @COGreenNOW for sample tweets.

Read more...
 
New guidance issued regarding vacation pay rule Email
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 02:00 AM

Photo courtesy Free Images/Fons ReijsbergenThe Colorado Division of Labor has issued new FAQs and an advisory bulletin to help clarify the new regulations regarding payment of unused vacation time.

While unused vacation time pay must be paid when an employee is separated, "use it or lose it" policies may be permitted for current employees. View the new FAQs at the Colorado web site

You may also view or download a pdf of advisory bulletins, including information on vacation pay, at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Advisory%20Bulletins.pdf

Previously on the LAB:
New vacation time rule for Colorado employers

 
Hearings have begun regarding DOL proposed rulemaking regarding overtime Email

The public comment period for Department of Labor’s “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Overtime” ended September 4, 2015. Approximately 290,000 comments were received before the deadline.

In October, hearings began to review the proposed rule change. Below, you can watch a recording of last week’s “The Consequences of DOL’s One-Size-Fits-All Overtime Rule for Small Businesses and their Employees” hearing. (For transcripts, visit http://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=103864).

Read more...
 
Clean water rule injunction extended nationwide Email

 

Image by Blake Richard Verdoorn

This morning, an appeals court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on enforcing the Waters of the US (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule. Most recently, a judge had clarified that the injunction was limited only to the 13 states (including Colorado) that had filed a lawsuit requesting the injunction.

While the preliminary injunction means that the rule will not be enforced at this time, the rule has not been completely withdrawn. Those opposed to the rule are encouraged to contact their Senators to express their concerns.

Contact information for Colorado Senators:

Bennet, Michael F. - (D - CO)     
(202) 224-5852
Contact: www.bennet.senate.gov/?p=contact

Gardner, Cory - (R - CO)     
(202) 224-5941
Contact: www.gardner.senate.gov/contact-cory/email-cory

Read more...
 
Japanese beetle quarantine: feedback requested Email

 

Image courtesy freeimages.com/rgbtweakerOver the past 5 years Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has focused its Japanese Beetle prevention efforts on external quarantine and monitoring nursery stock imported into Colorado from other states. Japanese Beetle infestation is known to be present in Denver and along the Front Range (see attached map), however, most of the state is still considered non-infested. This has prompted the CDA to propose various options to expand focus on potential movement of this insect from the Front Range area to other un-infested areas within Colorado.

The CDA is requesting ALCC member input on the proposed changes to expand the Japanese Beetle Quarantine to include the Colorado Front Range. It should be noted that this proposal does not prohibit plant purchases from along the Front Range but instead puts into place requirements that nurseries would need to abide by.

The following maps of the Front Range and Denver/Boulder/Greeley detail the Japanese Beetle detection areas within Colorado. The color coding on the maps is as follows: Green = no concern, Yellow = low to moderate populations, Red = moderate to high populations.

Please review the proposal and send your comments and/or feedback to Kristen Fefes by October 31.

 
This week in advocacy:10/2/15 Email

 

ALCC advocacy updateThe LAB presents big events and important happenings in legislative and regulatory affairs. But even when there are no major announcements, ALCC is working behind-the-scenes to keep the landscape industry part of the conversation when it comes to laws and regulations that affect it.
In the last week, ALCC has:

          • Communicated with planners of the Fort Collins water conservation plan and offered information and resources.
          • Submitted comments to the City of Greeley as they develop a water conservation plan.
          • Contacted members in the Fort Collins and Greeley areas to encourage them to get involved in water conservation plans.
          • Reviewed the Colorado Wage and Protection Act of 2014 (requiring employers to 'pay out' unused accrued vacation time when an employee is separated from a company), which is now in effect

ALCC members interested in participating in legislative and regulatory advocacy can contact [email protected] or call 303 757-5611 for more information.

 

 
New vacation time rule for Colorado employers Email

 

paycheckUnder the Colorado Wage and Protection Act of 2014, employers must now pay out any unused, accrued vacation time to employees when they are separated from the company.

While previous rules had been unclear, the new rule specifically prohibits employers from having a "use it or lost it" policy on vacation time. The State of Colorado does not require employers to have a vacation policy, but if one is in place then the rule applies.

ALCC recommends that employers seek review by legal counsel of their current policies regarding vacation time to be sure that they are in compliance with the new rule.

 
Action Needed for DOL Overtime Rule Email

 

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) has issued the following urgent action request regarding the Department of Labor's proposed rule changes to overtime regulations.

Read more...
 
This week in advocacy: 9/18/15 Email

 

ALCC advocacy updateThe LAB presents big events and important happenings in legislative and regulatory affairs. But even when there are no major announcements, ALCC is working behind-the-scenes to keep the landscape industry part of the conversation when it comes to laws and regulations that affect it.
In the last week, ALCC has:

Details on the reports and comments will be made available here on the LAB in the coming weeks. ALCC members interested in participating in legislative and regulatory advocacy can contact [email protected] or call 303 757-5611 for more information.

 

 
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