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To ensure federal contractors better comply with laws that protect their workers’ safety, wages and civil rights, the U.S. Department of Labor and Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council have issued final regulations and guidance implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, a contentious measure top construction officials dub the “blacklisting rule.” Phased implementation begins this month and continues through October 2017.

Past, present and future property loss mitigation was examined at a White House Forum on Smart Finance for Disaster Resilience (note page 10) panel discussion, whose participants included the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association has asked the Federal Highway Administration to withdraw a proposal to measure greenhouse gas emissions from new transportation projects. The agency action is part of larger performance measures required under the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law, and follows the White House’s early-August release of “Final Guidance on Considering Climate Change in Environmental Reviews” for federal agencies.

Continuing to focus on how to mitigate increasing economic consequences of extreme weather and other climate-related risks, especially as they relate to the architectural/engineering/construction community and the built environment, the White House hosted Forum on Smart Finance for Disaster Resilience. State and local government officials, along with insurance and financial services stakeholders, assembled last month to learn about new investment approaches and incentive programs presently deployed in communities, and to explore potential innovative financing mechanisms.

The Labor Department characterizes a U.S. District Court for the Central District of California decision against a Cement Masons Southern California Trust Funds trustee and attorney as a “victory for whistleblowers.” The court found that trustee and Cement Masons Local 600 business manager Scott Brain and trust counsel Melissa Cook violated two Employee Retirement Income Security Act sections when they caused the firing of Cheryle Robbins and Cory Rice.