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Insurance interests take note of resilience-wise White House policy

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.

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White House guidance stands to hamper transportation project permits

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.

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Appellate Court rejects challenge to union-tailored ‘ambush’ election rule

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision rejecting an Associated Builders & Contractors challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial “ambush” election final rule. ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson P.C. in Washington, D.C., argued the case on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC, and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas earlier this year in New Orleans.

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Feds prevail in ERISA-rooted charges against Cement Masons’ local officials

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.

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Guardsman case offers Laborers local reemployment rights reminder

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with Laborers Local 1149 in Wheeling, W.V., resolving claims the union violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by failing to reinstate U.S. Army National Guardsman Elliot Ferrell as an apprentice laborer after his return from three months of basic training. As a result, Ferrell was ineligible to continue to receive job referrals through the union’s hiring hall.

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