WFCA On the Hill

Whether lobbying Congress with our partners at Jones Walker, or education on pressing industry legal issues from our general counsel, Jeff King, the WFCA is committed to championing the causes and issues that are important to you as a retailer. See below for the current issues impacting your business and how you can help to make your voice heard on the hill.

Department of Labor 2024 Prevailing Wage Seminars

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will offer compliance seminars for contracting agencies, contractors, unions, workers and other stakeholders on the requirements for paying prevailing wages on federally funded construction and service contracts. Part of the division’s effort to increase awareness and improve compliance, each day-long seminar will include sessions on the Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contract Actand other related topics. Participants can choose among the sessions offered throughout the day.

While seminar attendance is free, registration is required. Additional information, including links to the sessions for each date, will be provided to participants after registration. Participants need to only register for their preferred seminar date; registration is not required for the individual sessions.

The seminars are scheduled on Feb. 27, May 15, and Aug. 29, 2024. REGISTER NOW.

Important Employment Law Update: A Year in Review

This year has brought considerable reform to workplace law. With 2023 coming to a close, it is time to recap this year’s legal changes and prepare for what 2024 will bring. See below for articles from Jones Walker highlighting the most significant developments in labor and employment law from the past year.

For more guidance, please contact a member of the Jones Walker Labor & Employment Practice Group.

Client Alerts

"EEOC Rolls Out New Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - H. Mark Adams and Madison Gaines

"Fifth Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent, Expands Scope of Employment Discrimination Claims," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - Jennifer Faroldi Kogos and Jacob J. Pritt

"OSHA Is Not Backing Down — Employers Must Address Risks of Extreme Heat," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - Jane Henican Heidingsfelder and Connor H. Fields

"Practical Considerations for Corporate DEI Programs Following the Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Decision," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - H. Mark Adams and Emily Gauthier

"Religious Accommodation Requirements Just Took a Turn," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - Sidney F. Lewis, V

"Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment on Vessels: the Safer Seas Act and Legal Implications on Vessel Owners and Operators," Jones Walker LLP Maritime Client Alert - Sidney F. Lewis, V and Sara B. Kuebel

"Employer Obligations to Address the Rise in Workplace Violence," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - Jane Henican Heidingsfelder and Jacob J. Pritt

"New Federal Laws Require Additional Protections by Louisiana Employers for Pregnant Workers and Nursing Mothers," Jones Walker LLP Labor & Employment Client Alert - Jennifer Faroldi Kogos

Blog Posts

"NLRB Issues Memo on Non-competes Violating NLRA," Trade Secret Insider Blog - Sidney F. Lewis, V

"Legal Challenges the FTC Faces in Light of Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements," Trade Secret Insider Blog - Joseph F. Lavigne, Thomas P. Hubert, and P.J. Kee

Insurance — Do You Know What’s in Your Bank’s Policies?

The full article is available by clicking here. It is originally from a Jones Walker Banking and Financial Services Newsletter.

There are many different types of insurance — directors and officers (D&O), employment practices liability (EPLI), and general liability, to name a few. Unfortunately, many clients do not know what is in their policy or policies, including what is covered, their deductibles or retention, or, in some unfortunate cases, that they have no policy at all.

This article attempts to help you answer some simple questions about what to look for when you are buying a policy and what to look for in a current policy when you need to use it. It is not an attempt to promote any particular policy, as each policy has to be read in light of the specific facts at issue.

Click here to view the entire article.

Commercial to Residential Conversions: A Guidebook to Available Federal Resources

With the decrease in the demand for office space in the aftermath of COVID-19, the federal government and local cities like Philadelphia, New York, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles, are actively working to convert vacant office space into residential. A new federal funding guidebook is available (Link: Commercial to Residential Conversions: A Guidebook to Available Federal Resources) detailing federal resources available to facilitate the development of affordable housing through conversions.

These conversion programs may provide opportunities for flooring dealers. WFCA will continue to provide information on these opportunities. In addition, please contact our legal counsel, Jeffrey King at the law firm Jones Walker (jking@joneswalker.com) if you need any additional assistance or information regarding participating these programs.

Bill Alert: Main Street Tax Certainty Act

As you may know, over 98% of all businesses are “pass-through” businesses that benefit from the 20% tax deduction on qualifying income. Most WFCA members benefit from the pass-through deduction. The pass-through deduction is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025, and small businesses will be forced to reduce wages or eliminate jobs.

On May 24th, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), along with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and 12 Senate colleagues listed below introduced the Main Street Tax Certainty Act

List of Cosponsors: 

  • Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)
  • Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS)
  • Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID)
  • Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
  • Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL)
  • Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)
  • Sen. Bill Haggerty (R-TN)
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

This bill would make permanent the 20% pass-through deduction on qualifying income included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. To read a press release from Sen. Cassidy’s office explaining the bill, click here

If your home state Senator is not on the list of sponsors, we encourage you to call their office and ask them to cosponsor the Main Street Tax Certainty Act to protect small businesses in the flooring industry. If your home state Senator is on the list above, they are a current cosponsor of this important legislation, and a call to their office thanking them would be welcome.

To find your Senator’s office contact information, visit this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm or contact the U.S. Capitol Switchboard operator who can connect you directly with the Senate office at 202-224-3121.

Overview of Concerns Regarding the Nomination of Julie Su to Lead the U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Senate is currently debating the nomination of Julie Su to lead the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). As explained below, her record as the Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor raises concerns for small business owners.

The WFCA is requesting that you contact your Senators and urge then to oppose Ms. Su’s nomination. You simply need to call or text each office and explain:

The U.S. Senate is currently debating the nomination of Julie Su to lead the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). As a small business owner and job creator, I have serious concerns with Julie Su’s nomination for Labor Secretary, and I would urge Senator [Name] to oppose her nomination.

Overview of Concerns Regarding Ms. Su’s Nomination:

As Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Ms. Su’s actions were not friendly to small businesses.

  • Ms. Su was instrumental in the implementation of AB 5 —the controversial law that implemented the most restrictive standard for independent contractors, and effectively threatens to reclassified independent contractor as employees in the state of California.
  • Ms. Su also oversaw the Employment Development Department (EDD), the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) program, which paid out at least $31 billion in fraudulent payments, more than double the annual budget of the agency she will be responsible for managing. The California State Auditor found that, “Despite repeated warnings, EDD did not bolster its fraud detection efforts until months into the pandemic, and it suspended a critical safeguard.”
  • Ms. Su’s unsuccessful negotiation between rail employers and rail unions required Congress to step in and resolve the dispute.

Ms. Su’s tenure as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor has also raised questions.

  • Ms. Su is overseeing the development of independent contractor rule at DOL, that would make independent contractors employees simply because they were required to “comply with legal obligations, safety standards,” or developed and maintained a business relationship with a retailer. The proposed rule also requires a contractor make investment in its business, but excludes tools and equipment as part of the investment.
  • Ms. Su also supports a new joint employer rule that would impact the almost 800,000 franchises operating in our communities.
  • During Ms. Su’s tenure at DOL, she has had quarterly check-ins with a variety of other labor groups, but has had a single meeting with a private-sector employer.

WFCA needs your help in protecting against these policies that are likely to adversely impact flooring retailers and contractors.

To find your Senator’s office contact information, visit this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm or contact the U.S. Capitol Switchboard operator who can connect you directly with the Senate office at 202-224-3121.