As previously discussed in our blog Inflation Reduction Act: Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements, the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”) restructured the tax credit system associated with qualified clean energy projects. In particular, to receive the full value of various tax credits, companies must now pay the prevailing wage rates and employ a certain number of registered apprentices in the construction, alteration, and/or repair of qualified clean energy facilities or projects as defined under the Code.
David B. Chidlaw is a partner in the firm's San Diego office where he specializes in labor and employment matters on behalf of management, employers and high net worth individuals.
President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“HR 5376”) (the “IRA” or the “Act”), on August 16, 2022.
There are numerous tax credits in the legislation that intend to facilitate access to clean energy. For the most part, these credits are available to energy producers or to support the construction or alteration of facilities to include energy efficient components. For example, the Act substantially changes and expands existing federal income tax benefits for renewable energy, including the existing Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code production tax credit (“PTC”) and Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code investment tax credit (“ITC”). Specifically, the Act replaced the renewable energy credit regime with a two-tiered system that would provide a “base” credit equal to 20% of the maximum credit and an “increased” credit equal to an additional 80% of the maximum credit that would be available only if certain prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are satisfied in connection with the relevant project.…
On September 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Board”) will hold a public hearing to address its draft proposed COVID-19 Permanent Standard (“Permanent Standard”). At the hearing, the Board will hear comments from the public in favor of adopting, amending, or repealing the Permanent Standard. The good news for employers who are tired of revising their COVID-19 policies is that the Permanent Standard largely tracks with the protocols already required under the current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). Additionally, the Permanent Standard eliminates or reduces some of the costly requirements under the current ETS. The bad news, however, is that it appears COVID-19 protocols are here to stay for the near future and California employers will need to continue to remain in compliance with the state’s COVID-19 regulations and enforce them in the workplace.…
On March 11, 2022, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed reverting the definition of “prevailing wage” under the Davis-Bacon Act to a definition used over 40 years ago. According to the DOL, the proposal is meant to modernize the law and “reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and planned federal construction investments.”…
Continue Reading Turning Back the Clock: DOL Proposes Previous Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Definition
We previously described the “framework” for an agreement to reinstate California’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 114 into law on February 9, 2022. The specifics of the bill are summarized below.
Author’s Note: The prior version of this article noted SB 114 required employers to list the amount of CSPSL used by an employee during a given pay period. SB 114 can be interpreted to require that wage statements list both available and used CSPSL. The wage statement section has been updated to reflect best practices in light of the ambiguity in the law.…
On January 25, 2022, Governor Gavin Newson announced a “framework” for an agreement to reactivate California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“COVID PSL”) law for the period from January 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022. California employers should assume this agreement will become law in some form and prepare accordingly to re-institute supplemental paid sick leave for their California employees in the near term.
Continue Reading California Likely to Soon Implement COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, Retroactive to January 1, 2022
In our annual California Legislative Update, we briefly explained that SB 606 expanded the enforcement authority of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) in various ways. With the new law’s effective date (January 1, 2022) right around the corner, we are providing a more detailed breakdown on the two new categories of Cal/OSHA violations created by SB 606 and its potential impact on California employers.
Continue Reading New Year Means Newly Expanded Enforcement Authority for Cal/OSHA
On December 17, 2021, in a “Friday Night Surprise” the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the Stay on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This seminal ETS applies to employers with 100 or more employees and requires that employees be either (1) vaccinated; or (2) weekly tested and fully masked if unvaccinated. While it is anticipated that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether the ETS stands, OSHA has already stated that they will begin enforcement of the ETS in January 2022. Specifically, OSHA will enforce all requirements except testing for unvaccinated employees beginning January 10, 2022, and enforcement related to testing will begin February 9, 2022.
Continue Reading OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Survival Guide
On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to adopt revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), and Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the revised ETS to go into effect immediately. The revised ETS now applies to nearly all workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Finally Enacts Revised Emergency Temporary Standards
UPDATE: At its June 9, 2021, special meeting, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to withdraw the revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that had been approved at its June 3rd meeting, and were set to go into effect on June 15th. Instead, Cal/OSHA indicated that it will further consider the recent guidance from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health with respect to face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals. For now, the original ETS that has been effective since November of 2020 will remain in place. The Standards Board will convene to consider potential further revisions at a future meeting, perhaps as early as its next scheduled meeting on June 17th. Stay tuned for further updates.
After several fits and starts, on June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board finally passed revised Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that now take into account employee vaccination status and loosening restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California’s elimination of the colored Tier system. The revised ETS will go into effect on June 15, 2021 and creates additional employer obligations beginning on July 31, 2021. The Cal/OSHA Standards Board has indicated that it will convene a subcommittee to consider further revisions in the coming months.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Approves Revised Emergency Temporary Standards
UPDATE: At its May 20, 2021, meeting, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board agreed to table its vote on the proposed revised Emergency Temporary Standards to allow Division staff time to draft potential revisions that would more closely align Cal/OSHA’s requirements with the CDC’s latest guidance concerning face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals. Proposed draft revisions will be posted by May 28, 2021, and that draft will come up for a vote on June 3, 2021. If approved, the revised ETS would become effective on June 15, 2021. We will provide further details as they arise.
Prompted by increased availability of vaccine appointments, and broad eligibility for all U.S. adults and teenagers, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) have loosened restrictions with respect to fully vaccinated individuals, defined as those who are two weeks past their final required vaccination dose (second dose of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or single dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine). Cal/OSHA now proposes to align itself with this guidance through proposed revisions to its Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), which have been effective since November of 2020, just prior to the pandemic’s winter peak. …
Continue Reading Significant Updates to Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards on the Horizon