Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
ROOF TALK
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: BUSINESS  LEGAL  TECHNICAL  SAFETY  MEMBERS IN THE NEWS  WSRCA UPDATES 

Contractors Counsel: Does California’s New “Gig Worker” Law Affect the Construction Industry?

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 21, 2019

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law

The foundation of California’s immense economy is based upon three industries: entertainment, technology and tourism. These industries heavily rely on “gig workers,”, individuals who provide paid services to multiple companies simultaneously and who have traditionally been classified as independent contractors. This structure is very similar to the model used in the construction industry. As California modifies the state employment regulations, construction contractors are wondering how the new “gig worker” law affects their day-to-day business operations and, more importantly, their bottom-line. The change will affect millions of workers statewide, but the good news is the law will likely have little effect on the construction industry right now. While the legislation, Assembly Bill No. 5 (“AB 5”), narrows the definition of “independent contractor”, subcontractors in the construction industry are exempt.

AB 5 seeks to stop the misclassification of workers and grant more individuals eligibility for standard employment benefits such as union memberships, health insurance and an hourly wage. AB 5 exempts specified occupations from application of the new definition and regulation. There are a wide range of exempt occupations such as licensed insurance agents, registered securities dealers, real estate licensees, and those performing work pursuant to a subcontract in the construction industry. It is important to note that this exemption does not apply to subcontractors providing construction trucking services, and those individuals have a separate set of regulations under the law. AB 5 establishes that the exempt individuals performing work pursuant to subcontracts in the construction industry are governed by S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 (“Borello”). Borello provides an eleven-factor balancing test which weighs the totality of the circumstances and was the test used in California prior to AB 5.

In addition to requiring the Borello test, AB 5 establishes seven additional requirements. The seven requirements are: (1) the subcontract is in writing, (2) the subcontractor is licensed by the Contractors State License Board and the work is within the scope of that license, (3) if the subcontractor is domiciled in a jurisdiction that requires the subcontractor to have a business license or business tax registration, the subcontractor meets the requirement, (4) the subcontractor maintains a business location separate from the contractor’s business location, (5) the subcontractor has the authority to hire and fire other individuals to provide or assist in providing the services, (6) the subcontractor assumes financial responsibility for errors or omissions in labor or services as evidenced by insurance, legally authorized indemnity obligations, performance bonds, or warranties relating to the labor or services being provided, and (7) the subcontractor is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature of the work performed. If the contractor demonstrates that all seven are met, then the individual will be considered an independent contractor.

As other states decide whether or not to follow California’s lead, AB 5 will have an impact nationally. It is too soon to tell how this will impact the national construction industry long term, but for now, it is safe to say that AB 5’s current effect on the construction industry is minor and your company should continue its business as usual.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general education information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

---

 

LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

ROOF TALK: Service Contracts Can Help Keep Crews Busy During Slow Periods

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 19, 2019

Courtesy of: Trent CotneyCotney Construction Law, WSRCA Legal Counsel

---

Roofing season is well underway, and your crews are likely beginning to feel the heat; both literally – from the summer sun – and instinctively – from an ever-growing backlog of work. However, sooner-or-later the weather and economy will render full roof replacements temporarily unrealistic for both your workers and your customers. When this occurs, your outfit cannot afford to sit idle as your competitors find ways to profit. Alternatively, you should consider offering servicing and maintenance options for you customers.

If you decide to offer service contracts as an option for your customers, your company will essentially agree to make repairs after a request has been made. Essentially, your company will be “on call.” A service contract should define the types of repairs that fall within its scope, dictate that the relationship is exclusive in the sense that the customer must come to your company when the customer’s roof is in need of repair, and whether payment is due upon completion of a repair or upfront. A service contract could enable a small crew of your workers to stay busy during the slow season, while not overcommitting your entire outfit should repairs become necessary during peak season. Additionally, a service contract can provide your customer with the peace of mind that any necessary roof repairs will be completed in a timely fashion by a reliable contractor.

By offering maintenance contracts as an option for your customers, your company will essentially agree to ensure that the customer’s roofing system is working in the proper manner by inspecting the roof system on a regular basis. The maintenance contract should define the specific types of maintenance included, the term of the agreement, and at what interval inspections and necessary maintenance actions will take place; for example, a 3-year term with bi-annual inspections and maintenance occurring in the spring and fall. Again, this could provide your company with steady work opportunities without encumbering your entire operation.

Both of these options can supplement your standard warranty and can be marketed to your customers as a form of value engineering; whereby you demonstrate that servicing and maintaining the roof during its lifecycle will save your customer money by increasing the roof’s longevity, and decreasing replacement costs by ensuring that the customer’s roof remains in a condition that accommodates issue-free roofing work. As the roofing industry becomes more and more competitive, incorporating service and maintenance offerings into your business model can help set your company apart from its competitors.

---

Trent Cotney is the founder of Cotney Construction Law, a law firm that specializes in roofing and construction law. He is also Legal Counsel to the Western States Roofing Contractors Association

As a Member of WSRCA, you'll receive the following:

• 15-Minute FREE consultation with the Cotney Construction Law Firm.

• Legal support on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration.

• CCL specializes in OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, and bid protests.

• CCL also specializes in construction document review and drafting.  CCL routinely represents contractors in the roofing industry.

---

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Trade’s Labor Crisis and How to Combat It

Posted By Kandi Hamble and Ashley Rannikar, Art Unlimited, Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Authors: Kandi Hamble and Ashley Rannikar

Company: Art Unlimited - brings Life to marketing. Providing roofing contractors and business owners digital marketing services since 1982.


On one side of the fence, people are struggling to find jobs. On the other side, employers are struggling to find qualified employees to fill those positions. Skilled trades have been especially hard hit. They are fighting against misconceptions and struggling to show the value they offer not only our communities but those who work the job.


When the recession started in 2007, it is estimated by the National Association of Home Builders that 70% of skilled laborers left the trade in search of a more stable career. Now that things are looking up, how many of those 70% have returned to the trade? Less than half. This is a brutal hit to a booming industry and economy. Additionally, Memphisdailynews.com reports that only one skilled tradesman enters the workforce for every five who retire.


In the face of these two obstacles, how can companies combat the hiring crisis? We believe the answer is to be a company worth working for - not just a paycheck, but a business who genuinely cares about your employees and improve their quality of life.


Everything you do sends a message. Here are three ways to overcome hiring obstacles from the inside-out:

 

  • Know your company purpose

  • Create your company personality

  • Change perception about your company

Know Your Company Purpose

As humans, we all look for purpose. We want our lives and our work to mean something. Time is our most valuable resource, and we want to spend it wisely. Knowing this, how does purpose fit into the jobs we choose? Purpose plays a major role, and while it may not always be crystal clear, it affects everything from how you feel about your job to how you interact with coworkers and customers.


Let me introduce to you two identical construction businesses in the same market.

Company 1 is a thriving company with a solid employee base. Turnover is rare, though they are almost always hiring because business is growing. People in the community know and trust this company.

Company 2, on the other hand, is struggling. They are always hiring because turnover is high. People inwardly groan when they see the company is working on something around town. Skilled people only work there if they are desperate.


What do you think the difference is between Company 1 and Company 2? The difference is in the leadership team.

 

  • The owner of Company 1 knows his purpose in the community. He is there to make it a better place to live and work. He knows his employees are a big part of making this happen.

  • The owner of Company 2 is frustrated by how difficult it has become to keep his business afloat. He takes his frustration out on his employees. He has lost sight of his purpose, why he started his business in the first place. He knows the owner of Company 1 and wishes his business could be thriving so well. But where does he start?


Do you think the owner of Company 2 can turn around his business? We KNOW he can! Let’s look closer at the owner of Company 1:

 

  • He sees his company as an integral part of his community. He has a purpose and is constantly sharing it. His work shows him carrying out that purpose.

  • His employees know the purpose of their work. They have ‘bought into it’ by working at Company 1. Each day is purpose-filled, which gives them the determination to see even the hard days through. They know the end result is improvement not only for the company but for their community.


Keeping this in mind, how can the owner of Company 2 –and you– use purpose to change the view of your company? How do you define your purpose? Here are four questions for you to answer for yourself. There is no right or wrong answer.

 

  1. What service do you provide? This may seem rudimentary, but it is important! How do you serve others through your company? This can help define your purpose. (example: We repair or replace roofs.)

  2. How do you provide your service? This could also be phrased: How do you treat your customers? What emotions do you want to evoke when your trade, your company, your brand is seen around town? What needs to happen to change this? (example: We communicate and care about those we work for. People are happy to see us.)

  3. What does your company offer the community? How do the services you supply help improve your community? What value do they give, either to individual families or the community as a whole? (example: New or repaired roofs keep families safe and their homes protected. This makes the community look good.)

  4. How do you give back to the community? This goes above and beyond selling your services. Think about how you can help your community through volunteering, donations, or education.


Defining your purpose is just the first step in changing the perception of your company. Keep in mind this will take time. At first, you will need to be very intentional about injecting your purpose into each decision. As time goes on it will become easier until you suddenly realize you are living and breathing your company's purpose in every action.

It all starts with you. By defining your purpose, how you improve your community, and how you treat others, you will bring change to your company. This will seep into your marketing and out into how the trades are viewed.

Create Your Company Personality

Did you know companies can have personalities? Going back to Companies 1 and 2, they each had different personalities based not only on who their leadership was, but what the purpose was.


Employees at both companies work hard, but at Company 1, they have fun doing it. A comradery has been built through teamwork and shared experiences. Coworkers are even doing things together outside of work hours. They feel valued by their employer.


At Company 2, employees work hard, get a paycheck, and go home to crash for a day or so before doing the grinding work all over. They feel like a number and unvalued. They don’t get along with co-workers and definitely don’t see them outside of work.


Which company would you work for?


One thing which defines your company personality is your core values. Having core values documented will work with your purpose to provide a code of conduct for your employees. Company culture and personality grow out of core values in action. They answer these six questions:

  1. What is it like to work at your company? Do you have consistent hours and fair compensation? Do you provide the resources needed for completing jobs? Do employees know what to expect when they start their first day of work? Do job seekers have a good idea about what they will encounter when they apply for a job?

  2. How do you treat your employees? Do you treat each employee fairly and with respect? Do you publicly appreciate and privately instruct on improvements? How do you show them they are not just working to make someone else a buck or two? Do you take responsibility for mistakes and work to make them right?

  3. How do you expect your employees to interact with others? This includes coworkers and people they meet throughout the course of the day. If they are working out in the public, they become advertising for your company and the trade they are working in. Anyone in the area will see and hear how they interact with each other.

  4. How should customers expect to be treated? Your customers will have expectations of how they want to be treated. Do your values and theirs align? Do your actions reflect your words? Practice what you preach!

  5. How are you involved in your community? What value do you add, aside from creating jobs? How do you pour into your community? Do people recognize you as a respectable business and get behind your work?

  6. How are you consistently showing your core values? From your online presence to in-person interactions, you need to deliver what you say you will. Consistency in all you do is critical to changing the labor crisis.

Keep your core values short, direct, and to the point. They must be easy to remember and act on. Putting these values into action will help you build trust with those who interact with your company. Stick to your core values and eventually everyone who comes into contact with your employees, property, services, website, and marketing will know what you stand for.

Change Perception About Your Company

What is the perception of the trade you work in? Changing the perception of the trades –and your company– may be one of the biggest ways to combat the hiring crisis. “Young adults often see vocational jobs as a grueling line of work offering no career advancement or financial and job security,” says the Washington Post.


In the quote from the Washington Post above, we see three major misconceptions to overcome. Grueling work, also often seen as undesirable hard work geared towards men only. Lack of career advancement and job security. Lack of financial security. How can you change these perceptions? Knowing your purpose and having a defined personality is a good start.


How can you get new people to buy into the trades? Drawing in a fresh perspective is always a great way to shake things up and make improvements, no matter the industry. How can you invite women into the trades? They have unique viewpoints and skills which can be a valuable asset to make the trades even stronger. On the flip side, if your employees are miserable working for you they will communicate that and this battle is already lost.


Thinking about career advancement and job security, how can the perception surrounding this be changed? If these jobs are considered low skill, changing the perception could be as simple as hosting workshops where interested people come to learn more about the job. Doing special training at your local high school could spark students’ interest while also giving them basic required skills. This could also help close the gap of gaining skills which may seem inaccessible. The costs of training and receiving lower pay as an apprentice may be doable for a young person out of school, but with a family comes greater responsibility.


What does financial security mean? This is different in each part of the country. Each day, millions of adults trade our valuable resource of time for a piece of paper which allows us to live in our homes, put food on the table, and clothe our families. It gives us the resources to get to work, church, school, and do fun things. If we worry about the paycheck we get, it affects each part of our lives – including our job. If the trades are seen as lacking in financial security then a large chunk of potentially great employees will not even consider such a career change.


Take a good, hard look at how your actions are affecting the trades. Your action - and inaction - speaks louder than words in changing perceptions. It all starts with you! Think about the message you are sending through your past and present employees. Treat them well, be clear on what you expect from them and from yourself.. Build a solid digital presence with consistent messaging in your website, job ads, and social media. Add in traditional media such as billboards, flyers, and newspapers. With each of these components, send a consistent message about working in the trades. Live and breathe your core values.


Everything you do sends a message. What message are you sending?


Kandi Hamble is the content editor at Art Unlimited. She produces great informative & educational content on a monthly basis for her clients’ websites & blogs. She loves improving her clients’ online presence through thoughtfully-crafted & individualized content. For more information, contact Art Unlimited, www.artunlimitedusa.com


Ashley Rannikar is an SEO manager at Art Unlimited. Her job is to increase website accessibility for users and search engines. She is an expert at increasing website ranking and a master at content writing. For more information, contact Art Unlimited, www.artunlimitedusa.com

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

5 Steps You Can Take to Help You Build A Predictable Sales Model

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, April 22, 2019

Courtesy of: Ryan Groth — Sales Transformation Group, Inc.,

---

The top 100 list provided by Roofing Contractor Magazine is really a special honor to achieve. When looking up and down the list each year, I recognize market leaders who I know are doing certain things better than everyone else. To be fair, the top line isn’t everyone’s measure of success for building their roofing business.  However, if you’re looking to become the best operator you can possibly be, just look at this list and you will notice a group of professionals that are inspired by the others on the list and are driven to innovate and share what they’ve learned to grow – which helps the industry grow. It’s a great honor to be on that list if you’re a roofing contractor. So, if you’re looking to find a way on the list or want to find yourself higher on the list, here are five steps you can take to help you get there.

The first step that your company should take is to designate a leader to oversee sales, after all the list is about the top line number. The “Sales Manager” is one of the Roofing industry’s most underfilled positions, however when filled properly it can be like switching out a four cylinder for a V8 engine for your company. Finding a good sales manager can be difficult, but with using the right tools you can identify the right competencies for the job.  From my experience working with several top 100 roofing contractors, grabbing a sales leader from a different industry can serve very well because they are used to more developed sales structures, which translates very well in roofing. However, be sure to screen them by using tools like I recommend – candidate assessment tools for example from Objective Management Group based in Boston, MA is a great way to identify Sales competencies. The biggest competencies that you’re looking for in a Sales Manager are: desire for sales success, commitment to do whatever it takes as long as it’s moral and ethical, the right outlook about themselves and your company’s future, taking responsibility (the opposite of excuse making), accountability, motivation, recruiting and coaching. Roofing technicalities are the easy part, they can learn that over time. Chances are, you as the owner have plenty of technical expertise, what you likely lack is the sales competency – which is where the Sales Manager comes in.

The second step you should take is making service and preventative maintenance a top priority. The reason I say this is that service repairs take the least amount of time to close, which makes the sale easier. When you can more easily sell to someone it’s more likely you will sell to many more people, which means you have a low barrier to entry to build many relationships and have a chance to provide a great experience for the client. It’s only when someone has worked with you can they refer you, and it’s only when you have referrals and repeat business do you build more and more trust in your market. If you know me already you’ll know that I preach that the big work comes naturally when you’re consistently focusing on the small work. As service revenue goes, construction revenue should go accordingly. Make sure that when you focus on service, also lock them into a preventative maintenance plan so that they only see your truck arriving at their property for years to come. At this point, you’ll be their trusted advisor and will be able to develop the scope and perhaps cut right through any red tape that could cause you to get your bid shopped out and must compete more heavily on price.

The third step you should take is to get a grip on your sales pipeline. Too often do I see in the roofing industry a “bid it and forget it” mentality. First, they jump right into the presentation of the bid upon invitation without slowing the process down to ask great questions and listen. The only question that most roofers ask when they get to a lead is “where’s your leak”? They don’t learn what is the real problem that’s a compelling reason to buy. The best management of the sales opportunity is when there’s urgency discussed before gathering the real qualification questions, like what they think a roof costs and their decision criteria and timeline. Too many times do I see the roofing industry have “happy ears” which describes contractors getting all excited about an opportunity and not having healthy skepticism. In fact, Objective Management Group has data of over 3,000 specialty contractor sales people and the findings say that we are in the bottom 11% in consultative selling and qualifying competencies out of 1.8 million sales people around the world. Our industry really stinks at managing the pipeline, but if worked on it can pay huge dividends. I’ve seen it occur myself while working with many of the top 100 roofers on this list.

The fourth step you should take is to get a sales pipeline CRM program. Did I just say a curse word, CRM? AH!!! Yes, you need to be able to see what’s going on in your future sales opportunities anytime you want. However, if you really want to see revenue grow then you should score each deal in the pipeline and hold everyone accountable to the appropriate expectations to drive more pipeline. Each deal should be followed up on until a decision is made along with a status of when the decision will be made.

The fifth and final step you should take to help you get on the top 100 list is to set goals. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive. You should really consider what is it that you want to achieve and to reverse engineer what it’s going to take to achieve it. It would really help if your sales manager and you came up with a compensation plan that matched these goals and held your sales people and estimators accountable for performing these activities. I also want to be clear with something, just because you don’t have a true “salesperson” right now, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate these things. One of my favorite lines is “on the way to perfect, you pass up a lot of good”. The principle that I take from this (and teach my clients) is to get started, and don’t expect perfection right away. Tiger Woods said recently in an interview when talking about Lebron James, “anyone can be great for a week, a month, a year. But can you be great for a decade, two decades? What Lebron is doing is unbelievable because he’s doing it for such a long time.”  In closing, you should think about getting on the Roofing top 100! But do what Tiger says, be on there for a long time. Can you stay on there for five year, ten years, twenty years? I hope you can.

 

Good selling,

 

Ryan Groth

President — Sales Transformation Group, Inc.

---

 

LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

 

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A View From the Hill - Political News: Proposed DOL Overtime Rule

Posted By Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC, Tuesday, March 26, 2019


 

by Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC


On March 7, the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) released a proposed regulation to update the salary-level test for determining when a “white collar” employee is exempt from earning overtime. The Obama Administration issued a regulation in 2016 that would have doubled the salary level from $23,660/year ($455/week) to $47,476/ year ($913/week), but it was halted by a federal judge in a challenge led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the basis that the threshold was so high it made the duties test no longer relevant and thus was beyond the statutory authority of the Secretary of Labor. That decision is currently on appeal in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals while the Trump Administration proposes a more modest update to the overtime regulation, which was last adjusted in 2004.

The proposed rule raises the threshold to $35,308/year ($679/week) and, as advocated by business organizations, reverts to methodology used in the 2004 rule that focused on the 20th percentile of full-time wage earners in the lowest income region of the country (identified as the South) and the retail industry as the baseline. It also makes no changes to the duties tests and has no auto-update feature, both of which are key points for business as well. However, the regulation does seek comments on conducting regularly scheduled rulemakings to update the salary threshold.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE...

Western States Roofing Contractors Association

---

Not a Member of Western States RCA?  Click Here to Join!
or call Toll Free 1-800-725-0333

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

5 Keys to Increase Word of Mouth Referrals in your Roofing Contracting Business

Posted By Matt Ward, Breakthrough Champion, Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Contractors, and specifically roofers rely heavily on word of mouth referrals for new  business. In fact, when I speak with contractors across the country and conduct informal  polls during my speaking sessions, I see that greater than 90% of the room indicates that  referrals are the number one source of new business for their company.

Yet, even with such high numbers and importance on referrals, less than 10% indicate that  they have a process to grow their word of mouth referrals in a much more predictable  fashion.

Most business owners tell me that their way of getting more word of mouth referrals is to  ask, however in discussions, they quickly find that asking never works. It puts the person  asked in a very difficult and uncomfortable situation of being forced to respond.  So let’s dig  into what really does work!

1. Start with a caring mindset. Word of mouth referrals are a byproduct of caring. They  are a direct result of you putting forward information and care toward others. When  you care for others, they recognize you in ways that you don’t ask for. They will  actually tell many more people about your caring nature and why they should do  business with you! When you show up constantly for others, they want your business  to be a success, as such, they refer you! You can asses how well you care about  others through a free self-assessment at www.ICanCareMore.com

2. Over Deliver - Find ways to over-deliver with your customers, partners and referral  sources. There are a number of ways to do this, including quality, time of delivery,  amount of communication, and many more.  Each business is unique in how they  operate their respective business, so you need to take a look at your business and see  how you can over-deliver in ways that are meaningful to your customers.  Consider  how you deliver your product.  Are there ways you can give your customer something  memorable?  When your product or service is a roof, that might be tough, but you  can find ways to stand out, be unique, and over deliver. In fact...I challenge you to do  just that! 

3. Listen - Listening is key to getting more referrals. When you listen to others, they  notice, because your gifts, your care, your words, and your actions show clearly that  you know them well and that you listened to them. Often when I am conducting  workshops or seminars around the country we get knee deep into the weeds of  listening and we talk about multiple ways that you can listen.  The two most common  ways to listen are with your ears and your eyes. The ears are what we know and are  used to, but the eyes, that’s a whole different approach.  Using your eyes, to listen to  what people are sharing on their personal and professional social media channels.  These posts tell you a story about who they are, and what they are about.  Using this  information you can effectively connect with these contacts on a more deeper level  and with much more intentionality.

4. Surprise - When you surprise your contacts (both customers and non-customers) you  leave an impression that is memorable, resulting in a story.  It’s these stories that  others share and creates word of mouth referrals. Consider ways that you can  surprise people, whether it’s in your operations, delivering, communication, or simply  just when they haven’t heard from you in a while, you appear, full of joy and  recognizing them!  I’ll never forget the time that I read an article by a friend, and  buried in that article was a single sentence professing her love of chocolate covered  bacon. I immediately bought some for her and shipped it to her. She then posted all  over social media about the surprise gift. Not only was she pleased that I listened to  what she was saying in her article, but she was completely surprised!  Finding ways  to surprise others is so rewarding!  I highly recommend it and it does, in fact, produce  more referrals. It did for me!

5. Non-Self Serving Acts - When you can do things for others with no intention of  gaining anything in return, it shows. The recipient will never feel like they are being  manipulated into a sales conversation, and this is key!  When you put the focus on your contact and you do things in service of them, it’s a win-win for all! One example  of how I achieve this is I give away books that I believe are helpful to others in  growing their business. This shortlist of books (4 of them) were powerful for me and  help me start, run, grow, and ultimately sell my business.  I order multiple copies of  these books and keep them on my bookshelf for easy mailing. When I ship out a  book, I write a custom note in the cover, making it personal and sharing with the  recipient why the book was helpful for me. 

Finally, stay in touch. With all 5 of these keys, what is most important is that you stay in  touch with your contacts, constantly touching base and letting them know that you are there  for them, sharing information with them, and being available.  Showing up in others lives is  keys to getting more word of mouth referrals. If you stay in touch, without asking for sales  you will get more referrals. 

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

5 Signs Your Roofing Business Needs Accountability

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, January 14, 2019
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2019

 

 

Courtesy of: Rebekkah Anderson, WiseElephantConsulting.com

 

---

 

While running a business, it can take time to get to the root of a problem. To speed up the investigation process, we've compiled five signs that your roofing business might need more accountability!

 

 

1. Your Overhead is Through the Roof

Pun not intended, but you can still roll your eyes if you feel the need. If you find that your bookkeeper is starting to raise squiggly eyebrows at some of the numbers you've been pushing out, you might have an accountability problem. You might also have an even bigger problem if you are still running all of the numbers yourself and haven't had a chance to hire an accountant. Getting a regular accounting audit with improvement recommendations can help you know where your overhead is getting too large.

 

The roofing industry has pretty great information about profit margins, vertical returns, and industry growth metrics to benchmark your business against. Don't let it all come out in the tax season.  You could find there are many missing receipts, mis-documented paperwork, or adjusted estimates that didn't get turned in correctly to be invoiced out to customers.

 

Last year, I heard a roofing contractor say their team had to squeeze to make payroll because they had lots of customers, but $1.5 million in accounts receivable heading into the Christmas season! A good accountant pays for him or herself! Use them to find where your business procedures need more accountability.

 

 

2. You Keep Losing Good People

This is especially true for those of you who are trying to grow. You see someone with potential, they start to shine, and as they hit their prime, they leave or burn out. This could be because the rest of your team is de-motivating them to succeed with lack of accountability.

 

If you team doesn't have accountability metrics to see who is performing well and who is not, it's hard to reward those who are doing it right. If you don't have a great incentivization structures built in place for your new and old staff, you will see your good people slowly leave as they realize their work isn't valued.

 

Those that do stay, realize they don't have to work as hard because no one else is giving it their all. This leaves you with the sub-par team and higher overhead. Don't wait till you lose your best crew members to keep people accountable.

 

 

3. Your Team Appears Unmotivated

This might come through as having no sense of urgency. Your team doesn't really understand why it's so important to the homeowner to show up on time or to leave early. You keep getting requests for personal days off, and it's like pulling teeth to get people to show up for make-up days! This doesn't come as a surprise to many roofing contractors today. You might be blaming it on the new generation's work ethic, but your team is disengaging.

 

Keeping your team accountable to show up, have great service, and come through for the customer means setting performance metrics in place for each team member and individual. Have clear expectations and clear ground level requirements. One business owner I know created tiers of excellence rewarded by a 25 cent hourly bonus for each tier of excellence. The first tier started with just showing up to work on time and in a clean uniform.

 

Whatever is your biggest struggle and most important to your roofing business' future should be in your first tier incentive before being eligible for further incentives. Keeping your team engaged through accountability means your business will be more profitable.  Gallup reports 22% higher profitability and 21% productivity for workers who were engaged in the workplace.

 

 

4. Customer Complaints & Negative Reviews Take Up More Than 1 Hour a Month

If you're handling more than an hour a month of negative feedback from your customers, managers, project leads, digital reviews, (or community even), you have an accountability problem.

 

Your team should be responsible to represent themselves and your roofing business well wherever they go. If you wear the company logo, you wear the company values. This accountability needs to happen at all levels of the company internally and externally.

 

Many times, this is an area roofing contractors don't equate with an accountability problem, but your customers will tell you otherwise if you listen! They know pretty specifically what it was that made them upset with your business if you take the time to ask. Did I mention that if you solve this one you will gain about a 90% level of trust within your local area? With 88% of customers trusting online reviews almost as much as a personal referral, you can't afford to lack accountability.

 

 

5. You Have a Low Lead to Customer Conversion Rate

This is absolutely an accountability problem.  No matter how many times your sales team tells you the marketing team didn't give them quality leads, or your just aren't getting enough leads period, you have accountability as an issue.  It could be where you're spending your marketing budget, it could be a sales person refusing to ask for the sale, or it honestly even be how your front office person answered the phone today!

 

A low conversion rate means your customers are going with someone else or refusing to buy, AFTER they became a business lead.  You must track all parts of your customer's life cycle and measure it against benchmarks in order to know where the accountability problem lies.

 

A low lead to conversion rate is probably the hardest problem to overcome as a roofing business (because there are so many moving pieces involved), but the most financially rewarding problem to fight. Did you know that in the construction industry the average sales conversion rate is 22%? I was actually a bit shocked by this one!

 

Creating strong accountability systems within your roofing business will save you from mistakes, give your more time, limit frustrations, and keep your best team members for the long haul. If you need help knowing where to start, give us a call! Wise Elephant Consulting helps roofing contractors save money and grow their businesses strategically.

 

 

 

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Introducing Interior Protection for Reroofing Projects

Posted By Dana Whedon, TuffWrap® Installations, Inc., Friday, December 7, 2018

Roofing professionals face a myriad of challenges when assessing a reroofing project. Each facility is different and so is its roof. But one challenge that can be easily overlooked is what happens on the inside of the facility when work is being done on the roof outside.

It is well-known that dust and debris can easily find their way into a facility while reroofing is taking place. Dirt, metal shavings and pieces of roof deck are all potential contaminants. Even in the case of a simple overlay, the movement of the crew on the roof can disturb existing dust on the interior high structure areas. It is important that all project participants and customers understand the potential risks to the inside of the building and what their options are to avoid them.

If the facility does not seem to be sensitive in nature, it may seem acceptable to skip this step in the planning process. Regardless of the upfront perceptions around offering interior protection, many commercial/industrial roofers and roofing consultants have determined from experience that not unlike an insurance policy, professionally installed dust and debris containment is worth the time and investment.

This is because sensitive products are not limited to food, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Anything being manufactured, stored or displayed can be impacted by the introduction of reroofing dust and debris.

And the risk is not limited to products. If people will be inside the building throughout the reroofing activities, interior protection provides an extra level of assurance about their safety. Many times, a business cannot close or stop production during reroofing, making an ongoing clean up schedule impossible. Interior protection allows the work to continue safely without disrupting operating schedules.

So how does interior protection work? In the case of reroofing, a suspended cover is hung below the roof deck to capture falling debris. It is generally a reinforced poly that when installed properly, is fully sealed around any penetrations to avoid dust infiltration. In addition, many providers offer added material options such as antimicrobial, antistatic and flame resistant. The suspended cover is installed prior to the roofer beginning the tear off and is removed by the interior protection provider post-project.

If during the project planning, it is determined that interior protection could be beneficial, the next step is to contact a provider. Like any contractor in the construction business, an interior protection provider should have specific qualifications. The installation team should be OSHA certified, lift certified and professionally trained to install the solution. Ideally, they should have the ability to work with your project schedule and have a project manager readily available to address questions and concerns. Most importantly, their suspended cover solution should meet NFPA 13 in order to avoid compromising the fire sprinkler system.

Fire sprinklers are usually located in the same area where the suspended cover is installed. This would normally create an impairment. However, the interior protection industry has options to avoid this challenge. It is important to choose a provider that has the ability to install a solution that meets NFPA 13, allowing the fire sprinklers to function as designed.

By introducing interior protection upfront, any confusion or misgivings about the interior of the building is avoided. Throughout the project duration, customers can continue to utilize their facility without worrying about negative impacts to their products or daily operations. Ultimately, dust and debris containment not only contributes to overall success of the reroofing project but it gives the customer peace of mind.

Dana Whedon
Marketing Manager
TuffWrap® Installations, Inc.
www.tuffwrap.com

 
TuffWrap® Installations, Inc. is an innovative dust and debris containment company providing interior protection solutions to a variety of industries undergoing construction projects. Protecting our clients, their products and their brands from dust and debris is our priority.

Tags:  BUSINESS  MEMBERS IN THE NEWS  TECHNICAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Use Free Inspections to Land More Roofing Service Business

Posted By FCS Roof Software, WSRCA Associate Member, Monday, October 8, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2018

 

Over the last eight years, our team at FCS has had the opportunity to work with thousands of successful roofing contractors. Not surprisingly, many of them have stated that their continuous growth was a direct result of increasing their service and repair work while also providing an exceptional customer service experience.

Recognize the Need for “Free”

These successful roofing contractors all understood one thing – that in order to have a steady pipeline full of prospects for their sales team and increase their service work, they needed to offer free, no obligation roofing inspections to get those customers in the door first.

Roofing companies that offer free inspections end up getting much closer to their potential customers – a lot faster. And, they are starting off the relationship on the right foot by positioning themselves as an advisor, identifying current and future problem areas on their roof right from the start.

It’s important to keep in mind that some activities that may currently be unprofitable can pay off in the long run if the customers are good long-term prospects. Sales efforts in 2018 will have a long-term impact on sales and profitability in 2019 and beyond.

Provide Detailed Inspection Reports

One of the ways to stand out from the competition is to provide a detailed roofing analysis report upon completion of the inspection. An Inspection Report instantly gives you more credibility and will also allow the prospective customer to make an informed decision on their roofing work – without having to set foot on the roof. These reports will provide the condition of the roof’s membrane, flashings, perimeter edge and fascia, expansion joint covers, pitch pockets and penetrations.

Inspection Reports should also indicate the exact locations in addition to describing and prioritizing the roof work needed (emergency vs. remedial) with any related costs and photos. These reports can also be used in preparing and submitting requests for warranty repairs.

Offer Ongoing Service Agreements

Your Inspection Reports should also ALWAYS be accompanied with an ongoing roof maintenance plan recommendation or Service Agreement which will maximize the capacity and longevity of their roof.

By offering customers ongoing Service Agreements, you create “sticky” relationships whereby customers stay loyal and continue to generate predictable revenue.

Consider offering a dedicated Service Agreement that includes a 2-hour emergency arrival time and locked-in rates that they can incorporate into their roof’s maintenance budget.

Get Ready for More Inspections

As the demand for your roofing inspections grow, you need to be able to manage them efficiently and offer an experience that keeps your customers happy. Here are some ways to be more efficient and profitable:

  • Follow-up with inspection inquiries ASAP as they may be requesting a free inspection from multiple companies in the same day.
  • Track your inspection results and see how they measure up (i.e. how many new customers do your free inspections yield?).
  • Create a template for your Inspection Reports in which you can include photos, date stamps and canned recommendations for each deficiency.
  • Create a template for your Service Agreement in which you outline the various roof maintenance options you offer.
  • Store and track warranty information.
  • Go paperless by granting your customers online access to project management tools that help them track job progress, expenses, costs and historical information for budgeting and future reference.
  • Provide automated inspection and service/repair status updates via text or email.

Looking for an easy to use inspection tool?

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A View From the Hill - Political News: OSHA's Regulatory Agenda

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 20, 2018

A VIEW FROM THE HILL: Political News

By: Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC

---

President Trump’s actions on federal regulations have worked so well that there’s basically been a freeze on new regulations while older ones are repealed or pared back.  But an exception is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has continued to pursue an Obama-era regulatory agenda.

One of the standards drafted under President Obama that went into effect in the Trump Administration is the silica rule.  This rule shouldn’t have become effective for construction last year, because the Permissible Exposure Limit and Action Level are too low and work requirements and engineering controls are unrealistic in many situations.  Thus, OSHA says it will publish a Request for Information to start fixing the rule, but the enforcement moratorium is over and OSHA inspectors are issuing silica citations.

Another dubious policy from OSHA is its proposed rulemaking to revise the electronic injury and illness reporting rule that was issued by the Obama Administration and formerly known as the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.  OSHA’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would modestly lighten the reporting burden for employers, but is silent on issues that most concern the business community and actually adds a controversial new disclosure requirement.

OSHA issued the original Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule in 2016 and it required establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit to OSHA recordkeeping data on the 300A, 300 and 301 forms.  The rule also required certain establishments with 20 – 249 employees to submit their 300A forms based on a list sorted by the North American Classification System that includes construction.

In addition, OSHA added a “whistleblower” provision that employers must post a “reasonable” policy on how employees are to report their injuries and safety violations.  Furthermore, the rule’s preamble states that most safety incentive and post-accident drug testing programs would be considered “unreasonable” and in conflict with the statute’s anti-retaliation (whistleblower) protections.      

On July 8, 2016, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups sued OSHA, targeting the impact on safety incentive and drug testing programs under the whistleblower provision.  On Jan. 14, 2017, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another set of business groups filed a second lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma seeking a permanent injunction of the entire rule.

Both cases are stayed to allow the Trump Administration time to determine how to respond and OSHA must submit updates every 90 days to the court in Oklahoma.  But OSHA’s new rulemaking is so minimal that plaintiffs might reactivate the lawsuits.

The NPRM would change reporting requirements for establishments of 250 or more employees to just 300A forms, but it’s silent on the whistleblower provision and scrubbing sensitive information from submissions before posting on the OSHA website.  And it would add a controversial new requirement that establishments must include their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) on their submissions.

In the meantime, employers should have submitted 300A forms electronically to OSHA by July 1, 2018.  Also, on April 30, 2018, OSHA clarified that employers in state-plan states where the state has not yet issued a companion regulation still must meet the federal requirements.  Finally, in 2019 and annually thereafter, the 300A form must be electronically submitted by March 2.              

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A View From the Hill - Political News: OSHA's Regulatory Agenda

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 20, 2018

A VIEW FROM THE HILL: Political News

By: Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC

---

President Trump’s actions on federal regulations have worked so well that there’s basically been a freeze on new regulations while older ones are repealed or pared back.  But an exception is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has continued to pursue an Obama-era regulatory agenda.

One of the standards drafted under President Obama that went into effect in the Trump Administration is the silica rule.  This rule shouldn’t have become effective for construction last year, because the Permissible Exposure Limit and Action Level are too low and work requirements and engineering controls are unrealistic in many situations.  Thus, OSHA says it will publish a Request for Information to start fixing the rule, but the enforcement moratorium is over and OSHA inspectors are issuing silica citations.

Another dubious policy from OSHA is its proposed rulemaking to revise the electronic injury and illness reporting rule that was issued by the Obama Administration and formerly known as the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.  OSHA’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would modestly lighten the reporting burden for employers, but is silent on issues that most concern the business community and actually adds a controversial new disclosure requirement.

OSHA issued the original Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule in 2016 and it required establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit to OSHA recordkeeping data on the 300A, 300 and 301 forms.  The rule also required certain establishments with 20 – 249 employees to submit their 300A forms based on a list sorted by the North American Classification System that includes construction.

In addition, OSHA added a “whistleblower” provision that employers must post a “reasonable” policy on how employees are to report their injuries and safety violations.  Furthermore, the rule’s preamble states that most safety incentive and post-accident drug testing programs would be considered “unreasonable” and in conflict with the statute’s anti-retaliation (whistleblower) protections.      

On July 8, 2016, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups sued OSHA, targeting the impact on safety incentive and drug testing programs under the whistleblower provision.  On Jan. 14, 2017, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another set of business groups filed a second lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma seeking a permanent injunction of the entire rule.

Both cases are stayed to allow the Trump Administration time to determine how to respond and OSHA must submit updates every 90 days to the court in Oklahoma.  But OSHA’s new rulemaking is so minimal that plaintiffs might reactivate the lawsuits.

The NPRM would change reporting requirements for establishments of 250 or more employees to just 300A forms, but it’s silent on the whistleblower provision and scrubbing sensitive information from submissions before posting on the OSHA website.  And it would add a controversial new requirement that establishments must include their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) on their submissions.

In the meantime, employers should have submitted 300A forms electronically to OSHA by July 1, 2018.  Also, on April 30, 2018, OSHA clarified that employers in state-plan states where the state has not yet issued a companion regulation still must meet the federal requirements.  Finally, in 2019 and annually thereafter, the 300A form must be electronically submitted by March 2.              

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Why Online Reviews Are So Important For Roofers

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 23, 2018

Courtesy of WSRCA Member: Broadly.com

As a roofing company, you are always looking for more ways to get more customers. Marketing for roofers can seem like a daunting task, especially when you are a one-man operation or your company doesn’t have a marketing person.

A lot of contractors across the Western United States will tell you that word of mouth marketing leads to some of the best customers. Now with the power of the internet, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

This is the reason why getting online reviews can be such an important part of a roofers marketing strategy.

Below are tips on how to ask for online reviews and how to handle those reviews. If you have questions or need help managing reviews we are happy to show you a demo of our online review software.

Online Reviews For Roofers

Infographic by Broadly.com - Online Reviews for Construction

Tags:  BUSINESS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

PARTY WHO PARTICIPATES IN ARBITRATION CANNOT THEREAFTER BACK OUT

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 16, 2018

By Kenneth S. Grossbart
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

---

The subject of Arbitration has been discussed by me in previous articles. This article again addresses the concept of Arbitration but with a twist.

Arbitration is an alternative form of resolving disputes. It is an alternative to the filing of a lawsuit and proceeding with your case through the court system. Arbitration is a very popular form of dispute resolution and oftentimes is faster and cheaper than going through the court system.

Arbitration is a consensual process which means in order for the parties to arbitrate a dispute all parties must consent to having the matter arbitrated. Oftentimes that consent comes in the form of an Arbitration Clause that is contained in the contract between the parties. In this set of facts, Company A signed an Advertising Insertion Order with Company B. The Order included an agreement to arbitrate all disputes. During the course of the relationship between Company A and Company B, Company A accumulated an unpaid balance with Company B. Company A filed a Demand for Arbitration seeking damages in the amount of the unpaid balance. Company B agreed that they signed the Order but claimed that the Order was unenforceable because Company A’s products were fraudulent. Regardless of the claims of Company B, Company B voluntarily participated in the Arbitration and in fact asked the Arbitrator to issue an Order requiring one of the parties to post a Bond. Company B later rescinded its participation in the Arbitration proceedings when the Arbitrator declined to issue the Order. The Arbitrator ultimately found for Company A and the trial court confirmed the Arbitration Award. Company B challenged the Arbitrator’s jurisdiction arguing that he did not consent to arbitrate the dispute.

The matter was reviewed and ruled upon by the appellate court. The appellate court confirmed the lower court’s ruling finding that the parties did in fact consent to Arbitration. The appellate court found that Company B’s conduct and participation in the Arbitration showed that he clearly and unmistakably consented to Arbitration. First Company B did not object to Arbitration, they willingly participated in the Arbitration proceedings, availed themselves of the Arbitrator’s authority when asked to have the Arbitrator rule upon the posting of a Bond and thereafter tried to rescind his voluntarily participation after the Arbitrator denied the request. Thus the court found that Company B’s actions constituted clear and unmistakable evidence that he consented to the Arbitration proceedings.

The take away from this set of facts is that if you challenge the jurisdiction of an Arbitration Tribunal, it must be done at the beginning of your case. You cannot temporarily participate in the Arbitration proceedings and then at some point in time when you don’t like how the Arbitration is proceeding attempt to back out. Courts will consider your participation to constitute a clear and unmistakable evidence of your consent to arbitrate.

---

Kenneth Grossbart is recognized as one of the foremost authorities in California construction law. Over the past 35 years, Ken has become a respected speaker on Mechanic’s Liens and other construction related issues. Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman provides this information as a service to its friends & clients and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. This document is of a general nature and is not a substitute for legal advice. Since laws change frequently, contact an attorney before using this information. Ken Grossbart can be reached at Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman: (818) 760-2000 or by E-Mail at , or at ksg@agrlaw.com

June / July ‘18

www.agrlaw.com

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Reefer and Roofers – The Impact of Legalization of Marijuana

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 9, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney — Cotney Construction Law

 Tel: 866.303.5868 | Email: tcotney@cotneycl.com

---

 Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, it is becoming apparent that Marijuana is here to stay.  While many states have legalized Marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, what is unclear are the potential liabilities for an employer whose employees are actively using the drug, particularly at work.  Questions arise such as can you require that your employees don’t use marijuana at all?  Due to the inherent dangers involved in the roofing industry, an employer has real and justified reasons for not wanting his or her employees to be under the influence while on the job.  Unlike alcohol, testing for marijuana has a way to go and as more and more states legalize the drug, the issues already present will only be further complicated.

Currently 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized either recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. During the 2016 election cycle, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Vermont is the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through state legislature and the law went into effect on July 1, 2018.

While certain states allow recreational and medicinal marijuana use, the drug is still illegal at the federal level. This divergence between state and federal law creates a variety of unique issues for employers.  Due to marijuana being illegal at the federal level, those working under a government contract or for a federal employer are prohibited from using marijuana in any way (even if it is for medicinal purposes). This prohibition extends to both on site use as well as off-site/at-home use. Accordingly, under federal law, the roofer employer has the ability to fire an employee for failing a drug test under the aforementioned federal work conditions.

If you’re an employer working under a federal contract, then the law is quite clear. Handling marijuana usage for roofers on private and state projects, however, is quite hazy (no pun intended). Two of the biggest issues still up in the air include: employees arriving to the job under the influence of marijuana, and zero-tolerance drug policies.  A number of other state courts have upheld employers’ right to continue to implement zero-tolerance policies. This results in employers likely being able to continue to enforce their zero-tolerance drug policies.

Since marijuana use impairs an individual’s motor functions, employers who have employees who operate machinery, vehicles, or other type of equipment will certainly not want them doing so under the influence of marijuana. Further, there is not presently a method for testing whether an individual is currently under the influence of marijuana. Drug tests simply show that the individual has used marijuana within the past 30 days (the length varies by different testing methods). These are further reasons to continue to drug test employees and enforce zero-tolerance policies when it comes to on-site safety.

While other state courts have upheld an employer’s right to discipline employees for failing a drug test for marijuana use, employers should still be wary of how courts will respond to the implementation of both recreational and medicinal marijuana laws. Further, state legislatures and other administrations have stated they will continue to provide updates and guidance on how marijuana laws will affect roofing employers/employees.

---

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law, is an advocate for the roofing industry, General Counsel of Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC), and several other local roofing associations. For more information, contact the author at 866.303.5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com.

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A VIEW FROM THE HILL - POLITICAL NEWS: Regulatory & Tax Reform Update

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, May 21, 2018

Regulatory and Tax Reform Update

By: Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC

When President Trump took office, he signed Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 to cut federal regulations.  EO 13771 says no new rules can be issued without cutting two existing regulations, and EO 13777 put White House monitors in the agencies to enforce deregulation efforts.  As a result, the 2017 Federal Register contained 61,308 pages of regulatory actions, which is the lowest count since 1993 and a 36% drop from 95,894 pages in 2016, the highest level ever recorded.

Unfortunately, one of the rules finalized under President Obama that went into effect under President Trump is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) silica rule.  However, the federal government’s Spring Regulatory Agenda was released in May and an OSHA entry announces it will publish a Request for Information (RFI) to revise the construction silica standard’s Table 1 engineering controls.  

Though publication of the RFI in the Federal Register is probably a few months down the road, OSHA’s commitment to do an RFI could ultimately lead to a reopening of the rule.  This positive development is a result of negotiations with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, which is also working with OSHA to develop a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the rule’s complex set of requirements. 

OSHA also appears not to be aggressively enforcing the rule while negotiations are ongoing, at least in Fed-OSHA states, and hopefully President Trump’s pick to head the agency, Scott Mugno, will soon be confirmed by the Senate in order to be involved in the RFI before it’s published.

On the tax reform front, it bears repeating that IRC Sec. 179’s new expensing provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are a big victory for the roofing industry and WSRCA members.  In fact, WSRCA members can have their cake and eat it, too!   

Sec. 179 allows businesses to purchase needed equipment and write-off the full amount, or a major portion of it, on their taxes for that year.  Qualifying property includes certain vehicles and virtually all construction equipment and machinery.  But, an even bigger breakthrough for the roofing industry and its customers is that Sec. 179 qualified property now includes improvements to nonresidential roofs!

The new limit on the total amount of Sec. 179 property a business can purchase each year before the deduction is totally phased-out is $2.5 million, and the annual limit for the deduction is now $1 million.  As such, a roofing contractor can use Sec. 179 to buy qualifying business equipment and then sell a commercial roof to a property owner who can write-off up to $1 million in the year the roof is purchased.  And the $1 million annual deduction and $2.5 million maximum business investment limits are permanent and indexed for annual inflation starting in 2019.

Also, don’t forget the IRC Sec. 168(k) Bonus Depreciation Deduction, which has been raised to 100 percent for qualifying property.  This generally covers property with a depreciable tax life of 20 years or less and the IRS is expected to clarify eligibility for full bonus depreciation in June.

The Western Roofing Expo will also take place in June, and I look forward to seeing you at the Legislative Luncheon on Monday, June 11, where I’ll be joined once again by NRCA CEO Reid Ribble to discuss these and other industry issues. 

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 3
1  |  2  |  3