Get the Tools and Resources Your Firm Needs to Succeed in Today’s Business World

ASA/FASA Education Catalog 2015-16

Get the Tools and Resources Your Firm Needs to Succeed in Today’s Business World

The American Subcontractors Association and the Foundation of ASA are providing construction subcontractors with the latest strategies and ideas to manage their businesses with videos-on-demand, webinars, and other resources on such topics as technology, retainage, mechanic’s liens, negotiation strategies, cash flow, and human resources.

The 2015-16 edition of the ASA/FASA Construction Subcontractor’s Education Catalog showcases the newest education programs (live and recorded), books, and downloadable manuals that ASA and FASA offer to help subcontractors meet the demands of working in today’s construction industry.

ASA and FASA have developed dozens of education programs and products for subcontractors, including these new videos-on-demand:

The new catalog also highlights the ASA/FASA Education Webinars Series for 2015-16. These webinars will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern time on the second Tuesday of the month. The registration fee for each webinar is $99 for ASA members and $179 for nonmembers.

In addition, the ASA/FASA education catalog spotlights the ConsensusDocs 700 series of contract documents for subcontractors. ASA is a founding member of the ConsensusDocs coalition, which publishes a library of 100-plus contracts and documents that incorporate best practices and fairly allocate risk to help reduce costly contingencies and adversarial negotiations. ASA members can use the promotional code ASA100 to receive a special member discount off these ASA-endorsed documents when ordering online via the ConsensusDocs Web site

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Stay Competitive and Reduce Business Risks with ASA Webinars


Stay Competitive and Reduce Business Risks with ASA Webinars

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Second Tuesday of the Month Beginning in September!

AIC Constructor Certification Continuing Professional Development Credits: 1.5

In today’s competitive construction marketplace, subcontractors need to learn and hone business strategies that keep them competitive and reduce their risks. The American Subcontractors Association’s 2015-16 webinars can help subcontractors improve their businesses through educational training on such topics as contract negotiation, risk management, retainage, cash management, productivity, employment regulations, technology, and more:

Sept.15, 2015 — “The Subcontractor’s Guide to a Fair Lien Waiver Process” presented by Scott Wolfe Jr., zlien, New Orleans, La.

Oct.13, 2015 — “Cash Management for Subcontractors” presented by Aaron Faulk and Justin Fisher, Moss Adams LLP, Everett, Wash.

Nov. 10, 2015 — “Implementing Technology for the Jobsite: Turning Refusers into Adopters” presented by Doug Chambers, FieldLens, New York, N.Y.

Dec. 8, 2015 — “Employment Law Changes and How They Affect Screening and Hiring Practices” presented by Jamie Hasty, SESCO Management Consultants, Richmond, Va.

Jan. 12, 2016 — “The War for Talent Drives Construction Pay Higher: Pay Trends in the Construction Industry” presented by Mike Rose, FMI, Phoenix, Ariz.

Feb. 9, 2016 — “Negotiating Retainage” presented by Eric Travers, Esq., Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, Columbus, Ohio.

April 12, 2016 — “The Payment Dance in the Construction Industry” presented by Scott Wolfe Jr., zlien, New Orleans, La.

May 10, 2016 — “Websites, Email, Social Media and Your Domain Name” presented by George Minardos, .BUILD, Santa Monica, Calif.

June 14, 2016 — “Damages for Lost Labor Productivity” presented by James Yand, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Seattle, Wash.

Interactive Format: View the webinar on your computer screen, or project it on a wall/screen in your conference room. Ask the presenter questions in live chat.
Listen to the presenter on your headset or dial in. Use your computer’s speakers or a speaker phone so everyone in the room can listen.


$99 for members of the American Subcontractors Association. $179 for non-members.

Registration Fee Includes:

Access with one Internet connection.

A link to view an audio-visual recording of the webinar (emailed to you after the live program).

A link to a printable ASA Certificate of Completion recognizing completion of this program (emailed to you after the live program). Print the certificate for each person who participated at your location!

Learn more under “Register for an Event” on the ASA Web site.

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DOL Issues Enforcement Guidance on Misclassification of Employees

DOL Issues Enforcement Guidance on Misclassification of Employees

On July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued guidance on the enforcement of the law prohibiting the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “Suffer or Permit” Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors (Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1) analyzes how the Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of “employ” guides the determination of whether workers are employees or independent contractors under the law. The WHD guidance emphasizes that most workers are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions. It discusses the breadth of the FLSA’s definition of “employ,” as well as provides guidance on the “economic realities” factors applied by courts in determining if a worker is indeed an employee. The document includes questions that an employer should consider in determining whether an individual is an employee rather than independent contractor, including:

-Is the work an integral part of the employer’s business?
-Does the worker’s managerial skill affect the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss?
-How does the worker’s relative investment compare to the employer’s investment?
-Does the work performed require special skill and initiative?
-Is the relationship between the worker and employer permanent or indefinite?
-What is the nature and degree of the employer’s control?

WHD says the factors should not be analyzed mechanically or in a vacuum and no single factor, including control, should be over-emphasized. Instead, each factor should be considered in light of the ultimate determination of whether the worker is really in business for him or herself (and thus is an independent contractor) or is economically dependent on the employer (and thus is its employee). The document also includes several short examples that are specific to the construction industry. Additional guidance on misclassification is available on the WHD’s Web page: Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors.

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State Legislatures Continue to Act on Construction Bills

State Legislatures Continue to Act on Construction Bills

With only four state legislatures in regular session, two states in special session and two states in extended session, governors continue to approve laws that impact construction subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers. The following are just a few of the laws recently enacted:

Connecticut: S1502, the state budget, includes a provision concerning self-performance by a construction-manager-at-risk. Specifically, the new law allows the contractor to self-perform if the government determines that the CM can perform the work more cost-effectively than a subcontractor. All work not performed by the CM must be approved by trade subcontractors selected by a process approved by the government.

Delaware: HB145 raises the prevailing wage contract threshold for new construction and for alterations, repairs, and renovations from $15,000 to $45,000. The new law also establishes a Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee that is tasked with advising the General Assembly as to how the prevailing wage survey can be improved or whether the survey should be eliminated. The committee is to provide a report to the General Assembly by Jan. 20, 2016.

Hawaii: HB391 relates to government public works construction contracts. Specifically, the new law provides that overtime compensation be not less than the laborers or mechanics basic hourly rate of pay plus fringe benefits and that if the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations determines that the prevailing wage is determined by a group represented by collective bargaining, then the overtime and any other premium shall be at the same rates set by the collective bargaining agreement.

Illinois: SB718 amends Elevator Safety Act by providing that the Office of the State Fire Marshal shall authorize the issuance of elevator contractor’s licenses, elevator mechanic’s licenses, inspector’s licenses, and inspection company licenses. The new law also provides that all applications for a contractor’s or inspection company license shall contain a copy of the Certificate of Authority to transact business in the State from the Secretary of State for corporations registered in another state, a certificate of good standing for corporations registered in Illinois, and an assumed name certificate issued by the Illinois county in which the business is located for a sole proprietor or partnership.

Michigan: HB4052 prohibits municipalities from requiring businesses to pay wages, benefits, or provide sick days exceeding federal or state requirements.

North Carolina: HB255 reforms building code enforcement to conform work in progress inspection authority to recently enacted inspection limitations; requires the building code council to study the alternate methods approval process; clarifies the definition of official misconduct for code officials; eliminates mandatory plan review for residential structures; raises the threshold for requirement of a building permit; and creates the building code council residential code committee.

Rhode Island: HB5932 provides that notice under the provisions of the mechanic’s lien law may be provided either as incorporated in a written contract, or a separate document incorporated in a written contract prior to or within ten (10) days of commencing physical work on the property, or upon delivery of construction, erection, alteration, or repair materials for the property.

Rhode Island: SB968 eliminates the requirement that notice under the provisions of the mechanic’s lien law be provided within ten (10) days of commencing physical work on the property, or upon delivery of construction, erection, alteration, or repair materials for the property, by authorizing the notice to be given at any time prior to commencing work or delivery of materials, either incorporated conspicuously in a written contract or sent by certified mail.

Washington: S5997 provides that the joint transportation committee must convene a design-build contracting review panel to examine the department’s implementation and use of design-build contracting.

Wisconsin: S21, the state budget bill, includes a provision that requires that any contract entered into by the state for the construction, repair or modification of a public works or public improvement project must contain a provision that the contractor will use materials that are manufactured in the United States in the performance of the contract.

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Member Tip “Retirement Effectiveness”

Retirement effectiveness: Written by: Jan Duncan, Sagicor Life Insurance Company

Standard retirement plans such as 401-k, profit sharing, pension, etc…. are beneficial and well known but many business owners are not aware of the many areas of the US Tax Code which allow for much greater owner retirement contributions, safer investments options with competitive gains, tax free with drawl options, flexible contribution vehicles, business transfer (sale) tax free, enhanced creditor protection for personal and business assets, vehicles to avoid inheritance taxes for 5, 10, 20 or more generations and more!

Don’t become complacent when it comes to retirement plan reviews. Even if you feel that your plan is the best available out there, have it reviewed by a specialist and solicit their ideas and benefits if they do not agree.
We approach retirement planning and for that matter, all benefits, from a very different perspective! Our plans are called ‘Employer (not employee) benefit plans’ for the very reason that 98% of all retirement and benefit plans consider the employee’s first and ‘oh by the way’, you Mr. Owner, are an employee too so you get to participate as well!

Build a plan which is designed to accomplish the owner’s goals and objectives first and then include the employees or implement another plan designed for them so that everyone has the opportunity to participate if they desire.

If you would like to discuss our approach to the above and review some alternatives or options which might improve your situation, please contact us at the number below.

Jan Duncan, Sagicor Life Insurance Company

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What’s the Deal with Drones?

What’s the Deal with Drones?

Article written by: Matthew Snowden, Minard-Ames Insurance Services LLC

Many contractors are asking “What’s the deal with drones?” If what they mean is: “What’s the risk of taking photos of a job with a drone?” then there is no single way to answer their question. Some follow-up questions like these may be helpful:

  • Who owns the drone: the company, a third party, or you personally?
  • Who is operating it and under what supervision/authority?
  • Who has control of the device away from the jobsite?
  • What information can the device capture and where is that information stored?
  • Does your insurance policy consider the drone an aircraft?
  • How will insurance respond in the event someone claims an invasion of privacy due to a drone?
  • Most importantly: What concerns are causing you to ask this question?

There is no short answer.  I have a successful client who imports and sells them, which gives me the opportunity to work through various risk management scenarios and fly one myself. Many fly high enough to easily crash into a plane leaving Sky Harbor. They could disappear in the bright daytime sky. They’re chalk full of fun controls and displays that may distract an operator. Batteries could die resulting in drones falling out of the sky. The list of “what ifs” is long and potentially entertaining. On the other hand, drones have many productive commercial applications that we’ll see with increasing regularity as issues like these are addressed:

  • Legal issues: Is the use of a drone legal in any particular scenario and what risks are being assumed?
  • Privacy issues: Does the operator have permission to capture images of everything within lens-shot?
  • Safety issues: What happens if this thing flies into someone or falls out of the sky?
  • Insurance issues: What is protected, what should be protected, what can be protected, and at what cost?

If you are considering jumping into the game, don’t assume you have insurance coverage or that it’s legal. It’s imperative that you consult with your attorney and your insurance agent about your plans. From an insurance perspective, it’s worth seeking advice on coverage that expressly addresses drone-related activities including but not limited to injury to third parties, damage to the drone as well as to third party property, invasion of privacy and data security issues.

The insurance industry is just beginning to try and get a handle on all of the risks and liabilities associated with the use of drones, as they know they are not going away.  This means that coverage will be slow in evolving and those first in the market, will be charging a lot (as we have seen).

If you have questions, please feel free to give Matthew Snowden a call at (602) 273-1625 or email him at

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ASA Board Approves Polices on Federal Construction Procedures

The ASA Board of Directors approved two public policy recommendations made by ASA Chief Advocacy Officer E. Colette Nelson during a meeting on Oct. 22 in Denver, Colo. One recommendation was to support legislation “to amend the Federal Arbitration Act so that in states with industry-specific venue laws, the arbitration can be held in the state and according to the State’s own laws, even if the contract calls for arbitration.” Such law would simply allow an arbitration to proceed locally where local parties would have a fair opportunity to present their witnesses and evidence. The second recommendation was to support federal legislation or regulation “to assure timely action on change orders for construction.” The proposed legislation would establish parameters for notice, approval and payment of change orders on federal construction contracts. Nelson noted that “although both of these legislative initiatives are federal, they would set a precedent for other public and private construction.”

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AROK’s Prefabrication Project at Chandler Regional Medical Center

ASA Member AROK, Inc. is doing a prefabrication project at the Chandler Regional Medical Center. Installing outside restrooms facilities.

AROK2 AROK3 AROK4 AROK5 AROK6 AROK7 Chandler-Regional-Medical-Center

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ADOT to use P3 for South Mountain Freeway Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in close collaboration with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Arizona Division of the Federal Highway Administration, has selected the project delivery approach that will be used to construct the South Mountain Freeway in the event that the Final Environmental Impact Statement indicates a preferred alternative rather than the no-build option.  The South Mountain Freeway will be procured as a single project using a public-private partnership approach.  The Design-Build-Maintain delivery mechanism will include a long-term maintenance component but will not include a private finance option.


This decision was made after more than a year’s worth of analysis following the submission of an unsolicited proposal.  The submission provided an opportunity for ADOT to explore several ways of delivering the project in the event the federal environmental impact process recommends a preferred alternative.  This extensive analysis considered a traditional design-bid-build approach, several design-build options, and public-private partnership (P3) alternatives including those with maintenance options, private finance options, or both.  Using a Value for Money approach, ADOT and its partner agencies determined which approach would provide the best value for Arizona taxpayers, which would allow the agency to mitigate risk most effectively, and which would provide the most efficient delivery option.


Nothing in this selection impacts the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).  No further procurement activities will move forward until the FEIS is released in mid to late September.  Following the release of the FEIS, if it recommends a build alternative, ADOT will release a Request for Qualifications.  This will serve to notify the industry of the qualifications that ADOT and its partners are seeking in potential bidders.  Responders will have approximately six weeks to submit their required qualifications and will be notified approximately four weeks later of those firms or consortia of firms that are selected for the short list of potential bidders.


Firms or members of the public with questions about this process should direct them to Media inquiries should be directed to


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ASA logo ASA President’s Letter-July 2014 Dear ASA Member: It is my honor and privilege to serve as your ASA president for 2014-15. Thank you for your trust and confidence! My company, Soil Consultants, Inc., was founded by my father, Ken Johnson Sr., in Charleston, S.C., in 1951 and since then we have been performing geotechnical engineering and testing throughout the southeast. I currently serve as the president have been a member of ASA for more than 30 years, and I, myself, have worked for the company in a variety of positions for more than 30 years. For more than a decade, I have served in a number of positions with my local chapter ASA Charleston Chapter, our state chapter, ASA of the Carolinas, including president in 2007-08. Nationally, I have served on the ASA Board of Directors since 2008 and have been actively involved in the ASA Executive Committee, Finance Committee, the ASA Task Force on Meetings, and more. On a personal note, it is important to me that you know that I have been married for 25 years to my beautiful wife, Alison, and we have two amazing sons, Casey and Taylor. I am active in my community and church, and I am a past president of the Rotary Club of Charleston, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and a board member for the Coastal Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Coastal Boys Council, Inc. My family, of course, is everything to me. And, as I have been so involved over the years in ASA, I consider the association part of my family, too. The work that we do as an association on behalf of subcontractors is very important to me. I’d like to share some examples: Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund Perhaps one reason ASA is so successful is because of its Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund initiatives. Every year, courts across the country hand down hundreds of decisions on federal and state laws, as well as court-made law that apply to subcontractors’ businesses. Many of the decisions impacting subcontractors interpret the contract provisions of subcontract agreements, and some of these decisions are precedent-setting and carry significance for subcontractors across state lines. ASA’s Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund supports ASA’s critical legal activities to protect and preserve the interests of all subcontractors. Through generous donations from ASA members and others, ASA’s Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund allows ASA to submit amicus curiae, or “friend-of-the-court” briefs, in appellate-level cases that would have a significant impact on subcontractor rights. You can read a summary of recent SLDF activity by visiting the Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund on the ASA Web site. ASAdvantage Program ASA members receive special discounts and exclusive offers on products and services provided by companies participating in the ASAdvantage affinity program. Subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers, of course, join ASA for many reasons, but merely taking advantage of some of these benefits can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and can easily cover the cost of membership in ASA. For example, ASA Platinum Sponsor Textura offers significant pricing discounts on its collaborative solutions, including Textura—PQM, Textura—GradeBeam, Textura—PlanSwift, and Textura—BigOrganizer. Project DocControl, which has been an ASA Gold Sponsor for more than a decade, offers discounts on its software solutions, as well, and through National Purchasing Partners, ASA members can save up to 22 percent on Verizon Wireless service. ASA currently has 14 sponsors plus 10 other participants in the ASAdvantage program. Log in to the ASAdvantage section of the ASA Web site with your email address and password and find your savings today! ASA Chapter Toolbox ASA is committed to the continued growth and success of its chapters, and the ASA Chapter Toolbox is a perfect example of this commitment. The Chapter Toolbox is loaded with resources to help chapter officers and staff run their associations most efficiently and effectively. While this toolbox is designed mostly for chapter leaders and staff, ASA members can benefit from many of these same resources, too, resources like how to improve your business communications and newsletters, model social media and terms of use policies, how to plan an event, how to contact your legislators, how to testify with impact, and what you need to know about government. Log in to the ASA Chapter Toolbox using your email address and password. Throughout my term as ASA president, I will be committed to improving the communication between the ASA Board of Directors and ASA chapters, starting with enhanced and more frequent interaction between Board liaisons and chapter officers and executive directors. In recent years, ASA has made difficult decisions and faced challenges head on. Thanks to the work of recent ASA presidents, including Jack Austhof, Walter Bazan Jr., and Kerrick Whisenant, the national association is headed in a new direction. I feel fortunate to follow in these leaders’ footsteps and am truly blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of ASA and the chapters and to serve my fellow colleagues and friends. I welcome your thoughts and feedback in the coming months as we continue to strengthen and grow our association. Sincerely, Brian Johnson 2014-15 ASA President
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