Liability Arises for California Contractors Hiring Temporary Help

Man tears contract
Standard temporary employment contracts may no longer limit contractor liability exposure when laws extend liability to third parties. (Copyright: hafakot / 123RF Stock Photo)

Come January 1, 2015, construction contractors operating in California who hire temporary workers can be held liable if the labor contractor doesn’t supply workers compensation, or doesn’t pay wages owed to a temporary worker. It doesn’t matter if the contractor didn’t have knowledge of violations, or even if the contractor and labor supplier are joint employers.

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Unruly Mobile Apps Spell Trouble for Privacy and Business Security

magnifying glass over smartphone
Of the more than 50,000 free Android business apps scrutinized so far, thousands have questionable permissions based on their uses.  (Copyright: bacho12345 / 123RF Stock Photo)

New university research reveals many free mobile apps don’t always play nice when it comes to mobile application privacy. That spells difficulty for AEC businesses and is part of the reason only a small percentage of information technology decision makers say they are truly confident the security technologies they have in place will do the job.

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Do Your Social Media Policies Put a Chill on Employee Rights?


female with zippered mouth
Social media policies that affect free speech are putting companies in awkward legal positions. (Copyright: Andreus / 123RF Stock Photo)

The National Labor Review Board’s recent dismissal of an employee’s complaint shows the challenge in creating a social media policy that protects the company while also allowing employee expression. AEC companies must carefully construct and regularly review social media policy to stay in sync with the legal landscape.

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Construction Forklift Buyer’s Guide

forklift lifting dollar sign
The maneuverability and versatility of forklifts make them well suited to construction environments. Besides cost, there are many other factors to consider when selecting one. (Copyright: pixelery / 123RF Stock Photo)

By Cheryl Bikowski

A forklift used at one construction site might not be the best for another. Specific construction tasks vary, as do weight and size needs. Terrain and environmental factors can make a difference when it comes to the effectiveness of your forklift.

Here are five items to consider when selecting the best forklift for your specific construction site. Continue reading

The Dangerous Allure of Falling Cloud Computing Costs

man tempted by money on mouse trap
The savings being offered during the recent cloud computing services price wars are tempting businesses to jump ship from their current providers. But, the focus on cost alone could be dangerous. (Copyright: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo)

The cloud’s attractiveness increases for construction firms with each round of cuts in cloud computing costs. That can entice businesses to expand cloud presence, or switch providers, sometimes at their own peril. Even those finding cloud computing costs low enough for a first move to the cloud, must not let the price carry more weight than it’s worth. Continue reading

Finding New Buildings in the Dust of the Old

restored building
While saving historical buildings is the main effort at reusing old buildings, the time may be coming when reuse is the norm, advancing sustainability and leveraging energy investments that have already been made. (Copyright: aprior / 123RF Stock Photo)

With the continued and growing emphasis on sustainability in construction we could be on the verge of a radical shift in how we think about the current stock of buildings. The time may be coming when we stop planning for building replacement, and instead plan for building reuse. That in turn would significantly change the roles of designers and builders.

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AEC Mergers & Acquisitions Show No Signs of Letting Up

men running on cogs
Recent M&A activity in the engineering and construction sector shows a penchant for mega deals. In the third quarter 2014 six mega deals accounted for 56% of total deal value. (Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

The architecture, engineering and construction sector continues a period of robust consolidation with firms trying to position themselves as jacks of all trades, in wider and wider geographies.

Even the building materials sector is busily merging and acquiring to deal with overcapacity and to improve their competitive positions, according to a new report out from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Deal volume in the third quarter was 54% greater than the same time last year. Continue reading

On-The-Spot Financing Promises New Revenue Streams for Contractors

Man with money raining down
It probably won’t really rain money if you start offering financing for projects, but this solution promises to make the process easier and quicker. This is not the contractor named in the post. (Copyright: palinchak / 123RF Stock Photo)

When Charles Clemons with Bath Fitter of Chattanooga went looking for a loan partner to qualify customers on the spot, he wanted a company that didn’t have a lot of hassles and one that would help him close business with three major categories of customers. Continue reading

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