In latest edition of The Wright Toolbox:
- Biden Administration Issues New Executive Order Requiring Project Labor Agreements – read now
- Maryland State Income Tax Filing Extension – read now
Biden Administration Issues New Executive Order Requiring Project Labor Agreements
On February 4, 2022 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, President Biden signed an Executive Order requiring the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects above $35 million. The construction projects to which the Order applies include “construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, modernization, alteration, conversion, extension, repair, or improvement of buildings, structures, highways, or other real property.” The Administration stated that the Executive Order could affect as much as $262 billion in federal government construction contracting. This new Executive Order is only applicable to federal procurement.
The Executive Order states that “in awarding any contract in connection with a large-scale construction project, or obligating funds pursuant to such a contract, agencies shall require every contractor or subcontractor engaged in construction on the project to agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations.” Pursuant to the Order, the PLA’s must “allow all contractors and subcontractors on the construction project to compete for contracts and subcontracts without regard to whether they are otherwise parties to collective bargaining agreements” and contain guarantees against strikes, lockouts, and similar job disruptions; set forth effective, prompt, and mutually binding procedures for resolving labor disputes arising during the term of the project labor agreement; provide other mechanisms for labor-management cooperation on matters of mutual interest and concern, including productivity, quality of work, safety, and health; and fully conform to all statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, and Presidential Memoranda.
The Executive Order does allow for exceptions under certain circumstances. A “senior official” within an agency may grant an exception from the requirements of the Order for a particular contract for one of the following reasons: (1) A PLA would not advance the Federal Government’s interests in achieving economy and efficiency in Federal procurement because the project is of short duration and lacks operational complexity; the project will involve only one craft or trade; the project will involve specialized construction work that is available from only a limited number of contractors or subcontractors; or the agency’s need for the project is of such an unusual and compelling urgency that a project labor agreement would be impracticable; (2) Based on an inclusive market analysis, requiring a PLA would substantially reduce the number of potential bidders so as to frustrate full and open competition and (3) Requiring a PLA would otherwise be inconsistent with statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, or Presidential Memoranda.
The Executive Order became effective immediately and also revokes prior Executive Order 13502, which was issued on February 6, 2009 by President Obama addressing federal procurement PLA’s. If you need any assistance with this new Executive Order or Project Labor Agreements please contact any of our attorneys in the Labor & Employment, Government Contracts or Construction practice groups.
Maryland State Income Tax Filing Extension
Marylanders will have an extra three months to file and pay their 2021 state income tax returns, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced January 19, 2022. The new date is Friday, July 15, 2022.
Maryland taxpayers do not need to request an extension to receive the three-month grace period; it will be automatically granted to all resident and nonresident filers. Taxpayers who expect to receive a refund should file their return as soon as possible and not wait until July 15 to submit.
The goal is to help taxpayers facing financial hardships from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Many people are still struggling to stay above water, so giving taxpayers more time to file and pay will hopefully ease their financial pressure,” Franchot said in a statement.
This is the third consecutive year Franchot has extended filing and payment deadlines to July 15. According to the press release, those extensions have benefitted roughly 600,000 taxpayers each of the past two years, enabling them to hold on to a combined $1.8 billion as an interest-free loan, which may have allowed them to take care of more pressing issues like paying rent or keeping their businesses open.
There has been no change to the due dates for business returns such as those for passthrough entities or corporations.
The IRS has warned of processing delays, but has not indicated plans to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline beyond April 18.