During the past decade, background screening has become a necessary way for companies to minimize liability, protect consumers and safeguard their brand. For construction management firms, the use of subcontractors and other contracted workers presents a special challenge. Even though they aren’t direct employees, contracted individuals can become the “public face” of a construction management company.
Recent litigation shows construction managers ultimately are liable for individuals performing work on commercial, industrial and residential projects, regardless of their employer. This potential for liability puts additional pressure on construction management companies to ensure workers are fully screened and adequately insured prior to being sent out into the field. If contractors or their subcontractors fail to provide adequate workers’ compensation coverage, the prime contractor is subject to penalties in the event of an audit. Without liability insurance, the contractor may be liable if a worker is injured on the job. Continue »
A major generational collision is occurring in the workplace. Millennials, reared with technology at their fingertips, are seeking jobs and often out-competing their baby boomer predecessors who want to stay in the workforce. This collision can be frustrating, alienating and divisive; to adapt, organizations must celebrate diversity, collaboration, creativity and productivity. Continue »
Risk is an inherent element of construction. Weather, changing project locations and local workforce challenges all add risk beyond what’s typically experienced in a more controlled manufacturing environment. These risks may be present before an estimator even looks at the drawings—in the language of contracts written by owners seeking to reduce their own liability. Some of these risks are very difficult, if not impossible, to control. Continue »
In today’s business environment, construction companies face the challenge of matching productive resources with market opportunities. Vital to resource management and the success of a business plan is a well-designed, flexible budget. When developed properly, a budget can be an effective guide in good and bad economic times. Highly intuitive, integrated software solutions can make financial planning and budgeting less of a task and ultimately more beneficial to a project’s profitability. Continue »
During the worst phase of the downturn in nonresidential construction activity, many contractors shifted their priorities from the private market to institutional jobs, including schools and higher education-related projects. While private construction volumes shrank rapidly during the aftermath of the financial crisis that began in September 2008, school construction volumes persisted for a while due to the relative stability of public sector capital budgets, which were boosted in part by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A rich pipeline of projects also was in place prior to the onset of the recession. Continue »
This year is just getting started and the writing already may be on the wall for taxes in 2013. Careful planning and properly timed action could significantly impact taxes paid in 2012, 2013 and beyond. With the current political environment and recent legislative action (or inaction), experts predict personal income and capital gains tax rates are likely to rise in 2013. Higher taxes on ordinary dividends and the estate/gift tax also may be imposed in 2013—not to mention a higher Medicare payroll tax and surtax on high-income earners. Continue »