On April 30 Governor Murphy signed S-3414/A-5378, which promotes workforce diversity in public works projects and revises “public works projects” definition to permit project labor agreements for more projects. P.L. 2021, c. 63 expands project labor agreement (PLA) requirements to include promoting employment of residents of where the project is occurring.
The law requires that each PLA must stipulate that:
- the provisions of PLA must apply to work done at the construction sites of the public works project and does not apply to work done outside of those sites; and
- if a union trust fund covered by the terms and conditions of the PLA has not adopted the building and construction industry exemption authorized by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 the signatory employers shall not be obligated to hire employees covered by that fund.
The law also expands the requirements of the publicly available plan of each project labor agreement executed expanded to include:
- shares of employment and apprenticeship positions for members of disadvantaged communities
- all measures and programs undertaken to attain the goals of shares of employment regarding minority group members, members of disadvantaged communities and women should include measures giving
- priority in referral and placement from hiring halls of signatory unions,
- programs to provide on-the-job or off-the-job outreach and
- training and programs to provide incentives for or otherwise facilitate their hiring and employment
The new law defines “disadvantaged community” as determined in accordance with the Census where at least 35% of the households are low-income; at least 40% of the residents are minority group members of members of a State recognized tribal community; or 40% of the households have limited English proficiency. “Low-income household” is defined as a household that is at or below twice the poverty threshold determined annually by the Census Bureau.
This new law took effect April 30, 2021. If your municipality is considering entering into a PLA we suggest your review the new law with your municipal attorney.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x112.