Construction apprenticeship students, sponsor organizations and employers of apprentices will face delays, compliance roadblocks and increased risk of wage and hour violations as a result of yesterday’s federal government shutdown. In a Training and Employment Notice issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on September 30th, the Acting Assistant Secretary Eric Seleznow laid out the implications of a shutdown for the 25 states where the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) is the Registering Agency:
“Federal staff is directly responsible for the registration of new programs, and oversight of new and existing programs and apprentices in these states. Generally, program sponsors in these states would experience delays in registration of new programs and new apprentices and verification of their status as registered apprenticeship programs during this period in which federal staff is unavailable to complete these registrations, or verify an employer’s status as a bona fide registered apprenticeship program. Such delays may impact some employers’ ability to hire new apprentices and/or to bid on new projects that require proof of registered apprenticeship program status. Federal staff would not be able to issue Davis-Bacon certifications necessary to verify that an apprentice is registered with the OA and therefore can be paid less than prevailing wage. Without such certifications, employers could be found to be in violation of wage and hour laws and regulations.
Apprentices who complete an apprenticeship during the period of a government shutdown would experience delays in receipt of the certificates of completion of apprenticeship, which could affect their wages. In many licensed trades, in order to sit for the licensing examination, the apprentice must present proof of a DOL Completion Certification. Without this certificate, apprentice graduates who are unable to complete the licensure examinations would then experience delays in receiving wage increases associated with being a licensed professional in their skilled trade.”
How has the government shutdown effected you and your apprenticeship program? Share your story in the comments section below. Read more about how the shutdown will impact other agencies that affect construction firms and please contact us if you have any specific questions about apprenticeship compliance.