Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: May 2013

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Code Q&A - April 2013

Over the course of my career, I have been asked several code-related questions by both apprentices and other experienced contractors. This column will provide answers to some popular questions.

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The Terminator

Making terminations should be high on the list of good examples for the meaning behind the statement "the devil is in the details.” This task may seem simple but mistakes here could cause hours of troubleshooting or other types of problems after continued hours of use and aging of the installation. Let’s explore, from a high level, what you must concern yourself with when terminating conductors. I think you may see that this task, which quite often is left to the most inexperienced on the job, may need closer attention.

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Simple Tips to Help Prevent Loss from Overdue and Delinquent Accounts

There is a new economic reality emerging, bankruptcies are at an all time high and there are an unprecedented number of uncollected default judgments. Now more than ever it is important to have an understanding of who you are doing business with and how to limit your company's exposure to loss. There are some simple things that you can do to protect your company from being overburdened with overdue and delinquent accounts.

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Sound Investment Practices for Contractors

Although the economy is improving and electrical contractors are experiencing more work, be it residential, commercial, and industrial projects, the recent economic downturn has provided good lessons for owners and management to better plan investments for expansion and equipment purchases.

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Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

An August 8, 2012, Mercer press release, based on a survey of over 1,200 employers on the potential implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on their businesses, reported that 60 percent of employers expect some increase in cost, with one third expecting an increase of five percent or more. One reason is the requirement to provide coverage to a larger percentage of employees than many employers had provided before.

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Cash Flow Management: How Invoice Factoring Can Strengthen Your Business for Growth

The economic challenges of recent years have left a hangover of debt for many firms. Even in today's slow growth economy, the cards are still stacked against many small firms. With an impaired balance sheet as a result of your equity being eaten away by tighter operating margins, rising cost of materials and labor, and the ability to pass on the additional costs means that bank financing is almost impossible to get.

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Communication Keeps Customers

It's always all about the customer. You could write the most persuasive ad, create the most provocative design, purchase the most expensive media - and, no matter what, it always comes back to the customer. Only the customer can see the value in your offer, make the decision to follow through, and stay with you after the sale.

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House Holds Symbolic Vote on Healthcare Repeal Bill

On Thursday, May 16, the House of Representatives held a largely symbolic vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The bill (H.R.45), sponsored by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), passed by a vote of 229 to 195 with only two Democrats, Representatives John Matheson (D-UT) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), dissenting to vote for repeal with their Republican colleagues. The Senate is not likely to take up a vote on the bill – if it does, the legislation will be struck down by the Democratic majority.

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Second Court Finds NLRB Appointees, Subsequent Board Actions Unconstitutional

On Thursday, a second appeals court joined the D.C. Circuit in ruling that President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) violated the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution. In its 2-1 decision on NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the presidential recess appointment power is limited to breaks between sessions of Congress – not when the Senate is meeting in a pro form session as it was at the time President Obama appointed three members to the Board in January of 2012.

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Senate Committee Votes to Advance Perez Nomination for DOL Secretary

In an expectedly party-line vote of 12-10, the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) endorsed Thomas Perez for the position of Secretary of Labor, vacated by Hilda Solis in January of this year. The vote brings the White House nominee one step closer to approval for the cabinet position, with the full Senate set to vote on Mr. Perez in the coming weeks.

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