IEC Member Newsletter January 16, 2020

Eddie Owens, father of Coty Owens, Coty Owens Electric LLC, passed away December 20, 2019. For many years Eddie served as a member of the IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County apprenticeship and training committee. Coty is a past president of both IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County and IEC of Texas.
In honor of his dedication to the apprenticeship program and support of IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County and the electrical industry, the Eddie Owens Scholarship Fund has been set up. The scholarship will benefit electrical students enrolled in IEC apprenticeship program.

Donations can be made payable to: 

IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County
5809 East Berry Street
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Notation on Check or other donation: Eddie Owens Scholarship Fund
Virtual Classroom Offered for January Class Students
IEC’s online classroom training provides live instruction, using instructors skilled in the delivery of training over the internet. Utilizing LMS, a web-based program designed for online learning, apprentices see their instructor, watch live demonstrations and are able to ask real time questions. Classes will be 2 nights a week; Monday and Thursday from 6-10 PM. Just as in the onsite classes, homework and quizzes are assigned and completed through the LMS. 

This is for January apprentices registered with the IEC Fort Worth Chapter and living in the chapter area and does not take the place of Distance Learning. This program will be a Beta Test of the Virtual Class option for students. If all goes well, it is possible to deliver the option to students in second, third or fourth year of the apprenticeship program.

For more information contact: Ricki Babcock, or Hank Strittmatter,
Contractor Member

Live Systems, LLC
Josh Spring
1635 FM 156
Ponder, TX 76259
Type of Work: Electrical Contracting
IEC Members Since 12/11/19

Associate Member

Burrus & Matthews, Inc.
Frank Schickendanz
2221 Vanco Drive
Irving, TX 75601
Products or Services: Atkore, Caddy, Cadweld, Alan Wire, Allied Moulded Products, Construction Electrical Products, CRC Federal Signal, Rab Lighting, Shurtape.
"What Could Go Wrong"
IEC Lunch and Learn
Too often that is our line of thinking, yet whenever dealing with the public (whether in public or private settings) there are numerous things that *can* go wrong, putting you, your reputation, and your business at-risk.
News from Discovery Benefits
The Cadillac tax, which was a 40 percent excise tax that applied to employer-sponsored health plans exceeding certain thresholds, was repealed as part of a 2020 spending deal signed by President Trump on Friday. The tax was scheduled to take effect in 2022.
Check out our blog post to learn more about the Cadillac tax repeal and other employee benefits news that happened last week. 

March 21, 2019
This will be a full day class on the 2020 NEC Code Changes. Please note the class will be held at Parrish-Hare Irving training room.
Happy Anniversary!
IEC Member Anniversaries for November

Contractor Members:
Accutex Electric, LLC - IEC member for 45 years.
DB Construction - IEC member for 2 years.
Ridgeline Electric - IEC member for 2 years.

Associate Members:
Square D Company - IEC member for 30 years.
Thomas Loss Control ENT - IEC member for 18 years.
Trade Management - IEC member for 8 years.
Frost Bank - IEC member for 4 years.
Trade Labor Services, LLC - IEC member for 3 years.
DeWALT - IEC member for 2 years.
Come network with industry peers as they gather in Fort Worth for Business Summit 2020 February 3-5 in Fort Worth. This unique event will deliver compelling ideas, real-world solutions, and tested business strategies from experts in the field.

Electrical and systems contractors will learn to elevate their bottom line and get answers to their biggest concerns impacting their companies.

This year’s theme of Employee Engagement is the cornerstone of the education sessions. You’ll learn about reaching your future employees, why diversity is important to your business and how to build a strong foundation within your team.

This unique opportunity to engage with fellow professionals to build your capacity to grow your business while leading the industry. Powerful conversations will take place over a few days, addressing hot topic issues.

You’ll leave enriched and ready to take your business to the next level. Don’t miss this great opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

We look forward to seeing you at Business Summit 2020, yeehaw! For more information:
IEC Annual Meeting
March 26, 2020
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Fort Worth Club
306 West 7th Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102

All IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County member companies get two attendees free to the Annual Meeting - additional attendees $35.00 per person
New Member Benefit
Sign up for our NEW member benefit today!

IEC’s new Consumer Care Card is now available for all members and their employees.

Learn more and enroll directly through the website. Please be sure to pass this information along to all of your employees!

OR – if you would like to add this benefit to your employee benefits package, contact Jacquelyn Kyle at or 214-613-5307.
Renew Your Electrical License
Renew Your Electrical License

The state of Texas requires all licensed electricians to have a current electrical license (Master, Journeyman or Apprentice License).
4 hour Continuing Education classes for electrical license renewal are available both on line and held monthly at the training facility. Visit our website or click the appropriate registration button below for registration and more information.
Online Course Registration: Online CE Course
Classroom Courses: Classroom Courses
Remember to log on to the TDLR website to pay the fee to renew your electrical license. IEC submits the renewal information for CE courses completed with IEC.
Tom Jones Memorial
Golf Tournament
April 16, 2020
Join the gang for a fun day of golf while giving back to charity! Part of the proceeds of the morning and afternoon tournaments donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation, Prostate Foundation and the IEC Foundation (scholarship).
Electrical Industry News & Safety
Save the Date
Safety Summit 2020
Building a World-Class Safety Culture is our #1 priority. We will be kicking off our inaugural Safety Summit on April 21st & 22nd at the Eaton Experience Center in Houston, TX. Attendees will learn how to integrate safety compliance into the culture of their business. Additional information will be released soon.
Federated Insurance
A Top 10 List You Can’t Ignore (OSHA Top 10)
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 (1 PM CT)
30 minutes | Complimentary | Advance registration required 
Each year, OSHA releases a summary of their list of top 10 workplace safety violations. This webinar will take a look at the 2019 list. More importantly, however, we will focus on risk management policies, procedures, and training resources to implement and help reduce employee accidents and injuries!  
HR Question of the Month
Military Leave – No Notice – Job Protection?
We have an employee who left unexpectedly three-quarters of the way into his shift, stating he was leaving because he was going on military leave for one year. We've not been able to reach him to get further details, and we haven't received any sort of formal documentation backing up his claim. Are we required to hold his job for him for this year? If so, should we have received some sort of formal documentation backing up his claim?
Under the federal Uniformed Services and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), if an employee in the military needs time off from work for training, reserve duty or any other active duty, he or she is entitled to take up to a maximum of five years of job-protected leave for this purpose, cumulatively, even if the leave is taken in intermittent intervals.
Year-end Tax Planning
Now that we’ve lived under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for more than a year, let’s look at what we’ve learned about how to take full advantage of its provisions.
Here are some moves to consider:
Itemized Deductions
Because of the increased standard deduction ($12,200 Single and $24,400 Married Filing Jointly) and the $10,000 deduction limitation on combined local and state income taxes, many individuals are no longer able to itemize deductions. Consider “bunching” your deductions. This would involve making two years of charitable contributions in one calendar year, or delaying elective medical expenses into one year to put you over the threshold in one year, and taking the standard deduction in the next.
Benefits Weekly Digest
No Retaliation Where Documentation Supports Job Elimination and Termination for Performance 
“In a case that reiterates the importance of documentation, an employer avoided liability for an employee’s retaliation claim under the False Claims Act where it was able to demonstrate the legitimacy of its decision to eliminate her position and that she had performance issues that predated her whistleblower complaint. In Musser v. Paul Quinn College, the plaintiff alleged that she had been terminated in retaliation for making a whistleblower complaint about fraud under the False Claims Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, however, found that the employer had offered a legitimate non-retaliatory reason for the termination – a departmental reorganization that resulted in the elimination of her position and her poor performance.”
Shawe Rosenthal  
NLRB Concludes Pending
Workplace Investigations
May Be Kept Confidential
“As many employers know, confidentiality can be essential to performing workplace investigations. Last month, in Apogee Retail, LLC, a 3-1 decision, the NLRB agreed. Applying the test for facially neutral rules established in The Boeing Company, 365 N.L.R.B. No. 154 (2017) (discussed here), the NLRB held that workplace rules that require employees to keep pending workplace investigations confidential while the investigation is open are generally legal. The decision arose after a thrift store retailer, Apogee Retail, prohibited its employees from discussing investigations in its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and in its Loss Prevention Policy.”
Can an Employer Implement a Nicotine-Free Hiring Policy?
It Depends on State Law (US)
“Nicotine products are highly addictive and have been linked to a variety of serious health issues, including lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses. In addition to the numerous health risks associated with nicotine use, there is also a causal connection between employee nicotine use and lower productivity in the workplace, as well as higher healthcare costs for employers. In response to these issues, and in an effort to promote and empower a healthy workforce, more employers are enacting health-conscious workplace policies and anti-smoking/vaping initiatives.”
Squire Patton Boggs
For additional articles in the IBTX Weekly Digest please go to:
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