LEGAL NEWS AND UPDATES FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Several pieces of legislation were introduced in Albany over the past 2 months. If passed, these bills will greatly expand the application of NY’s prevailing wage law. Below is a brief description of each:
S1253- Amends the Labor Law to require workers on certain excavation projects be paid prevailing wage. Specifically, any project undertaken by a utility company or their contractors, that requires a State, county or local permit for the use, excavation or opening of a street, has to be a prevailing wage job. The legislation is self-enforcing, as no permit will be issued absent proof of a project labor agreement.
S255A- On Public Works Projects, the current law is “unclear” as to whether prevailing wage applies to those delivering aggregate supply construction materials to public works projects. This legislation seeks to “clarify” the issue, expressly requiring prevailing wages on public works projects “for any work involving the delivery to and hauling of aggregate supply construction materials, as well as any return hauls, whether empty or loaded and any time spent loading/unloading.”
S618- This bill extends prevailing wage requirements to certain Building Service employees. If you are an entity that receives financial assistance from a public agency (grant, P.I.L.O.T., tax credits) or if you have entered into a lease agreement with a public agency, your service employees would have to be paid prevailing wage.
In addition, and although not directly related to prevailing wage expansion, S4760 would require state agencies to provide labor organizations with certified payroll records from all contractors on public work projects. The bill’s sponsor claims many unions are currently denied access to such records, access that is necessary “to determine whether or not the proper wage and supplements” are being paid by open shops.
Finally, efforts to amend NY’s Lien Law to include an “Employee Lien” for alleged wage violations have resurfaced. Similar legislation was vetoed by the Governor in 2019. If passed, Business owners could see their own homes encumbered based on nothing more than allegations of a wage violations by one of their company’s employees!
All of the above legislation is currently “in committee” with no formal votes scheduled. However, a bill bogged down in committee one week can be on the governor’s desk the next.
Contractor Warranty Liability: Recent Appellate Decision Greatly Expands Contractual Obligations.
More importantly, never assume that one-sided and seemingly unfair "CM Friendly" provisions will not be enforced by the Courts.