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Legal Archives

Bulletin: California Public Works Contractors and Subcontractors Must Register!

Summary: Public works contractors and subcontractors take note- a new law requires you to register with the California Department of Industrial Relations as of July 1, 2014, even if your current public works project is already underway.  Failure to register disqualifies you from the bidding and contracting process, can cause an outright bid rejection and/or contract cancellation and can void or cancel an existing contract.  

SWIFT Operation Nabs a Dozen Unlicensed California Contractors

As we previously reported, California is getting tough on those who hold themselves out to be contractors but are in fact, unlicensed. May 22nd saw the state flexing its regulatory muscle by citing 12 unlicensed contractors in a sting in Belmont, California. This clearly shows that California will not tolerate those who attempt to perform work without the appropriate licensure.

California Legislature Eliminates Contractor Type 1 Indemnity

The California Legislature recently approved California Senate Bill 474, which provides that in private commercial or public works construction contracts, any indemnity obligations arising out of active negligence or willful misconduct of the indemnified party are void and unenforceable. These indemnity obligations were already prohibited in residential construction contracts (except for homeowners improving their single family dwelling).

Bi-partisan California State Senate Bill to Require Prevailing Wage

Senate Bill 7 seeks to close the loophole which has allowed California's 121 charter cities to remain exempt from California's prevailing wage regulations. The bill, largely viewed as a win for local contractors and the local labor force, has found opposition with municipalities' political representatives, who view the Bill as a further increase of the state's hold over the local government.

All state and local government agencies in California, with the exception of California's 121 charter cities, require contractors to pay prevailing wage, an hourly pay-and-benefits benchmark for workers, on taxpayer-funded projects. While most of the 121 charter cities also pay prevailing wage, some continue to use public funds to contract for projects without such a wage requirement.

CSLB Finds Millions in Unlicensed Construction Practices

The California Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) formed the Joint Enforcement Strike Force's (JESF) Construction Enforcement Project (CEP) to capitalize on multi-agency partnerships in a coordinated effort to enforce wage and licensure laws for contractors. The results have been staggering so far: 411 audit referrals for an estimated $48,553,626 in unreported wages; $25,832,017 in EDD and Franchise Tax Board outstanding tax and civil liability suspension amounts with $10,815,762 in penalties recovered; $17, 705, 752 in EDD tax and civil liability suspensions with $6,626, 208 in recovered tax liability; and additional license liability suspensions by the Department of Industrial Relations totaling $1,972,328 with $1,835,869 in penalties recovered.

5 Mistakes Contractors Make When Recording A Mechanics Lien

If you are a contractor trying to get paid for work performed on a construction project, you are no doubt aware of your right to record a mechanics lien against the owner's property as security for payment.  The lien creates a cloud on the property's title that usually must be resolved prior to the sale or refinancing of the property. Although exercising your mechanics lien rights can often times lead to quick resolution of your claim for payment, there are a number of pitfalls that should be considered and avoided prior to recording your lien.

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