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News Archives

Contractors Take Note: Title 24 Energy Code Requirements Have Changed!

The most recent changes to California's Building Energy Efficiency Standards, commonly known as Title 24 Requirements, which took effect on July 1, 2014, focus on performance-based, energy-efficient design and include requirements for a design team to complete a commissioning plan before building begins.  

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.  

Contractors, Architects and Owners Beware: Beacon Residential creates a duty of care by architects to homeowners associations

On July 3rd in Beacon Residential Community Assn v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (Case No. S208173) the California Supreme Court confirmed that construction design professionals owe a duty of care to third party property purchasers who did not hire or contract with the professionals. This landmark decision is a game-changer for owners, architects and contractors alike, as liability for design and defect issues now directly impacts architects and may lead to added construction costs.

California Construction Trends through 2014

California construction activity appears to be growing in 2014. Although the increases have been minimal in the first quarter, data generated by McGraw Hill Analytics predicts that there will be a ten percent increase in new construction projects in the western U.S. states this year. Indeed, in 2013, employment in the construction sector rose by 5.2 percent in California, indicating a growth in construction activity.

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.

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