I have discussed the impactful legislation to the Virginia construction industry in prior posts here at Construction Law Musings. One of those statutes that will take effect on July 1, 2020 will fundamentally change the relationships between general contractors and their subcontractors and suppliers.
Senate Bill 838 does the following on construction projects with a value of $500,000 or greater that are not single family residential construction projects:
- Makes the general contractor, and all tiers of subcontractors on a particular project contractually liable to pay their subcontractors’ (at any tier) employees wages.
- Requires that the payments are equal or exceed those required by other statutes.
- Deems contractors to be the employers of their subcontractors’ employees for purposes of Va. Code Section 40.1-29 that imposes criminal and civil penalties for failure to pay wages when due, and
- Grants employees a private right of action for any violations, including the right to a class or joint action, award of liquidated damages, reasonable attorney fees and possible treble damages for “knowing” violations by the contractor.