On October 10, 2018, the amendments to the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, 73 P.S. § 501, et seq. (CASPA) will take effect and significantly impact the rights and duties of owners, contractors, and subcontractors on all Pennsylvania commercial construction projects and some residential projects.

First passed in 1994, CASPA was enacted as a tool for contractors and subcontractors to receive timely payment. As most in the industry know, the statute sets forth payment procedures and timetables, and it defines what constitutes a wrongful withholding of payment. Violations may result in significant penalties, such as statutory interest, penalty interest, and assessment of attorneys’ fees and costs.

Continue Reading PA CASPA Amendments Become Effective October 10

Effective October 1, 2018, general contractors with projects in Maryland will have a new headache to deal with. That’s when Maryland’s new law, the General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages Act, will go into effect. Under the Act, GCs will be jointly and severally liable for the failure of any subcontractors on the GC’s project to comply with Maryland’s existing wage and hour law. GCs will have to ensure that all of their subcontractors (including any sub-subcontractors or other firms they hire) pay their employees in accordance with Maryland law. Continue Reading New Maryland Law Exposes General Contractors and Subcontractors to Greater Wage and Hour Liability

Recent OSHA activity indicates possible changes in the scope and enforcement of the newly-created Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illnesses Rule (Electronic Reporting Rule). OSHA intends to collect less data than the rule requires in order to address concerns about publicizing personally identifiable information (PII). This move suggests other changes to the rule may follow.  Continue Reading Recent OSHA Regulatory Shifts May Address Concerns About Electronically Submitting Workplace Injury and Illness Data

A recent federal appeals court decision rejected a challenge to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new rule for respirable crystalline silica (silica) exposure in the construction industry (the Silica Rule), keeping the rule largely intact. This new rule lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica to fifty micrograms per cubic meter (50μ/m3) from the previous construction industry standard of 250 μ/m3. At the time OSHA began enforcing the Silica Rule on September 23, 2017, there still remained pending in federal court a challenge to the rule brought by multiple industry groups (Industry), mostly consisting of commercial construction trade associations representing general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.  Continue Reading ICYMI: Federal Appeals Court Upholds New OSHA Silica Rule

Traditionally, public agencies have awarded construction contracts via the “lowest responsible bidder” procurement method, where bidders submit sealed bids and contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, a number of governmental entities have started to award contracts through “best value” procurement, which looks at factors other than price. Quality, experience, and expertise of the bidders also are relevant considerations when selecting contractors or vendors under a “best value” procurement format.

Following the trend, on May 16, 2017, Philadelphians approved a ballot measure that amended the City’s Home Rule Charter to allow the City to award certain contracts based on the “best value” standard, in addition to the “lowest responsible bidder” approach. Shortly thereafter, on July 27, 2017, the City issued regulations governing the award of contracts based on the “best value” method. Continue Reading “Best Value” Procurement Takes Hold in Philadelphia: What it Means for the Construction Industry

UPDATE: On November 22, 2017, OSHA announced that it moved the electronic reporting deadline for 2016 data and information from December 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The following blog post has been updated to reflect this change. No other parts of the new electronic submission regulations were changed.

December 15, 2017 is the final deadline to comply with the newly implemented Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) regulations that require electronically submitting 2016 workplace injury data and information to OSHA. To help navigate these regulations, here are few reminders about this new reporting format that affects almost all construction industry businesses.

Continue Reading One Final Reminder: OSHA Electronic Records Submission Deadline December 15, 2017

This article was originally published in the 2017 edition of the Utility and Transportation Contractor Association’s Magazine.

If you are a union contractor, you are probably making contributions into one or more union pension funds every month. These pension funds, known as multi-employer pension plans (MEPs), rely on a number of employers paying their share toward a common fund. Notably, because of the nature of these pension plans, many (if not all) of them are underfunded and do not presently have enough assets to cover their expectant liabilities. However, despite underfunding, employees are still entitled to their full pension benefits. But who is responsible for this unfunded amount, and what happens if you exit the fund?  Continue Reading What Every Contractor Needs to Know About Withdrawal Liability

Have you ever been in a situation where your subcontractor or fabricator did not have the financial ability to purchase material needed for a project? Have you ever offered your assistance by way of either directly purchasing the material and providing it to the subcontractor/fabricator or advancing funds to the subcontractor/fabricator to allow for the purchase? While this arrangement has its advantages, contractors should be aware of their exposure, particularly if the subcontractor/fabricator has financial issues down the road. Even though a contractor fronts the funds to purchase the materials, it could lose its interest in those materials to the subcontractor/fabricator’s lender, especially if that lender holds a security interest in the subcontractor/fabricator’s inventory.  Continue Reading Contractors: Protect your Investment in Materials

October 26, 2017 – King of Prussia, PA
PDF INVITATION

Cohen SegliasMadison Risk Group, McCarthy & Company, and The Shepherd Agency invite you to their 2017 Construction Executive Boot Camp featuring New York Times best-selling author Steve McClatchy. Steve will present his Decision-Making System that will help you manage the pressures and tensions inherent in creating, building, leading, and sustaining a fast changing high-performance company within the construction industry.  Continue Reading Construction Executive Boot Camp 2017

In a previous post, we wrote about drones (which are more formally referred to as “unmanned aircraft systems” or UAS), as well as the nascent federal and state statutory and regulatory framework.

Since our last article, drone use – as predicted – has grown more prevalent throughout the U.S. commercial marketplace and especially the construction industry. Last year, an estimated 2.5 million drones were sold in the United States, and approximately 670,000 drones were registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) during the same time period. Continue Reading Still “Up in the Air”: More Drones and More Regulations