New Labor Code Section 218.17 (AB 1701) makes a general contractor jointly liable for the unpaid wages, fringe benefits, or other benefit payments or contributions of a subcontractor (at any tier).

Labor Code 218.7 provides “down-the-chain protection” to a sub-contractor’s employees if they are  misclassified as as independent contractors or not paid. The bill applies even if the general contractor has paid the sub!!!!  Labor Code 218.7 does not apply to public projects.

To quote the bill’s author, Tony Thurmond:

“This measure incentivizes the use of responsible subcontractors and helps to ensure the economic vitality of the construction industry and its role in the creation of good paying middle class jobs.”

To the GC, this means you are screwed.  To the Property owner/Developer this means your construction costs will increase and small contractors will go out of business.  To Employment lawyers they will file more lawsuits.  To the Labor Board, they will hear more cases, etc.

header-construction-lawsSome strong cases extending the 1993 “Privette doctrine”,  Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689, holding that if an independent contractor’s employee is injured on the job and subject to workers’ compensation coverage, he cannot seek recovery of tort damages from someone who hired the contractor, but did not cause the injury, have been expanded.  Plaintiffs still will try to show that the hirer retained control over the cause of the accident.  But these cases  help refute many of plaintiff’s arguments such as: Continue Reading Cases helping General Contractors, Developers and Property Owners to avoid liability for injuries to subcontractors

construction-law“ Generally, when employees of independent contractors are injured in the workplace, they cannot sue the party that hired the contractor to do the work.” (SeaBright Ins. Co. v. US Airways, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 590, 594.) This rule has been known as the “Privette doctrine” since 1993 when the Supreme Court decided Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689, holding that when an independent contractor’s employee is injured on the job and thus subject to workers’ compensation coverage, he cannot seek recovery of tort damages from someone who hired the contractor, but did not cause the injury. Thus, a roofing employee injured carrying buckets of hot tar up a ladder could not sue the property owner for injuries compensable under the workers’ compensation system.  But there are some exceptions:

Continue Reading General Contractor’s still “generally” not liable for their sub’s employee’s injuries (“Privette Doctrine” Remains)