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Before this year’s General Assembly Session we wrote about two companion bills that would create a statute of limitations on claims made by the Commonwealth of Virginia on construction and design contracts for state projects. 

Yesterday, in a victory for the Virginia construction and design industries, the House of Delegates bill passed, on a bipartisan and unanimous basis, out of the House Courts of Justice Civil Subcommittee, over opposition voiced by the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS), the Governor’s Office, and VDOT.

On January 12, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to revise—and narrow—the definition of “joint employer” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Whether or not a company is a joint employer is a question that contractors who use staffing agencies, franchise businesses, and firms that outsource services should be asking themselves. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have found themselves in these types of work arrangements. A contractor or franchisor who is determined to be a joint employer can end up on the hook for wages that were ...

The Virginia Department of General Services has issued its General Assembly-mandated report on current Virginia law regarding state construction contracts and the freedom that the Commonwealth currently enjoys from any statutory time limitation on the state’s ability to bring claims against its contractors. 

The 2019 General Assembly bill, supported by the Hirschler Construction Law Team, that would have created a five-year statute of limitations on public projects, hit a roadblock during the 2019 Session when the House Appropriations Committee requested that the Department of General Services (DGS) conduct a study of the bill over the summer and fall of this year. After considering the findings of a recent survey and series of town hall meetings, the DGS is expected to issue a report by December 31, 2019.  In our latest post we discuss the survey findings and our own town hall participation which will impact the DGS’s report.

We have previously written about the Hensel Phelps case here and here and the result in that case arising from the Commonwealth’s complete immunity on state jobs from the normal five-year contract statute of limitations (in Hensel Phelps, a state agency was allowed to bring suit against a general contractor fourteen years after substantial completion). A recent Supreme Court of Virginia case arising in a different context highlights the need for either: (1) the General Assembly to change this law allowing the Commonwealth to bring stale lawsuits; or (2) general contractors to ...

Posted in Contracts

Pay-if-paid provisions are prevalent now in subcontracts.  Many contractors have a “take it or leave it” approach to these contracts.  However, there are several middle-ground positions that can more effectively address the parties’ risks. This post discusses these alternatives.

Virginia contractors are aware that licensure is required for any construction work. In this post we identify five nuances of licensure that contractors should consider.

Providing construction labor or materials to the federal government raises a host of issues that are not present in private or state projects. Prime contracts with the federal government subject companies to numerous federal regulations. While subcontractors and suppliers have less direct obligations to the federal government, there still are several laws to consider. In this blog we discuss five significant considerations all subcontractors or suppliers on federal projects should keep in mind during a project.


1. Rights to Payment. Subcontractors and suppliers can utilize ...

Most design and construction contracts contain “dispute resolution” provisions that require mediation, arbitration, or litigation. In this post we provide a reference chart identifying some of the differences, pros and cons among these three options. 

As the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session starts today, there will be a handful of bills that could greatly affect the construction industry. We recommend construction industry participants watch three particular bills closely this session.

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