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The General Assembly, in its 2020 session, passed new legislation (codified at new Virginia Code §11.4-6 and in amended and reenacted Virginia Code § 40.1-29) that makes Virginia general contractors jointly and severally liable for its subcontractors’ employee wages if the general contractor knew or should have known that the subcontractor was not paying its employees. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2020.

As states and localities update their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on a daily basis, some states have issued “stay at home” orders, or orders closing all “non-essential” businesses. This blog post provides readers with key takeaways on the applicability of these orders to construction.

We have previously reported on two bills that would have repealed Right to Work in full (HB153, Del. Lee Carter) and in part (SB426, Sen. Richard Saslaw). Both of these bills have failed in the General Assembly and will not become law. HB153 failed to pass the House Appropriations committee when that committee refused to schedule a vote on the bill before Crossover, the date by which all House bills must be heard in the House (and all Senate bills must be heard by the Senate). The Senate Bill was passed by indefinitely in the Senate Commerce and Labor committee, which means the bill will not be taken up by the Senate before crossover. 

Posted in Legislation

The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee, in a rare showing of bipartisan support, voted unanimously 13-0 on Wednesday night (February 5, 2020) to advance the new “state contract statute of limitations” bill to the Senate Finance Committee for further review and approval. This follows unanimous (and bipartisan) approval of a substantially similar companion bill on Monday afternoon (February 3, 2020) by the House of Delegates Courts of Justice Civil Subcommittee. The House bill will also go to the House Finance Committee for review and approval.

The Senate bill, which is ...

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.

As Democrats have now taken control of Virginia’s legislature, legislators and pundits have begun to debate repealing Virginia’s Right to Work law.  Delegate Lee Carter of Manassas has filed a bill that would repeal Right to Work, House Bill 153. What is Right to Work and what could a repeal of the law mean for you?

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 Legislation

Share your thoughts on a current law that exempts the Commonwealth from the statute of limitations available to written contracts by completing the Virginia Department of General Services's survey by September 6, 2019. 

The 2019 General Assembly adjourned on February 24, 2019, and the reconvened veto session adjourned on April 3, 2019.

All three of the bills discussed in our previous post – HB1667, SB1028, and SB272 – failed to pass this year. Although it ultimately failed to pass, House Bill 1667, which would have created a statute of limitations on public construction projects, made substantial progress in the General Assembly this year. The bill was voted out of its subcommittee, and Hirschler's own Webb Moore testified before the House Courts of Justice Committee, explaining to committee ...

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