Industry Issues to Be Aware Of (4)

May 31, 2012 | from AdminBerenson No Comments

EPA: The EPA has fined 2 companies for violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Valiant Home Remodelers of Carteret, N.J., will pay $1,500 to for failing to follow lead-safe work practices. Johnson Sash & Door of Omaha, Neb., will pay $5,558 for failing to delivery the “Renovate Right” pamphlet.

Florida: Floridians can now sign up on the state’s “Do Not Call” list for free. In fact, 50,000 Floridians registered on the first two days. Previously, registration cost $10 and then $5 afterward for annual renewals. A violation can result in up to a $1,000 fine if the state pursues the case administratively and up to $10,000 per violation if the case is successfully brought in court.

New York: A proposed bill in the New York legislature would give the State Labor Commissioner the authority to investigate compensation claims made by independent contractors. As of now, the State Labor Commissioner only has the authority to investigate wage claims by employees.

Maine: NAPAC has had a number of inquires about Maine’s “Predetermination of Independent Contractor Status” law from the Maine Workers Compensation Board. Under the law, to remove doubt that a subcontractor is an independent contractor, the subcontractor can apply to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board for a predetermination. Any predetermination is valid for one year from the date granted and is portable, which allows subcontractors to present a certificate to other companies.

Now, some words of caution – predeterminations remain rebuttable and will still allow subcontractors to file claims for benefits if they are injured. This is why it is important to continue to follow independent contractor protocols even if the subcontractor does have a predetermination from the state.

From the contractor’s point of view, however, be careful what you ask for, because if you don’t have your ducks in a row before sending your installers in for a predetermination, you may not like the answer you get and the hornet’s nest you open up on yourself.