Ike's Thoughts May 15, 2020 Print

Executive Director's Report

Right of Offset Clauses end in Virginia on July 1stHow do you like those subcontract clauses in just about every subcontract that gives the GC a right to withhold payment on one project because there is a dispute on another project?  ASAMW contends that fairness dictates each job should stand on its own.  A law will take effect on July 1 that makes these clauses unenforceable.  You are protected in Maryland, also, but not in DC. An excellent paper on your rights in all three jurisdictions, as well as federal construction, is provided by Lauren McLaughlin with Smith Currie, by clicking here.  Know and protect your rights. 

Change Order Manual Available to YOU – The best change order manual according to industry experts is the MCAA Manual.  It is now available to ASAMW members at the MCAA member price of $150.  Once all subcontractors use the techniques in the manual to price change orders, they will stop financing this major part of current construction projects.  Requirements to address COVID-19 will cost subcontractors substantially if they do not demand payment for proper changes.  Click here for the ASA order form or call Michelle Castelino at MCAA at 240 631 6290 to pay by credit card.  Thanks to ASAMW’s Rick Freeman with Southern Insulation who has been heavily involved in this publication since its inception. 

Prepared for Economic Change? Watch Martha-Ann Marley - More than 200 people viewed a webinar by Martha-Ann Marley on how to prepare for the changing economy.  If you were unable to watch it, here is a link to a video of her presentation on Reset 2020, Solutions & Techniques to Maneuver Through Economic Constriction. Just click on the register button to visit the full presentation.

GCs in Virginia responsible for wages – The General Assembly of Virginia passed SB 383, which places the liability for wages on a job with the general contractor.  Click here for an article by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. that shows the GC is liable to ensure all tiers of subcontractors are paid proper wages. 

California passed a law (AB 5) that restricts the use of independent contractors.  To hire someone as an independent contractor, an employer must prove three things:

  1. The worker is free from the employer’s control.
  2. The worker is doing work that is not central to the employer’s business.
  3. The worker has an independent business to do work of the same nature being performed for the employer.

Be aware of the law if you plan to use independent contractors.

What GCs outside of DC are suggesting:  Indiana Subcontractors has a similar group to ours.  In meetings with their General Contractor partners the following was suggested for return-to-work situations:

They offered some best practices to consider, such as:

  • Ensuring common areas are off limits, including the use of the refrigerators and coffee machine.
  • Creating rules for walking in corridors.
  • Wearing masks either full time or when you leave your workstation/office.
  • Setting up a self-administered temp check station where employees and visitors would take their own temperature and then record it.
  • Utilizing a check-list that employees and visitors must go through daily.
  • Redesigning common areas and restrooms.
  • Setting up sanitation stations.

Tech Event coming in June – A virtual event will be held on June 23rd to enable ASAMW’s GC Partners to display technologies that might be under-utilized by subcontractors.  If you have a technology that you would like to display, just respond to this email.  This event is for GCs and Subs only and not for vendors.    

Time to end Pay When Paid?  Is it fair for a GC to tell you that you cannot be paid for work you have properly completed and invoiced for because the GC has not been paid by the owner?  ASA was involved in a recent case in California in which the court ruled that a surety cannot rely on a pay when paid clause because it would delay payment to a sub.  We need to start the dialogue and determine what is fair for all parties in this type of situation.  Your comments are encouraged. 

School Construction in DMV – It appears that school construction is opening up throughout the area.  Fairfax County is allowing some new and remodel work, although not if the entire school is closed.  Montgomery County and DC have not allowed jobs to start early according to our information.  If you have more insight please let us know.

Join the FrontRunners for Happy Hour on the Beach on June 4th - We all know we would rather be at the beach!  We hope to see you for a fun beach themed scavenger hunt! Mix up your favorite vacation inspired cocktail and be prepared to share the recipe with the group. Then, get ready to hunt for beach themed items around the house that we will call out. The winner will receive a $20 gift card to Starbucks. Register here.

Resources -  We developed a resource page that can be found on our website; this information gives subcontractors direction in dealing with contract, HR, loans and other issues. 

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Member Updates

Workforce Development – Shapiro & Duncan just launched the Build Your Path Podcast to promote construction jobs and address workforce development issues. A link is on Shapiro & Duncan’s linkedin page at this link.  

Please Complete the State of the Industry Survey How do you compare to your industry colleagues in preparing for the change that is coming?  Click here for a 10 minute survey that could change your plans for the future.  ASAMW members Neuberger and Company and Aronson LLC were involved in developing this survey.  You will get results if you participate

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