State Enforcement Agencies End With A Strong Effort In 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — California construction contractors are pleased with many state agencies’ focused enforcement efforts toward both private and public works construction projects. In both types of projects, some awarding authorities, general contractors and builders continue to force and accept the lowest subcontractor bids regardless of the contractor’s compliance while legitimate and law-abiding contractors bid appropriately and lose the work.
“In light of public works reporting requirements, one would think that it’s easier to catch non-compliant contractors in the public works arena than in the private works arena,” said the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) Executive Director Brad Diede. “But the fact is that a great deal of cheating continues to take place in the public works arena. California construction contractors appreciate the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) efforts in cleaning that arena up, too.”
According to the DLSE’s December 17 release, California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su issued wage and penalty fines totaling more than $1 million to two construction contractors and has collected close to “$10 million in wages owed to workers on public works jobs in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.” Su also called attention to the action against the general contractor in one of the two cases stating that it “should serve as a warning to other contractors who fail to abide by our laws.”
“The focus of past efforts seems to have been more exclusively focused on duplicitous subcontractors,” said Diede. “We know there still are many non-compliant contractors in all sectors of construction, but we are encouraged by the enforcement agencies that focused their efforts during the last couple of years on flagrant and serial violators, as opposed to general sweeps.”
Diede further commented, “We are encouraged that the Labor Commissioner and the DIR Director Christine Baker have made genuine attempts to draw attention to the problem of complicit awarding authorities, general contractors and builders. Credit goes to leaders like Su and Baker for maintaining that tenacious focus.”
The California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors is a nonprofit 501(c)6 trade association advocating on behalf of trade contractors and suppliers of building materials in California. CALPASC initiated the LEVEL Program in 2010 to urge state agencies to work closely together in catching those in the construction industry who intentionally violate labor and safety laws and regulations to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding contractors.