At a time when owners and contactors are watching every dollar it is more important than ever to make sure construction contracts are air-tight and that, as projects evolve, change orders are properly documented. Yet, competition for work has never been tighter and builders — everyone from the giants to one-man operations — are tempted to loosen their bidding and contract procedures, risking losses and lawsuits down the road, in exchange for landing a job.
On the labor end everyone is more willing than ever to make sacrifices. This means that laborers and sub-contractors might be willing to be squeezed more than they should in order to keep working and, at the other end, with profit margins cut to the bone, contractors may be tempted to grab any opportunity to cut costs by snapping up cheaper labor.
Yet one thing that’s worse than a measly profit is losing that profit, and more, after it has already been spent.
According to the January 30, 2012 edition Connecticut Law Tribune, there is a joint initiative underway by the Connecticut Department of Labor and the Federal Department of Labor to ramp up an ongoing crackdown on construction industry violations relating to minimum wage infractions, overtime payment infractions and faulty record-keeping by contractors and sub-contractors. This is an extension of an ongoing investigation centered in Connecticut and Rhode Island that has recovered nearly 3.3 million dollars in back wages since 2008.
The investigation is being conducted, in part, through an outreach and education initiative aimed at construction workers and independent contractors.