This bill would require that prime contractors be notified within one year that an allegation that a subcontractor has failed to pay proper prevailing wage has been made. The Business Council supports enactment of this legislation.
- Contractors are responsible for their subcontractor’s failure to pay wages and supplements under section 223 of the state’s labor law. There is, however, no requirement that the contractor be notified that a failure to pay has occurred; just that they are responsible. In requiring notification to the contractor, within a year, that a subcontractor has failed to pay proper wages or supplements, this bill improves the likelihood that the contractor can act and take appropriate steps to insure that the subcontractor corrects the unpaid wages or supplements. This would result in a quicker corrective payment to the worker. Logic dictates that the longer the period of notification to the contractor, the more likely that the project will be completed, the offending subcontractor is done and gone, the subcontractor has been paid in full by the contractor or that the subcontractor may even be out of business. These situations compound the difficulties of securing a quick resolution. A notification standard benefits all parties.
- Section 220-g of the labor law, Additional enforcement of article, authorizes the worker who was underpaid or others whom the worker authorizes to bring an action against an offending party within one year of the last alleged underpayment. By adding the one year notification period to section 223 as well, this bill adds appropriate consistency to contractor obligations under the law.
- This bill specifically provides that the offending subcontractor remains liable for the underpayment even after the one year period has passed.
- A balance of protection is provided by this bill to contractors by encouraging and stimulating timely reporting of underpayments. A one year reporting standard leaves sufficient time for employees or others to file notices of underpayment and thus begin the process of resolution.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation and strongly urges that it be enacted by the New York State Legislature.