Virginia Construction

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Mechanic’s Liens: Small Mistakes Can Have Large Consequences

Virginia’s mechanic’s lien process provides potential added security for contractors. A properly perfected mechanic’s lien provides for a secured interest respecting the property’s improvement, which can provide a means of recovery for non-payment that contractors otherwise would not have to secure payment for contract breach claims. Virginia’s code suggests that the mechanic’s lien filing process is simple. Follow the stated filing requirements depending upon your ...
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ICC Releases Updated A117.1 Building Accessibility Standard

On June 29, 2017, the International Code Council (ICC), announced the release of an update to the 2009 ICC American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Standard. The ICC is the publisher of the International Codes or family of I-Codes as they are commonly known. One member of this family is the International Building Code (IBC), which has now been ...
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construction

Claims for Additional Costs and Delays Under the New AIA A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes one of the most widely-used sets of form contracts for use on construction projects.  AIA, which historically has revised the forms every ten years, currently is publishing a new set.  The focus of this article is the new version of A201 “General Conditions of the Contract for Construction.”  The A201 is incorporated into many of the AIA contracts ...
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Federal Contract Blacklisting Rule Repealed

On March 27, 2017, President Trump repealed the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" regulations issued by Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  These "Blacklisting" regulations required contractors to disclose federal employment and labor law violations when bidding, to comply with pay transparency obligations, and to limit employee pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Contractors that modified their terms and ...
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Construction Worker

Fall Protection: The Right Equipment, Training, and Emphasis Makes a Difference

Recent OSHA reporting identifies falling hazards as the leading cause of death on construction projects. OSHA or the Occupational Safety Health Administration was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act enacted by Congress in 1970. Under the Act, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace that complies with OSHA safety and health standards - including fall protection measures. Virginia’s Department of Occupation ...
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business law

February Architecture Billings Index (ABI) Inches Upward

The Architecture Billings Index showed a slight increase in billings at U.S. architecture firms in February 2017, reversing a slight decrease in January 2017. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from member firms located throughout the country regarding “work-on-the-boards,” and is compiled by the American Institute of Architects Economics & Research Group. Using a first-hand survey index ...
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construction

ConsensusDocs Updates 200 Series

ConsensusDocs continues to look to expand its use in the construction marketplace with its introduction of new 200 Series forms; the 235 Owner & Constructor Short Form Agreement (Cost of Work) and the 245 Owner & Design Professional Short Form Agreement. They update the prior 2014 versions; and are available at the ConsensusDocs website: http://www.consensusdocs.org/. Both are intended as condensed agreements, but with improved options ...
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Construction Worker

OSHA’s Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

EFFECTIVE JUNE 23, 2017 FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. 29 C.F.R. section §1926.1153. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. This ...
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Virginias Ongoing Efforts to Address Employee Misclassification by Construction Contractors

For several years, Virginia has been endeavoring to address employee misclassification in the Commonwealth, particularly in the construction industry.  In a 2014 Executive Order, the Governor raised concerns that contractors who misclassify employees as “independent contractors” were depriving the Commonwealth of taxes and denying workers insurance coverage and other benefits.  By avoiding these costs, such contractors gained a competitive advantage over contractors who complied with ...
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Virginia BEST Job Site Safety Initiative Collaboratively Created by AGCVA and VOSH

The Virginia BEST (Building Excellence in Safety, Health, and Training) is a volunteer safety initiative developed collaboratively between the Associated General Contractors of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Occupational Safety and Health. According to AGC Chairman, Mike Cagle, the Virginia BEST program is “designed to reduce employee injuries, improve employee morale and position AGCVA members to be more competitive by becoming the best in ...
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tools

Practicing Without A Contractor’s License: More Than A Slap On The Wrist

LAW TIPS Becoming a licensed general contractor is often a long and tedious process.  The applications can be lengthy and invasive, multiple reference letters may be required, and supplemental documents may need to be obtained.  The process is often mistakenly viewed as a clerical exercise without due respect to the ramifications that can accompany the lack of licensure or omissions in the application process. Contrary ...
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norfolk office

Not Registered with SAM? New Proposed Rule Would Preclude Offers

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a federal online portal providing contracting officers various informational access about companies doing business with the federal government. Under a new rule, DOD, GSA and NASA contractors must be registered in SAM prior to submitting offers or quotes. Additionally, the new rule will require contracting officers to use the name and physical address from contractor's SAM registration. More ...
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Be wary of of increasing claimed IRS Agent phone calls

Vandeventer Black law partner and tax law practitioner Geoff Hemphill recently relayed a personal experience that others are also increasing seeing involving scam phone calls from persons claiming to be an "IRS Agent" and claiming that the individual owes back taxes. The fake IRS Agent then says the call is the last chance to pay the back taxes before the IRS files a lawsuit. Geoff ...
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New Legislation Prohibiting Use of Experience Modification Factor For Contractor Eligibility

One of the new legislative changes that goes into effect in Virginia on July 1, 2016 is a prohibition against using any experience modification factor as a condition of any bidder's or offeror's eligibility to participate in a solicitation for construction. Interestingly, while the prohibition was added to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA), the language in the act expands application to both VPPA and ...
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Businesspeople

Virginia Supreme Court Confirms Employee Firings on the Spot

My law partner Anne Bibeau, who focuses her law practice on employment and labor law matters, provided this summary of the Virginia Supreme Court's recent decision in the case of Johnson v. William E. Wood & Associates, Inc.: In a recent opinion involving a fired realtor, the Virginia Supreme Court confirmed that at-will employees can be fired on the spot, without any prior notice to ...
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fair labor standards act

UPDATE: DOL Announces Final Overtime Rule

In our May 9, 2016 blog post we discussed the pendency of expected Department of Labor (DOL) regulations updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including overtime rules. This blog post updates our earlier post as yesterday, May 17, 2016, DOL announced its final rule. The rule's effective date is December 1, 2016. Some highlights of the final rule that vary from the earlier notice ...
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President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act

On May 11, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), providing federal protection respecting trade secret misappropriation. Among key aspects of this new federal law: Federal district courts are given jurisdiction for civil actions under DTSA, although not exclusive jurisdiction. In order for federal jurisdiction to lie, claimants need to show that the trade secret related to a product or service used in ...
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GSA Targets Schedule Contract Holders Regarding Countries of Origin for Products

The General Services Administration recently targeted nearly 3,000 GSA schedule contract holders earlier this month regarding the countries of origin for the schedule contract holders' offered products. This targeting comes after numerous congressional inquires and FOIA requests alleging product violations of both the Trade Agreements Act and the Buy American Act. Schedule contract holders were given a very short 5 days to review their total ...
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GAO Proposing Fee for E-Filing Protests

This post provides a summary of a new GAO rule change proposal prepared by Vandeventer Black Construction and Government Contracts Team. Dissatisfied bidders and offerors can currently file protests for free electronically, but the General Accountability Office (GAO) is now proposing a $350 fee. The reasons given for the change are to finance the program, including a new system, and seemingly to discourage what the ...
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Paid Sick Leave Mandate Proposed by DOL for Contractors

DOL has recently (Feb 24) proposed a rule requiring federal contractors to provide workers with up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The proposal is for contractors to offer one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work. Employees could use the time to care for themselves or family members and for absences resulting from sexual assault, domestic violence or ...
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