Articles and Cases

THE IMPACT OF NEW LAW AB 1701: Direct Contractors May Be Liable for the Unpaid Wages of Subcontractors!

Direct Contractors may be liable for the unpaid wages of sub-contractors on any construction project, including repair projects.  Really.  The liability is for unpaid wages, fringes, benefit payments/contributions and interest.  Not only may the wage claimant seek a recovery from the direct contractor, but the Labor Commissioner may also enforce the claim.  The claim must be filed within one year of earliest of the notice of completion, notice of cessation or actual completion. 

How can a direct contractor defend itself?  First, it has a right to know the name and address of subcontractors of any tier (and a subcontractor has the same right as to lower tier subs).  More significantly, it may demand payroll records, including, minimum gross wages, total hours worked, number of piece-rate units (if applicable), all deductions, net wages, dates for which payment is made, name of the employee, applicable hourly rates and number of hours worked at each rate, among other information.  If the information is requested, all sums owed may be withheld until the information is provided. 

Contact Larry Lubka for more details or for any questions.

Meet The Official California State Dinosaur! (From New Law AB-1540)

For almost 170 years, the state of the Golden Bear has lacked a state dinosaur.  This horrendous oversight has at long last been fixed.  As a matter of law, Augustynolophus morrisi is now the official California state dinosaur.  For those who want to know it all, the California dino is a genus of the herbivorous saurolophine hadrosaur dinosaur, which was discovered in the Moreno Formation in California, dating to the late Maastrichtian age.  After 70 million years, the Augustynolophus morrisi has been given the recognition it deserves.  

Contact Larry Lubka for more details or for any questions.

New Law AB 1008: No Prior Conviction History Question Allowed on Job Application

Oh-Oh there goes the check box on the application. It is now unlawful for an employer with 5 or more employees to include questions about an applicant’s criminal history, to inquire or consider an applicant’s conviction history before making a conditional offer of employment. After a conditional offer is made, an employer can inquire about and do a background check regarding criminal conviction. However, an employer who intends to deny an applicant a position of employment solely or in part because of the applicant’s conviction history must make an individualized assessment of whether the applicant’s conviction history has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job.

Only when the there is a direct and adverse relationship with the duties of the job, i.e. a person convicted of financial fraud handling money, can the employer notify the applicant in writing the specific conviction(s) that form the basis that the offer is being withdrawn, and must attach a copy of the conviction history report. The notice must inform the applicant they then have 5 business days to respond to the notice and if the applicant responds within 5 business days that they are disputing the accuracy of the conviction information they have an additional 5 business days to respond in order to gather that disputing evidence. 

Before making a final decision, the employer must consider the applicant’s response. If an employer makes a final decision to still withdraw the offer, the employer must notify the applicant in writing of all the following: (1) The final denial or disqualification - the employer may, but is not required to, justify or explain the employer’s reasoning for making the final denial or disqualification; (2) Any existing procedure the employer has for the applicant to challenge the decision or request reconsideration; and (3) The right to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Contact Jeffrey Epstein for more details or for any questions.

Keep watching.  More new laws to come.


Listed below are just a few of the topics I have addressed in 30 years of giving seminars and courses regarding construction law, public works and government contracts. All of my courses are regularly updated to reflect changes in codes and regulations, as well as recent court decisions. If your organization, company or public entity …


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