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Court Finds in Favor of Unlicensed Contractor

In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc., 187 So.3d 294 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016), the Court held that an unlicensed window installer could enforce the 4 year statute of limitations on construction contracts with licensed contractors even though he was unlicensed.  It further held that Florida Statute 489.128, Florida Statutes which makes contracts with unlicensed contractors void did not prevent the window installer from asserting the statute of limitations defense.

We question the long term viability of this decision given that the statute of limitations relied on by the unlicensed contractor specifically states that is applicable to “licensed contractors.”

As of July 1, 2016, Division II contractors are now required to insert a statutory warning in any residential contract that exceeds $2,500.  The warning is as follows:

FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS’ CONSTRUCTION RECOVERY FUND

PAYMENT, UP TO A LIMITED AMOUNT, MAY BE AVAILABLE FROM THE FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS’ CONSTRUCTION RECOVERY FUND IF YOU LOSE MONEY ON A PROJECT PERFORMED UNDER CONTRACT, WHERE THE LOSS RESULTS FROM SPECIFIED VIOLATIONS OF FLORIDA LAW BY A LICENSED CONTRACTOR. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECOVERY FUND AND FILING A CLAIM, CONTACT THE FLORIDA CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARD AT THE FOLLOWING TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS:

1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee FL 32399-0783
Telephone 850-487-1395
Website www.myfloridalicense.com

As many of you know, The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  OSHA set forth a variety of timelines for implementation which can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/effectivedates.html

On June 1, 2016, employers are required to “Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.”  We have seen a recent uptick in OSHA citations for improper labeling or training and expect this trend to continue given it is a fairly easy citation to prove.  Make sure that your training is up to date on the new standards and that labeling accurately reflects the new OSHA requirements.