Every construction professional should strive to perform their work in an ethical manner; however, at times, some individuals may intentionally or unintentionally act in ways that threaten their livelihood.
Part one of our article covered two areas that contractors must ensure they are not found negligent: reporting safety violations and intentional construction fraud. In this second section, our Ft. Myers contractor lawyers will discuss worker misclassification and unlicensed activity.
An increasing number of employers are misclassifying their workers, and as a result, the Department of Labor (DOL) is increasing its investigations to verify that workers are classified correctly. Misclassification is a serious issue because it results in not paying your fair share of taxes or not providing employees with critical benefits and protections they are entitled to. It is one thing for the misclassification to be done inadvertently, but when it is done deliberately, employers place themselves in the position to have strict penalties brought against them. Avoid misclassifications claims by determining the appropriate classification for those on your construction site, be sure to review the DOL website.
Unlicensed contracting activity occurs daily in the construction industry. State contractor licensing rules may vary nationwide, and it is every contractor’s responsibility to ensure they meet their state and local licensing laws. In Florida, for example, it is a criminal offense to engage in contracting work without a valid contractor’s license. Unlicensed activity carries penalties such as criminal and administrative sanctions, loss of lien rights, unenforceable contracts, claims of fraud, among other penalties. If you hold a license but someone has alleged that you are unlicensed, it is imperative that you seek representation from a Ft. Myers contractor lawyer who is well versed in construction law and the DBPR processes.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.