Imagine working on a project with a general contractor who has failed to pay you because the owner has failed to pay the general contractor. Unfortunately, this happens all the time in the construction industry. If you think you have the right to suspend work, think again. Stopping work on a project is big deal, one that requires caution and the advice of one of our Jacksonville construction attorneys. We will discuss important factors you need to consider before stopping work for nonpayment. Head over to part two to learn more.
Look to Your Contract
You are governed by your contract so before you stop work you must review your contract to see what it says about work a stoppage.
It is not uncommon for verbal or written contracts that are a few pages long, to not address the subject of stopping work. On the other hand, if you have a more sophisticated contract that consists of 20 pages or more, it is likely that work stoppage is addressed. This is common for larger jobs. Regardless, whether it is addressed or not, you are agreeing in advance to follow the stipulations therein. If you have a clause that states that you cannot stop work, you must keep working even if you are not getting paid.
If your contract does not consist of some type of work stoppage agreement, meaning there is nothing preventing you from stopping work, you may have some options. Always consult with a Jacksonville construction attorney before you make any drastic moves.
Your Current Status
Take a look at your job and determine the status of work and payment. In one scenario you may not have been paid for work you have completed and you want to stop work. In another scenario, you may have already been paid over and above for the work or materials you have performed or furnished for the job. What you are able to do in these types of situations varies. You must proceed with caution.
For example: if you are a subcontractor that has received a deposit for materials but you are having some difficulties on the job and have not provided the materials although they have been paid for, you must resolve this. You must address any lingering payments or guarantees to others. Failing to analyze these situations can leave you facing lien or bond claims.
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.