A contractor can receive a stop-work order for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons include:
- Workers do not have workers’ compensation coverage
- The jobsite consists of unsafe conditions
- The contractor failed to obtain licensing before commencing work
- Payroll is misrepresented or concealed by the employer
- Employees tasks or positions are misclassified
Regardless, when you receive a stop-work order in Florida or anywhere else, the first step is to cease all work. The second step is to contact a stop-work order attorney. From there, you can begin the process of having the stop-work order lifted.
In this brief article, construction attorneys with Cotney Construction Law will discuss the process of having a stop-work order lifted. Remember, failing to comply with a stop-work order can result in excessive penalties, including criminal charges. To protect your business and mitigate the penalty of a stop-work order, consult a stop-work order attorney in Florida.
Steps to Lifting a Stop-Work Order
A stop-work order is a legal device used to suspend work until an issue is corrected. Here are the four steps to lifting a stop-work order:
1) Fix the Problem
Naturally, in order for work to commence, you first need to correct the issue. For example, if you are not in compliance with workers’ compensation law, you need to purchase a policy for your workers. In other words, whatever the violation was issued for needs to be corrected before you have any chance of having the stop-work order lifted.
2) Pay the Initial Penalty Fee
After you correct the issue, you need to secure payment towards your penalty. For a stop-work order in Florida, all payments should be made to the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) Workers’ Compensation (WC) Administration Trust Fund. After you correct any issues that resulted in the stop-work order and are prepared to pay the penalty, a construction lawyer can contact the investigator or the compliance office on your behalf and issue your first payment installment (minimum of $1,000 towards final penalty).
3) Receive a Conditional Release
After contacting the Bureau of Compliance, the investigative staff will need to evaluate the site and verify that the appropriate corrections have been made before lifting the stop-work order. Once valid proof of compliance is provided and a minimum payment of $1,000 towards the penalty is issued, the business will receive an Agreed Order of Conditional Release.
4) Pay the Final Penalty Amount
Although work can commence after a business receives an Agreed Order of Conditional Release, the business is still obligated to pay the total sum of their final penalty in a reasonable period of time. A business has up to 28 days from the time that the stop-work order was issued to pay the final sum of their penalty. If a business fails to provide timely payment, the stop-work order will be reissued and penalties will commence until full payment is provided.
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.