Reports

S.F. No. 1988 – Wage Protection for Construction Workers

This is the proposed SF No. 1998 bill, which seeks to provide additional wage protection to construction workers. 

 

Section 1. Examination of records. [§ 177.27, subd. 1] Authorizes the commissioner of labor and industry to transcribe the books, registers, payrolls, and other records as necessary and to question employees for compliance under section 181.165 (wage protection; construction workers).

Section 2. Compliance orders. [§ 177.27, subd. 4] Authorizes the commissioner of labor and industry to issue orders to comply with section 181.165 (wage protection; construction workers). Specifies that a contested case proceeding must then be held in accordance with section 181.165.

Section 3. Court actions; suits brought by private parties. [§ 177.27, subd. 8] Allows an employee to bring a civil action for a violation of section 181.165. Specifies that a contractor that has assumed a subcontractor’s liability is liable to an employee for the full amount of wages, less any amount the contractor can show was actually paid and for liquidated damages.

Section 4. District court jurisdiction. [§ 177.27, subd. 9] Provides that an action brought for a violation of section 181.165 may be filed in district court.

Section 5. Attorney fees and costs. [§ 177.27, subd. 10] Specifies that a court order an employer found to have committed a violation of section 181.165 to pay the employee or employees reasonable costs, disbursements, witness fees, and attorney fees.

Section 6. Wage protection; construction workers. [§ 181.165] Subdivision 1. Definitions. Defines terms for this section regarding wage protection for construction workers. Terms defined are claimant, commissioner, construction contract, contractor, owner, and subcontractor.

Subdivision 2. Assumption of liability. Specifies that a contractor entering into a construction contract assumes and is liable for any unpaid wages, fringe benefits, and resulting liquidated damages owed to a claimant or third party. Prohibits a contractor from evading liability under this section either by agreement or other actions.

Subdivision 3. Enforcement. Allows an employee to designate a person, organization, or collective bargaining agent authorized to file a complaint with the commissioner or in court to make a wage claim on the claimant’s behalf. Allows the attorney general to bring a civil action on behalf of employees.

Subdivision 4. Payroll records; data. Requires a subcontractor to provide payroll records and other data for all workers, including independent contractors, providing labor on the project to a requesting contractor or subcontractor. Allows a contractor to withhold payments owed to a subcontractor at any tier for a failure to comply with a request for information. Prohibits a contractor or subcontractor from disclosing an individual’s personal identifying information to the general public.

Subdivision 5. Payments to contractors and subcontractors. Specifies that this section does not alter any payment obligations to contractors and subcontractors required under the statute governing building and construction contracts unless permitted by this section.

Subdivision 6. Exemptions. Provides that nothing in this section diminishes the rights, privileges, or remedies of any employee under any collective bargaining agreement. Allows provisions of this section to be waived by a collective bargaining agreement. Exempts work for which prevailing wage rates apply.

Section 7. Effective date. Provides an effective day of August 1, 2023, and applicable to contracts or agreements entered into, renewed, modified, or amended on or after that date.

2021 Legislative Session Report

It took an incomplete Regular Session, then a Special Session in June, but the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House completed their work sending a $52b budget to Governor Walz, narrowly avoiding a shutdown.

BAM had another successful session. Like everyone, we had to adapt our advocacy to navigate the challenges of a largely remote/hybrid session. Our April 14th “virtual” Day at the Capitol, BAM Priorities letters, bipartisan local relationships, many Zoom lobbying meetings, and even legislator cell numbers were more critical than ever.

Special thanks to Chair Keith Kylmala for convening and leading BAM’s Government Relations committee. We thank all our members whose expertise and advocacy are key to BAM’s success.

Find out more on BAM wins and other law changes relevant to the home building & remodeling industry from the 2021 Session & Special Session.

CLICK HERE to read the 2021 Legislative Session Report.