Co-author: Michael Kelsheimer
Whatever your political views, undocumented workers and the businesses that knowingly or unknowingly employ them are coming under the microscope.
If you compile recent headlines, you’ll know the President has implemented two immigration bans, is challenging so-called “Sanctuary Cities” that do not help Federal immigration enforcement, has instructed government agencies to become more aggressive in enforcement of immigration laws, and is already reviewing proposals to strengthen the border wall. On top of this, the E-Verify program for verifying worker status is likely to become mandatory.
Further, employers who try to do it right by using the H-2B program have been dealt a stiff blow. The Returning Worker Program, which dramatically extended the stingy 66,000 nationwide cap on H-2B non-immigrant workers, has not been renewed. The H-2B cap has already been reached for 2017, so the hope for help there is gone. Continue Reading
Most commercial construction contracts contain a “No Damage For Delay” Clause and most contractors mistakenly believe they are Kings X for any potential claims related to delay caused by an owner or original contractor. While nearly every commercial construction contract contains the same or similar provisions, it is important to keep in mind they all have different authors, which means typically no two clauses are ever drafted the same.
This is particularly important when it comes to “No Damage For Delay” Clauses as the actual breadth of the language and scope will set the tone for their enforcement or circumvention. There are several common law exceptions to “No Damage for Delay” clauses recognized in Texas, which may be neutralized or ignored by the particular language of a “No Damage for Delay” Clause. Continue Reading
Texas law imposes certain implied warranties on the sale of goods, regardless of whether the warranties are mentioned in the contract. In particular, Texas law creates the warranty of “merchantability” and the warranty that the goods are “fit for a particular purpose.” Continue Reading
Commercial landlords often allow commercial tenants to construct a buildout tailored to their business (e.g., retail stores, restaurants, redesigning office space, etc.) Such tenants hire general contractors who in turn hire subcontractors and suppliers. What lien rights do such subcontractors and suppliers have? Continue Reading
If you furnish labor or materials to an oil or gas well and are not paid, then you should consider filing a mineral lien. Below are the steps to perfect a mineral lien. Continue Reading
Get the project information up front
You should ask your customer for the owner’s name and address, the location of the project, a copy of the payment bond (if any), and the general contractor’s name and address (if you are a second tier subcontractor or supplier). Having this information at the outset will help you quickly send out bond and lien notices if the new customer falls behind on making payments. Continue Reading
Federally owned construction projects are covered by a Miller Act Payment Bond for the benefit of the subcontractors and suppliers thereof. If you make a claim for payment under the Miller Act, you may, under certain circumstances, also have a claim for attorney fees and interest. The text of the Miller Act is silent with respect to attorney fees and pre-judgment interest. However, federal common law allows the recovery of both under certain circumstances. Continue Reading
Non-competes are governed by different rules from other contracts. Courts limit non-competes to certain circumstances, such as when an individual has received confidential information, goodwill, or specialized training; even then, the restrictions on competition must be “reasonable.” However, when it comes to determining the applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act, the United States Supreme Court recently held non-competes should be treated the same as any other contract Continue Reading
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the rise in litigation regarding covenants not to compete, along with a summary of the positives and negatives of these covenants. For good or bad, a covenant not to compete is enforceable in Texas if it is ancillary to, or part of, an otherwise enforceable agreement at the time the agreement is made, but only to the extent that the covenant contains limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained that are reasonable and do not impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other protectable interests of the employer. Continue Reading
Construction legislation in the 2013 session was much different from 2011. In 2011 many new construction related laws were passed including governance of indemnities and mechanic’s liens. In 2013 many significant construction related bills were considered, but relatively few passed. Nevertheless, the few that did get signed into law are worthy of review. Continue Reading