NFIB speaks out against direct contractor bill
Mark Grant thinks current law already does a better job of dealing with the issue to which House Bill 2838 is being promoted as a solution.
“If there are occasions where contractors don’t fulfill their obligations to workers, current law allows for a remedy through the Department of Labor,” Grant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), told the Prairie State Wire. “I also don’t think a prime contractor should be put on the hook for having to pay the same bill twice over.”
Critics charge that’s exactly what HB 2838 would allow by enacting changes to the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Act stipulating that general contractors be held responsible for the wages of their subcontractors’ employees, regardless of such factors as the contractor having already been paid in full by the subcontractor.
According to Construction Dive, such payments would also be subject to interest and leave general contractors vulnerable to property seizures for noncompliance to the new law.
“This would absolutely be misguided law,” Grant added. “How is it right that the prime contractor would be on the hook twice for the same payment and there be no other legal recourse if you stand up and say no to it?”
With the bill having already passed the House of Representatives with at least 40 co-sponsors and now sitting in the Senate Assignments Committee for further consideration, Grant said he does not plan on remaining silent as the process continues to play out.
“We’ll do what we do in a lot of cases that come around that are similar to this,” he said. “We’ll join a coalition with like-minded groups, then provide our information, input and reasoning, along with explaining why we’re on the side that we are.”