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Tell Your Senator to Oppose S.2766 (Ramos) NOW!!
It is vital that NYSBA members reach out to their State Senator today and tell them to oppose S.2766 (Ramos).   The subject bill makes a general contractor jointly and severally liable for unpaid wages, benefits, wage supplements, penalties, liquidated damages, attorneys fees or any other costs resulting from actions under Labor Law article six.

Just this week, the Assembly version of the bill (A.3350-Joyner) passed through two committees and was approved by the house in ONE DAY.  That never happens in Albany.  So it is vital that you contact your Senator as soon as possible.

Under this bill general contractors are liable for subcontractors and lower tiered subcontractors even when there is no direct privity of contract. A subcontractor is covered under this bill even though the general contractor is unaware of their involvement in the construction project.

This shift of liability to the general contractor for wage claims effectively makes the general contractor the guarantor of any subcontractors involved in the construction project. This liability does not include any ability to monitor compliance with wage payment. There is a significant cost as a consequence of making the general contractor jointly and severally liable. The general contractor is placed in the position of having to potentially pay twice on his contract.

Further, small contractors with minimal capitalization will be negatively impacted as general contractors will have to carefully pre-qualify subcontractors to protect their potential liability. General contractors will have to use payment bonds or letters of credit, which will be difficult for many subcontractors to obtain to protect their interests.
 
This bill has no monetary limits so it is applicable to a small remodeling contracts as well as a large construction project. A bathroom or kitchen remodeling job for a homeowner would be covered, as subcontractors are required to perform portions of the work. The homeowner will experience increased costs on minor remodeling jobs as a consequence of this bill.

This bill particularly squeezes small independent homebuilders and remodelers, who run their own business. These individuals do not have the financial resources to pay twice. The ability to cover defaults of subcontractors as a guarantor is going to require the industry to move from a small business model to a larger size and scale to the detriment of the survival of small homebuilders and remodelers. 

That is why it is so important to contact your Senator and tell them to oppose S.2766 (Ramos) today!

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