Unlicensed General Contractors in North Carolina

April 18, 2011

Property owners frequently have questions about the license requirements on their homes. Some are aware of the $30,000.00 requirement with regard to contractors; that is, that general contractors cannot contract to have substantial control over construction work on a property that is not for their own residence that exceeds $30,000.00. But what is the impact of this license requirement? Read more

Changes in a Construction Contact Without a Change Order

April 13, 2011

Typically, in North Carolina a contractor or subcontractor is obligated to perform under the contract even though performance is more difficult or expensive than anticipated. However, under certain circumstances, a contractor can become entitled to additional compensation for a constructive change of the construction contract just as if a formal change order had been executed. Read more

Payment and Performance Bonds on Public Projects

April 12, 2011

Contractors, when looking to assert your lien rights against the general contractor or the owner, it’s important to understand whether this is a private project or a government funded project. Federally funded projects are subject to the Miller Act, while state or locally owned projects are subject to North Carolina’s local “Little Miller Act.” The requirements for government funded projects are different than for private construction jobs. The good thing for contractors is that performance and payment bonds are generally required by government projects. Performance bonds guarantee the principal faithful requirement of the contract requirements. Payment bonds guarantee payment to unpaid material suppliers, laborers, and certain subcontractors. Read more

Oral and Written Change Orders in Construction Contracts

April 8, 2011

Most construction contracts contain a clause allowing for change orders; which makes sense as unforeseen circumstances and changes in preferences invariably arise during a construction project. Courts define change orders as written orders to the contractor signed by the owner, architect, and contractor, issued after execution of the contract, authorizing a change in the work or an adjustment in the contract sum or contract time.

There are two approaches that contractors should be aware of regarding change orders: 1) the best case scenario; and the 2) occasionally realistic scenario: Read more

Construction Issues for Subcontractors where Contractor Has Not Received Funds From The Owner

April 6, 2011

It seems that a common statement from general contractors to subcontractors is that they don’t have the money to pay their subs until they receive funds from the owner. Many construction contracts have similar provisions. In North Carolina, these provisions are not necessarily enforceable against the subcontractor. Read more

Timely Pay for Terminated Employees

April 4, 2011

Most employers are aware of the employee at-will doctrine, whereby a worker can be terminated at any time for any reason, other than for a basis which violates state or federal law. Because of this rule, wrongful termination is a difficult claim for ex-employees to prove in North Carolina. However – while employers generally can fire non-contract employees – there are still proper measures associated with the act of termination. Failure to abide by these procedures can expose employers to liability under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, a statute with stiff penalties for employers. Business owners in violation of the Wage and Hour Act expose themselves to double damages – if they cannot show good faith in their violation of the Act – as well as the attorney fees of the employee, costs, and potentially even personal liability on the part of the company owner. Read more

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