While I have focused on the recent “pay if paid” legislation in recent posts, the Virginia General Assembly has taken other action that is of interest to those of us that represent construction professionals in Virginia.
One such action is yet another tweak to the so-called “wage theft” statute that essentially made a general contractor the guarantor of all wage payments of its downstream construction partners. The first of the tweaks to the statute passed in 2020 was to create a defense for a general contractor if it obtained a written certification of wage payment from its immediate downstream subcontractor. This year, the General Assembly expanded the protection provided by such certification to all subcontractors. In other words, any contractor or subcontractor can now protect itself from wage theft claims by the use of a certification that all wages were paid from its immediate downstream partner. The text of the changes can be found here. [note that the Governor has sent suggested grammatical amendments that did not affect the substance]