Maryland Senate Bill 853 – General Contractors Now Liable for Ensuring Payment to Subcontractor Employees

As of October 1, 2018, General Contractors operating on construction services projects in Maryland are now potentially subject to additional liability under the “General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wage Act” introduced through Maryland Senate Bill(…)

Governor Wolf Signs Amendments to CASPA into Law

On June 12, 2018, Governor Wolf signed HB 566, as amended, into law.  The new law makes some significant changes to the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) and it will take effect on October 10, 2018 (120 days after it was signed). The(…)

Payment Bond Fraud in Pennsylvania – Why Subcontractors Should Request Copies of Payment Bonds When Signing Subcontractors for Public Projects

The News Story The Times-Tribune reports that a Lackawanna County insurance agent recently pleaded guilty to fraud for accepting premiums for payment bonds from contractors but never actually procuring those payment bonds from a surety.  This resulted(…)

Bill Seeking to Amend Pennsylvania’s Private Project Prompt Payment Act Passes House Vote

On June 20, 2017, Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 566, which proposes amendments to Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”), by a 168 to 26 vote.  The bill introduced by Representative Santora is very(…)

Bill Seeking to Amend Construction Payment Act Introduced in Pennsylvania’s Legislature

On May 18, 2017, Representative David S. Maloney, Sr. (R., Berks County) introduced House Bill 1387, which seeks to amend Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA).  The changes include the inserting language amending CASPA to st(…)

Commonwealth Court Addresses Engineer Licensure Requirements

On May 24, 2016, the Commonwealth Court in Se. Reprographics, Inc. v. Bureau of Prof’l & Occupational Affairs, No. 2235 C.D. 2014, 2016 WL 2979844 (Pa. Commw. Ct. May 24, 2016) addressed an issue of first impression and held that the petitioner di(…)

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Proposed Budget Includes Over $10 Billion for Federal Building Fund

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is the federal government’s real estate manager and director of the government’s real estate investment strategies. The Agency’s FY 2017 funding requests, submitted along with the President’s proposed bud(…)

OSHA Fine Increases to Take Effect on August 1 but Increased Fines Could Apply to Inspections Occurring Now

As previously reported in Babst Calland’s November 2015 Employment Bulletin, a little-noticed provision in the recent federal budget permits the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to raise its monetary penalties by nearly 80%.  The(…)

Babst Calland Attorneys Attend Prompt Pay Task Force Coalition Meeting to Discuss Amendments to Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act

On April 5, 2016 Babst Calland Attorneys Robert Palumbi and Marc Felezzola attended a Prompt Pay Task Force Coalition meeting in Harrisburg organized by the American Subcontractors Association’s Central Pennsylvania Chapter to discuss House Bill 726 o(…)

Proposed Legislation to Address Utility Delays on Pennsylvania Construction Projects

Our firm recently presented to members of the National Utility Contractors Association of Pennsylvania (“NUCA of PA”). The presentation summarized recent testimony offered by NUCA of PA to the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee aimed 1) to e(…)

Proposals Submitted to PennDOT for CNG Fueling Station P3 Project

On January 4, 2016 the three shortlisted proposers competing to enter into a public-private partnership (a “P3”) with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) submitted their proposals.  The award of the P3 contract, which calls for c(…)

West Virginia Amends Public Project Change Order Process then Adopts Emergency Rule Restoring Previous Process

On July 1, 2015, amendments to West Virginia’s laws governing public construction took effect.  Among the changes ushered in by those amendments was a new requirement that all change orders for public construction be approved by the Purchasing Divisio(…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Grants Appeal of Decision Holding Individual Owner of an LLC May Not Be Liable for CASPA Damages

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently granted allowance of appeal of the Scungio Borst & Associates v. 410 Shurs Lane Developers, LLC case that we blogged about in February of this year.  As described more fully in our prior blog post, in Scungi(…)

American Arbitration Association Revises Rules for Construction Arbitration

On July 1, 2015 the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) issued revisions to its Construction Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures intended to address preferences of users for a more streamlined, cost-effective, and tightly managed arbitrati(…)

Proposed Amendment to Mechanics’ Lien Law Seeks to Give Architects Lien Rights in Pennsylvania

Representative Dan Truitt, a Republican serving part of Chester County, Pennsylvania, recently proposed as House Bill 430 legislation that seeks to amend the Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 (i.e. the current and applicable mechanics’ lien l(…)

Skanska and Massaro Opening New Offices in Western and Central PA

In exclusive April 14, 2015, article, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported that Skanska, a Swedish construction company that ranks as the world’s seventh largest, is opening a new office in Pittsburgh.  The construction giant will occupy approximate(…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Confirms That Only Clients and Patients of Professionals Need a Certificate of Merit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Bruno v. Erie Insurance Company holding that the Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure requiring a certificate of merit to pursue a negligence claim against a licensed professional in their(…)

OSHA update: New Reporting Requirements Started January 1, 2015

Beginning January 1, 2015, there was a change to what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). Employers will now be required to report within 24 hours: (1) all in-patient hospitalizations(…)

Labor and Employment Professor’s Study Shows that the Marcellus Shale has Boosted the Construction Industry

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times, Robert Bruno, a labor and employment relations professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has determined that the shale fields in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern(…)

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Announces New P3 Project to Construct 37 CNG Fueling Stations

On September 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) issued a press release announcing that the Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (“P3″) Board approved a project seeking a private partner to design, build, finance, op(…)

New Jersey OSHA Instructor Pleads Guilty to Selling False OSHA 30 30 Certifications, Faces up to 5 Years in Prison

On September 10, 2010, Frederick T. Prinz, an New Jersey based Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) instructor pleaded guilty to selling false OSHA 30 Hour cards to New Jersey construction workers.  Mr. Pritz’s actions qualify as a f(…)

Reports Indicate Construction Activity Starts Down Significantly in First Half of 2014

Recent economic data suggests that construction starts are down significantly over the first half of the 2014 calendar year.  According to the Tall Timer Group, as reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, housing starts are down 37.3% and non-reside(…)

Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law to Protect Home Owners from Double Jeopardy and Clarify Priority Given to Open Ended Mortgages

On July 9, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law legislation amending Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 (the current Mechanics’ Lien Law in Pennsylvania).  The stated primary purpose of the amendments is to protect homeowners who pay the(…)

Pennsylvania Construction Job Growth Ranks Fourth Highest

The Pittsburgh Business Times, citing an analysis of Labor Department Data performed by the Associated General Contractors of America, recently reported that over the past twelve months, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has experienced the fourth high(…)

Babst Calland Attorneys Publish Article on Public-Private Partnerships

The February/March 2014 edition of Foundation Drilling Magazine features an article written by Babst Calland attorneys Richard D. Kalson and Marc J. Felezzola entitled “P3:  The Future of the Construction Industry?”  The article discusses the growing(…)

PennDOT Shortlists Four Teams for its Rapid Bridge Replacement P3 Project

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) has announced that based upon responses to PennDOT’s request for qualifications for its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, a public-private partnership involving the construction of more than 50(…)

Construction Industry Employment Reaches Highest Level Since June of 2009

According to the most recent government data as reported by the Associated General Contractors of America (the “AGC”), construction employers added 15,000 workers to payrolls in February despite harsh winter weather throughout much of the nation.  Tho(…)

Ohio Rules Drafted for Construction of Well Sites

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has drafted, for public comment, rules concerning well site construction.  The current draft requires submission of an application along with a set of detailed drawings, a sediment and erosion control plan, a d(…)

Construction Employment in Pittsburgh Grew in 2013, but Fell Overall for Pennsylvania

A report analyzing data from the Department of Labor posted on the Associated General Contractors of America’s website indicates that while construction employment for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania fell by 3% in 2013, construction employment for th(…)

Allegheny County Could have as Many as 60 Bridges Constructed as Public-Private Partnership Projects

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published an article about how Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) plans to replace at least 500 decaying bridges across Pennsylvania via public-private partnerships (“P3”).  According to the ar(…)

Third Extension for Ethane Cracker Plant

Once again, Shell and Horsehead have extended their land option agreement for Horsehead’s zinc smelter in Beaver County, the site for Shell’s potential cracker.  This is the parties’ third extension.  Read more on this topic at Babst Calland’s Shale E(…)

More Positive Data from the Economic Industry

Recent economic data suggests that the construction industry is continuing to pull itself out of the recent economic downturn.  For example, the Associated General Contractors of America (the “AGC”), citing a data released by the Census Bureau, is rep(…)

United States Supreme Court Delcares Choice of Forum Clauses Enforceable

In June of 2013 we reported that the United States Supreme Court agreed to decide In re Atlantic Marine Construction Co. to resolve a split between the United States Courts of Appeals regarding whether a federal court must honor a forum selection clau(…)

Update on Shell’s Ethane Cracker Plant

Shell, which has indicated that it will decide next year whether to build a cracker in Beaver County, continues to negotiate land deals with businesses and residents in areas surrounding Horsehead’s zinc smelting plant in Monaca Borough, the site for(…)

Data Indicates that the Construction Industry Unemployment Hit a Six-Year Low in September

According to a press release issued by Associated General Contractors of America, an analysis of the most recent government data indicates that employment in the construction industry rose by 20,000 jobs in September, and the industry’s unemployment r(…)

Federal Government Shutdown Having Limited Affect on Federal Highway Administration Construction, but Affecting Federal Contract Solicitation and Awards

As the shutdown of the federal government enters its second week, its impact on federally funded construction projects has been somewhat muted because of the way that certain federal agencies receive their funding.  For example, because the Federal Hi(…)

Association of General Contractors’ Website Has Resource Center for Contractors Affected by Government Shutdown

The Association of General Contractors has created a Resource Center to provide information to government contractors about the current federal government shutdown.  The Resource Center, which is available here, contains links to contingency plans dra(…)

New Law Removes Cap on Set-Asides for Contracts with Women-Owned Small Business

In October 2010, the Small Business Administration implemented the Women-Owned Small Business Program, which authorized contracting officers for federal agencies to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible and qualified Women-Owned Small Busin(…)

Report Indicates that the Average Construction Dispute Costs Nearly $11k

A recent article in the Engineering News-Record details a report titled “The Interpersonal Cost of Conflict in Construction” issued by the Center for Construction Research and Training.  The report reviewed and analyzed 41 conflict incidents that aros(…)

ENR Reports that Construction Unemployment Rate Hits Four Year Low

The Engineering News-Record, citing statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is reporting that the national unemployment rate for the construction industry dropped below 10% for the first time since September of 2008.  This marks a decre(…)

Job Growth

According to ENR, the construction industry, as a whole, added 7,000 jobs in May.  Likewise, 4,900 jobs were added in the fields of architecture and engineering.  Read more here.

Pipeline Construction Continues In Region

Rockford Corporation, a subsidiary of Primoris Services Corporation, has announced awards of five pipeline construction projects valuing approximately $92 million.  Four of the five projects will be located in Pennsylvania and/or West Virginia.  All o(…)

Engineering News-Record Releases Very Positive Second Quarter Costs Report

The June 24/July 1 double issue of the Engineering News-Record (“ENR”) contains a very positive cost report for the second quarter of 2013.  According to ENR, the construction industry confidence index climbed another four points to close at a 69 out(…)

United States Supreme Court to Hear Case Regarding Enforceability of Forum Selection Clauses

Construction subcontracts often contain “forum selection” clauses requiring that the parties to the contract settle all of their disputes in arbitration or litigation in some state that seems entirely unrelated to the construction project but happens(…)

Much Anticipated Decision Clears the Way for Continued Shale Gas Development

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision earlier this week reaffirming the distinction between the words “gas” and “minerals” as those words are used in private conveyances of land.  In Butler v. Powers, the Court made clear a reservation o(…)

Interesting Study on Green Building

McGraw-Hill Construction has released a study examining trends – including global growth trends – in green building.  Historically, owners built green because they were environmental stewards; today, however, other business factors, including lower op(…)

Pennsylvania to contribute $15 million to infrastructure improvements near Civic Arena site in Pittsburgh

The Corbett administration has committed $15 million for the construction of infrastructure improvement at the former 28-acre Civic Arena site, where work is expected to start this summer.  $5 million is being released immediately, which will allow Th(…)

Good News for the Construction Industry in February’s Employment Report

According to the February jobs report, released today by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the United States economy added 236,000 jobs in the month of February, lowering the unemployment rate to 7.7%.  The Construction industry w(…)