Massachusetts Public Bidding Laws: What Contractors Need to Know Before & After They Bid

Massachusetts statutory laws govern the process for bidding on a public construction project, commonly referred to as the “Bid Laws” or “public bidding laws”.  These laws were enacted to make the public bidding process objective by requiring awarding public jobs to the lowest eligible bidder.  The purpose is to have public projects completed at the lowest cost that fair competition [...]

June 30th, 2018|Categories: Construction and Real Estate Development|

New Equal Pay Law Offers Little Clarity, New Defenses

Massachusetts employers take notice: the Massachusetts Equal Pay Law becomes effective July 1, 2018, and past practices, like asking a prospective employee during an interview how much they were paid in their old job, will violate the law.  Employers need to understand the new law so they can ensure they are in compliance, avoid traps, and take advantage of the [...]

June 27th, 2018|Categories: Employment Law|

Mechanic’s Lien Unenforceable Due to Statutory Noncompliance

Homeowners were entitled to summary discharge of a mechanic’s lien filed by a contractor that could not produce the original contract referenced in its filing but later produced a nearly identical contract for a different amount, a Superior Court judge has decided. Case Information: Atlas Contracting, Inc. v. Saleh, et al. The Issue: Were homeowners entitles to a summary discharge of a mechanic's lien filed by [...]

June 25th, 2018|Categories: Construction and Real Estate Development|

Massachusetts Dig Safe Law: How to Protect Your Company Against the DPU’s Claims

In theory, the Massachusetts Dig Safe law is comprised of straightforward regulations to promote safe excavation on construction projects in the Commonwealth. In practice, however, many construction projects pose challenges to navigating the Dig Safe law without consequence. The most often disputed and fact intensive violation is for excavation work that “was not performed with precaution” and resulted in damage [...]

Down the Garden Path: A Look at the “Garden Leave” Provisions of Proposed Non-Competition Legislation

In a state with an innovation economy like Massachusetts, the balance between protecting both a company’s pioneering intellectual property and the ability of employees to move freely in the marketplace is often in tension.  It is no surprise, then, that in recent years, the Commonwealth’s legislature has trained its fire on non-competition agreements.  Legislators have focused on issues such as [...]

A Contract Risk Review of The AIA 201 and ConsensusDocs

The following summarizes important contract sections and provides bullet pointed analysis of particular issues to consider from the AIA 201 (2007 and 2017 versions) and the ConsensusDocs (2014 and 2017 versions). It is not intended to be all inclusive, but provides a summary comparison of the various documents. Key Contract Issues Financial Assurances Design Risk Project Management/Contract Administration Schedule/Time Consequential [...]

February 20th, 2018|Categories: Articles & Publications, Construction and Real Estate Development|

Independent Contractors and the Perils of Misclassification

Businesses often amplify their workforce by hiring independent contractors to perform short-term, project-based, or skill-specific labor.  They do this for any number of reasons (cost savings, short term lack of employees, etc.).  Massachusetts employers must take care, however, when classifying workers as independent contractors as opposed to employees.  If it is determined that an employer has misclassified an employee as [...]

December 19th, 2017|Categories: Articles & Publications, Construction and Real Estate Development|

Reservations of Rights Letter…The Insurer’s Prenuptial Agreement With Its Insured

When an insurance company agrees to defend you, but reserves the right to disclaim coverage ― you can hire your own counsel and the insurer, not you, must pay for that counsel. More specifically, in determining whether to head into a relationship with its insured once a claim has been filed, an insurer, like a couple heading into marriage who [...]

Who Owns The Float

Experienced contractors and construction attorneys know that practically time always is of the essence on a construction project, regardless of what the contract says.  This is particularly true on today’s complex construction projects where almost every line item or specified scope of work is governed by an ever evolving Critical Path Schedule (“CPS”).  A typical CPS dictates the start date [...]

December 19th, 2017|Categories: Articles & Publications, Construction and Real Estate Development|

Gender Identity Included in List of Protected Classes in Massachusetts

As the human resources director at a medium sized construction company of 150 employees, you deal on a daily basis with all types of employee issues. One day, Jill, who works in the field as a carpenter, comes into your office and discloses that she identifies as a man and has begun the transitioning process.  Jill lets you know that [...]

November 14th, 2017|Categories: Articles & Publications, Employment Law|