The American Subcontractors Association plans on taking on pay-if-paid clauses, lobbying for the reform of the Miller Act and getting OSHA reformed, according to a list of high priority legal issues the organization released.

ASA adopted a slate of 13 issues as the most important public policy issues for construction subcontractors for 1998–99 during ASA’s annual convention.

“These issues were ranked by ASA members as the most important areas to focus on in the upcoming year,” said Daniel Biedenbender, ASA president. “These are critical issues for subcontractors and ASA will take the concerns of its members directly to those who can implement the changes that are needed.”

The elimination of pay-if-paid clauses ranked highest among state and local issues. In the order of importance, ASA ranked state and local issues for subcontractors:

  • Pay-if-paid — supports elimination of pay-if-paid clauses
  • Prompt payment — supports a requirement that a prime contractor would have to be paid within 10 days of receipt of a proper invoice by the owner, subcontractors to be paid within seven days after the prime contractor is paid and subcontractors to pay their subcontractors within seven days of receipt from the prime subcontractor.
  • Retainage — supports legislation that would ensure that no unnecessary retainage is held.
  • Lien law reform — supports reform that would provide meaningful security in the land to secure payment for the labor and materials furnished to improve that land.
  • Hold harmless — supports legislation that would prohibit liability when the injury or damage occurs due to the sole negligence of the indemnified party.
  • “No pay no CO” — supports contractor friendly legislation that would make it against public policy to issue a certificate of occupancy for a property until all contractors, subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.
  • Additional insured — supports legislation to make the transfer or risk for one’s own negligence through the use of additional insured clauses against public policy.
  • Payment bonds — supports reforms that would ensure payment bonds equal the performance bond and guarantee subcontractor rights to payment from the surety.

The ASA also ranked federal issues for subcontractors:

  • OSHA reform — supports amendments that would make OSHA more geared toward outreach and education, and less enforcement-driven.
  • Payment bonds (Miller Act) — supports reform that would ensure anyone providing labor on a federal construction project is paid in full for the work completed properly and in a timely fashion.
  • Prompt payment of grant programs — supports reform that would extend provisions of the federal Prompt Payment Act to include federal grant programs.
  • Bid listing — supports bid listing to avoid the “shopping” of bids so as to guarantee the government gets the best possible work at the lowest possible price.
  • Estate taxes — supports reform that would allow closely held small businesses to be passed on to heirs without the death tax penalty when the owner dies.