With the close of the 2016 Maryland Legislative Session, several bills affecting construction companies were passed. The following are summaries of each bill. Governor Hogan must sign each bill into law, at which time each shall go into effect on July 2, 2016.
- Liquidated Damages for Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage – under this law, a contractor that knew, or should have known, of the obligation to pay the prevailing wage on a public work project and deliberately failed or refused to pay the prevailing wage will be subject to liquidated damages of $250 per laborer or employee, owed to the public body, for each day that the laborer or employee was paid less than the required prevailing wage.
- State Procurement Change Order Fairness Act – this law prohibits a public body from requiring a prime contractor, and a prime contractor from requiring a subcontractor, to begin change order work under a contract until the procurement officer issues a written change order.
- Equal Pay for Equal Work Act – this law alters a provision of existing law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender identity, to prohibit an employer from discriminating between employees by providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity.
- Exemption from Sale Tax – if construction materials or warehousing equipment is purchased by a person for use solely on property in Baltimore County that was previously owned by Bethlehem Steel Corporation and is the subject of an approved application for participation in a certain voluntary cleanup program, the purchase is exempt from State sales and use tax.
- Agreement to Defend or Pay Costs of Defense – this law renders void and unenforceable as a matter of public policy any agreements to defend or pay the costs of defending specified promises or indemnities against liability for damages arising out of bodily injury to any person or damage to property caused by or resulting from the sole negligence of the promisee or the indemnitee.
- Seal Requirement for Engineering Documents – the law explicitly requires that an engineering document prepared at the request of the State of Maryland or any political subdivision be signed, sealed, and dated by the professional engineer who prepared or approved the documents, in connection with projects where the professional engineers’ skills are required.
- Repeal of Home Improvement License for Subcontractors – the law repeals the requirement that a subcontractor obtain a home improvement license.
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