Tag Archives: nc construction law firm

4th Circuit: Construction Company Can Be Liable for Harassment by Another Company’s Agent

Construction is a relationships-driven business.  The most successful companies understand that rising to the top requires developing and nurturing solid relationships up and down the contractual chain, both before the contract is signed and throughout the period of performance.  It’s the ticket to generating repeat business, increasing bonding capacity, maximizing profit and thriving over the long haul.

Of course, a relationship between two corporate entities represents the sum of the interpersonal interactions between and among the owners and employees of the respective companies to the relationship.  Unfortunately, those interactions might not always be pleasant.  They might even become downright abusive.  And when one company’s agent harasses another company’s employee, the employer of the aggrieved employee could face hostile workplace liability.

Monday MemoThat’s the unmistakable message driven home by the April 28, 2014 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ published decision in Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corporation.

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Filed under Employment Law Issues, Federal case law

4th Circuit: Substantial Completion Occurs When Your Contract Says It Occurs

There is no milestone more significant to a commercial construction project than substantial completion.  For an owner, it’s the long-awaited moment it can make beneficial use of its investment.  For prime contractors, it’s the moment the owner’s rights to terminate and/or assess liquidated damages is cut off.  For subcontractors, it’s the moment contractual warranties typically begin to run.  The list goes on and on.

Monday MemoIn light of how many legal rights and defenses are tied to the moment of substantial completion, you would think that contracting parties would take extra care to (1) define what constitutes “substantial completion” and (2) ensure that “substantial completion” is achieved in accordance with that carefully crafted contractual definition.

That’s not always the case, as a 2013 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (which includes North Carolina) reveals.

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Filed under Construction Risk Management, Contract Review & Negotiation, Damages, Delay Claims, Federal law, policy & news

Five Key Points to Understand About OSHA’s Proposed Airborne Silica Standard

The Monday Memo in recent weeks has focused on North Carolina laws and policies bearing on the Tar Heel State’s construction industry.  Today I turn my gaze to our nation’s capitol, where public hearings are underway on OSHA’s proposed rule to lower the permissible exposure limit (“PEL”) for airborne crystalline silica, a by-product of such common construction operations as concrete and stone cutting.

Monday MemoThe hearings began on Tuesday, March 18 and continue through Friday, April 4, with a variety of construction industry and safety voices scheduled to be heard.

Here are five key points to bear in mind as the process moves forward:

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Filed under Federal law, policy & news, OSHA

Just Got Terminated for Convenience? Five Steps You Should Take Right Now.

Image by Hans Braxmeier / Pixabay.com

Did your contract just get axed? Read on. (Picture by Hans Braxmeier / pixabay.com)

Most private owners negotiate for a contract clause permitting them to terminate a construction agreement without regard to the quality of the contractor’s performance.  These so-called “termination for convenience” clauses come in handy when, for example, an owner’s financing runs dry and a project must be halted.  A termination for convenience clause allows an owner to cancel a project without materially breaching the contract and avoid paying the contractor its anticipated lost profit on unperformed work.

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Filed under Construction Risk Management, Termination Claims