Introduced by Representatives Larson of Burlington, Deen of Westminster, Donovan of Burlington, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, Head of S. Burlington, Johnson of South Hero, Kiss of Burlington, McLaughlin of Royalton, Nuovo of Middlebury, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Pugh of S. Burlington, Trombley of Grand Isle and Zuckerman of Burlington
Subject: Executive branch; construction contracts; responsible employers; labor; requirements
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require the state and its subdivisions to enter into state construction contracts only with parties that comply with certain standards in regard to their employees.
AN ACT RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS IN GOVERNMENTAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 29 V.S.A. § 161 is amended to read:
§ 161. REQUIREMENTS ON STATE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
* * *
(e) Any contract for construction services for any project undertaken by the state or any of its subdivisions for public construction works or building projects that exceed $100,000.00 in total procurement costs and in conjunction with which labor will be performed on the project shall be awarded only to responsible contractors. For the purposes of this subsection, “responsible contractor” means a construction business entity with employees and, at a minimum, is in compliance with all of the following:
(1) Provides at least basic health insurance coverage to employees, whether or not the health insurance coverage is governed by any federal agency or law.
(2) Provides at least basic provisions for retirement to employees, whether or not those retirement provisions are governed by any federal agency or law.
(3) At the time of submission of a bid:
(A) Has implemented a bona-fide training program certified by the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship Training (FBAT) or by the department of employment and training in compliance with FBAT and has at least one individual actively engaged in that training program.
(B) Provides an affidavit affirming that during the three years preceding the date of bid submission the bidder did not violate any Vermont law governing public works or contracting, workers’ compensation insurance, or tax or wage laws.
(4) Subcontracts, at whatever tier, only with other responsible contractors so that all contractors on the governmental contract are responsible contractors.
(f) The contracting governmental entity may require that a contractor comply with any state or local resident hiring requirements, provided the requirements comply with law. A contractor that contracts with any subcontractor with employees and is not a responsible contractor, in violation of subsection (e) of this section, will be deemed to be in material breach of the contract and be assessed liquidated damages at the rate of $1,000.00 per day for each day that the subcontractor performs work under the contract while not in compliance with this section. Each subcontractor who is found not to be in compliance with subsection (e) of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct violation. The contracting authority shall not pay any money pursuant to the contract to any contractor found to be out of compliance with this section until the liquidated damages have been paid in full.
(g) Any Vermont organization that represents construction industry entities of which at least 10 members are domiciled in and primarily employed or engaged in the construction industry in Vermont may bring an action to enforce this section. Any liquidated damages collected shall be deposited in the general fund regardless of who brings the enforcement action.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street