As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

Opting-Out of the Lead Paint Law is not an Option for Homeowners

Contractors should know that an opt-out provision will no longer be available, so homeowners cannot agree to waive their rights under the law. Even having homeowners certify that there are no pregnant women or children under 6 in the facility may not provide full-proof protection against a future claim. For that reason, contractors should do some due diligence of their own and document all steps taken in order to stay in compliance with the law. If the work is going to be done on a post 1978 home, the contractor will want to obtain independent confirmation from the town or registry of deeds that the house was really built at that time. If there are no children present, the contractor should be on the alert for children who may appear regularly at the premises and issue a “change work order” if the children are there frequently enough to activate the requirements of the rule. Finally, if there are females who could be pregnant who frequent the household, the contractor might want to be better safe than sorry and follow the containment procedures.

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