TEN NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CONTRACTORS-2021

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   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

Understanding the MA Lead Law-The Fine is No More Than $5000.00!

A source of huge relief to contractors will be that the fine for noncompliance with the law has been dramatically reduced to no more than $5000.00 for an infraction.  The law states as follows:

Penalties. Any entity or person who violates the provisions of 454 CMR 22.00 shall be subject to the administrative sanctions specified herein and any fines or penalties allowed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B(f) and M.G.L. c. 149, § 6.

After reading through the various laws, the penalty structure is as follows:


(2) Maximum Amounts of Civil Penalties. The maximum amounts of Civil Penalties that may be assessed under 453 CMR 9.00 are as follows:
(a) A monetary penalty of not more than $1,000 may be issued for each Violation if:
1. the person, firm, corporation or other entity has not previously been criminally convicted of a Violation of M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B; M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 46A through 46R; or M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 6A through 6F½; or been issued a Civil Citation pursuant to 453 CMR 9.00; and
2. the Commissioner has determined that the person, firm, corporation or other entity lacked Specific Intent to violate M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B; M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 46A through 46R; or M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 6A through 6F½; or 453 CMR 9.00.

(b) A monetary penalty of not more than $2,500 may be issued for each Violation if:
1. the person, firm, corporation or other entity has not previously been criminally convicted of a Violation of M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B; M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 46A through 46R; or M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 6A through 6F½; or been issued a Civil Citation pursuant to 453 CMR 9.00; and
2. the Commissioner has determined that the person, firm, corporation, or other entity possessed a Specific Intent.

(c) A monetary penalty of not more than $5,000 may be issued for each Violation if the person, firm, corporation or other entity has previously been criminally convicted of a Violation of M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B; M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 46A through 46R; or M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 6A through 6F½; or been issued a Civil Citation pursuant to 453 CMR 9.00.

So, at the end of the day, this translates to a penalty of no more than $5000.00, and that's only if the person, firm or corporation as been previously criminally convicted or issued a Civil Citation.

As I have been told, the Division of Occupational Safety does not have the goal of issuing fines; the goal is to have renovators comply with the law.

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