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Building Momentum for Virginia's Building Trades

Richmond, VA -- Jason Parker, President of Virginia State Building Trades and Construction Council, alongside several of their affiliates took to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Monday evening and demanded that the legislature make the right decisions on worker rights.


Senate Commerce and Labor Committee did the following:


Prevailing Wage:


SB 8 sponsored by Senator Dick Saslaw, requires contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency for public works to pay wages, to any worker employed, to perform services in connection with the public contract for public works at the prevailing wage rate, and it creates civil penalties. This bill reported from the committee with a 9 - 3 vote and has been referred to Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.


Nonpayment of Wages:


SB 838 sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, provides that an employee has a private cause of action against an employer who fails to pay wages to recover the amount of wages due plus interest at eight percent annually from the date the wages were due. This bill reported from the committee with a 12 - 2 vote and has been referred to Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.


SB 48 sponsored by Senator Lionel Spruill, focuses on discriminatory prohibitions under nonpayment of wages. It prohibits an employer from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding related to the failure to pay wages, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding. The bill was reported from the committee with a 14 - 0 vote and has been referred to Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.


SB 49 sponsored by Senator Lionel Spruill targets investigations under nonpayment of wages. It authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, if he acquires information during an investigation of a complaint of an employer's failure or refusal to pay wages and that information creates a reasonable belief that other employees of the same employer may not have been paid wages, to investigate whether the employer has failed or refused to make a required payment of wages to other employees. The bill was reported from the committee with a 14 - 0 vote.


Project Labor Agreements


SB 182 sponsored by Senator Richard "Dick" Saslaw and is meant to repeal what is commonly referred to as the "Comstock law." SB 182 repeals the provision enacted in 2012 that requires state agencies to ensure that neither the state agency nor any construction manager acting on its behalf (i) requires or prohibits bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to project labor agreements with labor organizations or (ii) discriminates against bidders, offerors, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for becoming or refusing to sign or adhere to project labor agreements on the same or other related public works projects. The bill was reported from the committee with a 12 - 2 vote and referred to Senate Finance and Appropriations.

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