I have reviewed hundreds of construction jobsites over the years. Inevitably, owners ask me what can be done about the illegal use of subcontractors. Specifically, they vent about their competition classifying their employees as subcontractors and thereby sidestepping a number of state regulations. In essence, owners are irate about playing by the rules while the competition does not. These conversations have gotten heated and understandably so. The playing field is not level, and everybody knows it, including many regulators. Yet, nothing has been done. Happily, I can report that this is being addressed in many ways all around the country.
In my home state of Maine, Governor John Baldacci recently enacted an Executive Order, creating a task force to look into this obvious problem. The issue has been discussed by many different groups over a number of years and it looks like finally some corrections may be made. It's too early to tell exactly what will take place or when any changes may be made. But this is certainly a step in the right direction. This isn’t just limited to the employers -- certain rights and coverages will extend to Maine's employees too. If done right, this could definitely be a win-win situation if there ever was one.
The WorkCompCentral newsletter has additional information and some very interesting statistics that form the foundation for the governor's actions. As this process gets underway it's inevitable that interest will be generated. I will keep you updated when information is released.