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Legal Implications of Working With Sub-Contractors

In the construction realm, completing a project usually requires the involvement of a team of sub-contractors working together to complete the areas of the job congruent with the specialty of each. If you are in the business of routinely working with sub-contractors, or have questions about how Florida law applies to impose liability in the event of a breach, we encourage you to contact our Ft. Lauderdale construction lawyers as soon as possible. If you are facing a breach, or anticipate an upcoming breach of contract, our lawyers can help mitigate the situation and work to reduce financial liability for you and your business.

Contractor vs. Employee

If you employ contractors, one of the preeminent concerns you should consider involves whether the law regards your workers as actual independent contractors or, by contrast, employees – the latter requiring much more extensive legal implications and tax consequences. Under Florida law, classification as an independent contractor depends on more than just the language of the contract – as the factual underpinnings of the relationship can actually trump any agreement.

One of the most preeminent considerations in any inquiry into a worker’s employment status is that of control. In general, an independent contractor maintains steadfast control over nearly all aspects of the working relationship. This includes control over business protocol, uniforms, working hours, and terms of employment. If, on the other hand, the employer controls the majority of the contractor’s experience while on the job, it is likely that the relationship is that of an employer/employee as opposed to an independent contractor, regardless of what the agreement between the two parties states.

Breach of Contract by the Sub

As a manager or owner of a construction outfit, one of the most common issues arising involves breach of contract by a sub-contractor. As your Ft. Lauderdale construction lawyers will explain, a breach by a sub-contractor can result in a subsequent breach between the general contractor and the developer or property owner awaiting completion of the job.

Under Florida’s construction laws, if you have reason to believe that your sub-contractor is planning to breach its promise to finish its portion of the work, you may have certain rights under the doctrine of anticipatory repudiation. Under Florida statutes, a party anticipating a sub-contractor breach has three general options:

  • Await performance for a commercially reasonable time;
  • Resort to any remedy for breach of contract, even if you already notified the sub-contractor you would await performance;
  • Suspend your own performance or proceed in accordance with Florida law with regard to your right to salvage any unfinished goods.

Contact a Reputable Florida Construction Attorney Today

If you are in need of Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers to help you with any issues arising with your sub-contractors, we encourage you to contact Michael L. Feinstein, P.A. right away. For an appointment or to set up a consultation, please call (954) 767-9662 today.