Arizona Loses 5,900 Construction Jobs in the Past Year

The Associated General Contractors of America reported last week that Arizona lost 5,900 construction jobs between July 2013  and July 2014.  This is surprising because, on a national level, the construction industry is growing.  Thirty-nine states, including many neighboring states, added jobs over that same period.  It is also surprising because Arizona suffered the second highest number of construction jobs lost.  Only New Jersey, which shed 8,900 jobs, lost more.

Arizona’s losses have decreased the state’s construction employment from 123,700  to 117,800 workers , or by 4.8%.  This percentage decrease is also near the worst among the states.   Only New Jersey, Mississippi, and West Virginia lost greater percentages of their construction workforces in the past 12 months. read more

9th Circuit Affirms that Miller Act 90-day Notice Period Runs from Date of Last Delivery on Open Accounts

DSC_1944In Ramona Equipment Rental, Inc. v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., et al., Case No. 12-55156 (June 20, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently addressed for the first time the issue of when a 90-day Miller Act notice needs to be served for materials and/or equipment furnished on an open book account.  Consistent with decisions from the First, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits, the Ninth Circuit held “that if all the goods in a series of deliveries by a supplier on an open book account are used on the same government project, the ninety-day notice is timely as to all deliveries if it is given within ninety days from the last delivery.” read more

Change in ROC Complaint Process Leads to Fewer Contractor Citations

In September 2013, the Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, William A. Mundell, announced significant changes to the agency’s complaint process.  One such change was that the ROC, rather than the complainants, would decide whether citations would issue.  In other words, the ROC now decides whether the evidence provided by complainants and gathered by investigators warrants a citation, instead of simply allowing complainants to request one.

According to Mundell, this change was necessary because citations were issued in response to 36% of the complaints filed in Arizona in the 10 years before the change.  By contrast, contractor licensing agencies in other states issue citations in response to only about 5% of complaints. read more

The Minimum Elements of an Arizona Construction Contract

sign-40599_150Should the construction contract you are about to enter contain an indemnification provision?  What about “no-damage-for-delay” or differing site condition clauses?  Or how about a waiver of consequential damages?  The inclusion and scope of these types of provisions (and countless others) in any particular construction contract are things you should discuss with your attorney.   Whether they are necessary or should be agreed to may vary depending on the type of project and the parties involved.  There are, however, certain minimum elements that must be in every Arizona construction contract. read more

Contractors as Employers: Restrictive Covenants in Employment Agreements

With the constant emergence of new technologies/business practices and an increasingly mobile workforce, some companies in the construction industry rely on restrictive covenants in employment agreements to safeguard their competitive advantages.  The term “restrictive covenants” typically encompasses contractual provisions that:  (1) require information to be kept confidential; (2) limit competition; and (3) limit the solicitation of customers.  The Arizona Court of Appeals recently addressed how far companies can go in restricting the competitive activities of former employees in Orca v. Noder.  For an explanation of the Orca decision, please read this article that I co-authored with my colleague, Bill Klain. read more