Effective 2022 and 2023, several new regulations have been passed in California for the construction industry, including increased safety measures, environmental protection rules, and permit fines. Learn how these construction laws affect your company and how to avoid any fines or penalties.
Why Construction Laws Are Important for You and Your Business
When new laws are passed, it can feel frustrating and confusing. Are they going to make your job harder? Make you do more paperwork? The reality is, they might. But for the most part, laws are passed because they are attempting to solve a common problem: poor reporting practices or safety measures that weren’t met.
These changes are meant to create a better work environment and to ensure contractors adhere to safety guidelines. As such, you must understand the new construction laws and regulations so you can make sure your company complies at all times. They will hopefully protect you, your employees, and your clients.
S.B. 674: High Road Job Standards
SB 674 will require contractors and some subcontractors to meet “high road job standards.” This means for Department of General Services and Department of Transportation projects that involve the acquisition of zero-emission transit vehicles or electric vehicle supply equipment valued at $10 million or more, contractors will need to meet standards set by the High Road Jobs in Transportation-Related Public Contracts and Grants Pilot Program.
S.B. 216: Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If you are a C-8 Concrete Contractor, C-20 HVAC Contractor, C-22 Asbestos Contractor, or D-49 Tree Service Contractor, SB 216 applies to you.
The law requires you to carry workers’ compensation insurance whether or not you have employees and, beginning January 1, 2026, requires that all contractors of all classifications carry workers’ compensation insurance whether or not they have employees. If you are organized as a joint venture, this won’t apply.
S.B. 807: Retention Period of Employee Personnel Records
In the past, the retention period for personnel records was two years. This legislation bumps that up to four years. This applies whether an employee was fired or rejected for employment.
You must keep personnel records if a complaint was made to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing until one of two conditions has passed:
- The first date after the statute of limitations for bringing a civil action has passed
- You receive notice that the action has been fully resolved
The DFEH’s enforcement guidelines were also modified by SB 807 including changes to the electronic service of institutional complaints.
A.B. 1811: Flood Protection
This law requires local agencies to include planning for climate change, rainwater, and stormwater management when creating flood protection plans.
S.B. 978: Contractors Must Get Prequalified by State Agency for Wildfire Debris Cleanup
If you contract with CalRecycle or other state agencies for wildfire debris and cleanup, this will impact you. CalRecycle or other state agencies that are tasked with wildfire debris cleanup and removal by the Office of Emergency Services must prequalify contractors for state contracts before they can do wildfire debris cleanup and removal work in communities impacted by wildfires.
A.B. 661: Purchasing Recycled Products
If the quality is equal, state agencies must buy recycled products instead of non-recycled products. This applies when recycled products are available at no more than 10% more total cost than non-recycled products.
It applies to the following products: building insulation and panels, soil amendments and soil toppings, erosion control products, windows, construction blocks, plastic lumber, fencing, building products, paint, rebar, pipe, and plumbing fixtures.
A.B. 1551: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program
The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is important if your business is trying to construct renewable energy systems or develop programs to improve the effectiveness of existing products.
If you’re working with a homeowner who is trying to install renewable energy technology, the property owner must receive a physical copy of the PACE Financing Estimate and Disclosure.
A.B. 1747: Fines for Building Permits
Get your permits in! The Contractors State License Board can now issue penalties of up to $30,000 for the willful or deliberate disregard of state or local laws regarding the issuance of building permits.
AB 2105: Fee Reductions for Members of the Armed Forces
The Contractors State License Board must give a 50% fee reduction for an initial license or registration to an applicant who has served as an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces. This includes those who served in the National Guard or Reserve and who were not dishonorably discharged.
Let The Mellor Law Firm Weed Through the Regulatory Changes For You
It can be hard to keep track of which construction laws do and do not affect you. At The Mellor Law Firm, we provide counsel on a wide range of legal matters that pertain to construction businesses.
Our team of construction lawyers is here to help you make sense of the constantly changing landscape of regulations so you can focus on doing what you do best.
We can provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to get your projects moving forward. Contact our construction lawyers today so you can let us read the fine print!