WATCH OUT – Virginia tightens policy on contractor licenses as of July 1, 2015
Be careful of your contractor licenses and worker classifications in Virginia. Under a new policy effective July 1, 2015, where VOSH has reasonable cause to believe workers are being misclassified on a Virginia construction project (usually as independent contractors), VOSH may require each contractor to provide proof of its own DPOR license and the DPOR license of any of its subcontractors. If a violation is found, VOSH will make a written referral to DPOR for both the unlicensed subcontractor and the general contractor. The policy specifically states that penalty reductions for “size” and “good faith” will not be afforded to the employer.
Effective July 1, 2015, where VOSH has reasonable cause to believe that worker misclassification has occurred in a VOSH case, the following actions will normally be taken:
- In the event that citations and penalties are proposed for the employer, penalty reductions for size and good faith will NOT be afforded to the employer.
- In construction multi-employer worksite situations, each contractor (e.g., general contractors, prime subcontractors and lower tier subcontractors) will be asked to provide proof of their Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) contractor’s license AND for proof of the DPOR license for any of its’ subcontractors.
- When it is determined that a construction employer has contracted with an unlicensed subcontractor, VOSH will make a written referral to DPOR for the contractor and its unlicensed subcontractor (DPOR sanctions for contracting with unlicensed subcontractors may include fines, probationary terms, suspension or license revocation).
- In cases where the contract value for the specific subcontractor’s job is less than $1,000.00, VOSH will make a written referral to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) and/or the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC) for potential audits of the employer’s employment practices. There may be instances where referrals will be made for contract values over $1,000.00 as well.