Subcontractors are an important part of many business operations in and around Charleston. Construction companies and general contractors often turn to subcontractors to perform specialized tasks and critical services that help facilitate a larger project.
As a subcontractor, it is important to understand your rights in the workplace. Subcontractors are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act, which means they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a workplace accident. These benefits include medical expenses, lost wage, disability benefits, and death benefits.
Since subcontractors are governed by contracts, it is often important to explore—with the help of an experienced attorney—the potential benefits and determinants given by the terms of a contract. A Charleston subcontractors’ rights lawyer could explain workers’ compensation benefits, work to secure prompt and proper compensation for your work, and help you draft and review indemnity clauses.
Definition of a Subcontractor
There is no single definition of what constitutes a subcontractor in Charleston, but various sections of laws provide some amount of clarification. For example, the South Carolina Codes on Mortgages and Other Liens define subcontractors as people who are contracted to provide labor or materials for a contractor or another subcontractor to improve a property.
A majority of subcontractors may work through a contract that provides a clear definition of a worker’s employment status. A properly drafted and executed subcontractor contract should detail a subcontractor’s rights in the workplace.
Suing for Breach of Contract
In certain cases, subcontractors may be entitled to file a breach of contract claim against a general contractor. This allows a subcontractor to enforce all the terms in a contract and gives them a means of recovering compensation for losses and grievances that occurs during the course of a project.
However, subcontractors should be aware that a breach of contract claim in South Carolina may be subject to a three-year statute of limitations. A Charleston subcontractors’ rights lawyer could help subcontractors ensure they file any desired claims within the appropriate time period.
Filing a Mechanic’s Lien
A mechanic’s lien is a powerful legal tool that subcontractors can utilize to ensure they are paid for their work. South Carolina’s Mechanics’ Lien Law states that anyone working on or providing materials for buildings or structures owns the buildings and structures until the debt for the work or supplies is paid. If a mechanic’s lien is not paid, the aggrieved party can move to foreclose on the property as a means of recovering the cost of their services. A seasoned lawyer could help an individual file a mechanic’ lien.
Subcontractors’ Right to Prompt Payment
Under South Carolina’s Prompt Payment Act, subcontractors are entitled to prompt payment for undisputed amounts. This means that if there are no disputes over the work, a subcontractor should be paid within 21 days after the owner has received a payment request.
If a subcontractor is paid through a contractor, they should be paid within seven days after the contractor is paid. If either of these obligations is not upheld, a subcontractors’ rights attorney in Charleston could help a worker file a claim against the party responsible for wrongfully withholding compensation.
A Charleston Subcontractors’ Rights Attorney Could Advocate for Workers’ Rights
If you are a subcontractor in the Charleston region and have questions or concerns, contact an experienced Charleston subcontractors’ right lawyer today. A dedicated attorney could work with you to quickly and efficiently resolve a wide range of subcontractor issues. Call today to schedule a consultation.