Thurmond’s Joint Liability Bill Passes Senate

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sacramento – AB 1701, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), protects workers by holding both general contractors and subcontractors responsible when a subcontractor fails to pay an employee for completed work.  AB 1701 passed the California State Senate with bipartisan support.

“I would like to thank my Senate colleagues for moving this bill forward,” said Thurmond.  “Failing to pay a worker their earned wages and benefits is unacceptable. This measure incentivizes the use of responsible subcontractors, helps to ensure the economic vitality of the construction industry, and supports in the creation of good paying jobs.”

When a subcontractor skips town or files for bankruptcy before paying their employees the wages and benefits they are due, employees have few remedies under current law. This loophole hurts the ability to provide for their family and accrue benefits.

At present, general contractors have no risk of financial liability when their subcontractors fail to pay workers. The lack of financial incentive to ensure proper performance of subcontractors is a large factor in the increasing underground economy and costs California millions in lost tax revenue.

AB 1701 addresses this problem by making a general contractor jointly liable for a subcontractor’s unpaid wages and benefit payments.

AB 1701 is sponsored by the California Conference of Carpenters.

RELEASE CONTACT: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015 

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.