News Roundup: OSHA Covid Standard, Kentucky Contractor Registrations Standards and More
12 January, 2022
Contractor takes money, ruins homes
While President Biden’s vaccination mandate is still being bandied about by courts and lawyers, contractors with over 100 employees are advised that the mandate is in effect unless the courts rule otherwise, and they need to comply in order to avoid fines. This means that companies with 100 or more employees must follow the order regarding vaccination, testing, and masking, or risk fines and penalties from OSHA according to an article published by Forcontructionpros.com.
OSHA advises that employees who don’t make the effort to comply would be at highest risk for fines, meaning that if the court allows the ruling to stand, employers who have made no effort up to that point will be subject to investigation and citation, while the organization will take good faith efforts at compliance into consideration.
Even if this is overturned by the courts, legal experts recommend that contractors should make sure they are in compliance with all OSHA safety mandates regarding COVID-19.
Contractor takes money, ruins homes
Some “contractors” are finding a novel way to increase their income: they take their customers’ money but never do the work. CBC News in NovaScotia reported on case in Halifax, Nova Scotia area contractor who was hired by a couple to do some painting and cabinet work before they moved into a rental home they owned.
While the contractor promised a week’s turnaround, they visited three weeks later and found the property in an “atrocious” state, with cigarette butts everywhere, no ceiling in the kitchen, and no paint job. After reporting him to authorities, the couple found that he’d made a habit of this and in fact had been banned from using online ads to solicit business on several social media platforms — not that it stopped him. Meanwhile, another area resident who shares the same name has found his reputation sullied as people confuse him with this well-known scammer.
The contractor, who in the past has served jail time and paid some hefty fines, has a long history of either not doing any work or of leaving things half finished, with staircase drops, open roofs, and more. He’ll be back in court on January 21.
In order to help avoid scams and fraud, an emergency contractor registration program has been put in place for contractors interested in doing renovations and repair in the tornado-devastated city of Mayfield, Kentucky according to an article by WHAS11. After registration, contractors will be required to display placards at jobsites and in their vehicles, with a goal of helping home and business owners identify legitimate contractors and to deter others from entering the area to begin with.
Innocent painter served eight years
A painter in Jacksonville, Florida was recently freed from prison after serving eight years for a crime he didn’t commit, according to an article by Local 10. Dustin Duty’s second day on the job was his last, as after a trip to buy beer and cigarettes, police mistook him for a robbery suspect. While he didn’t meet the description of the criminal, the police brought him in and the victim picked him out of a lineup. He was tried for armed robbery and convicted.
Duty reached out to several organizations for help, and eventually came to the attention of the Miami Law Innocence Clinic, which saw merit in his case. Thus ensued five years of legal wrangling, with the Innocence Clinic saying he was poorly represented and the prosecution arguing that Duty never contested the identification. When a Jacksonville judge upheld the conviction, the Clinic turned to a higher court, which ruled in Duty’s favor, granting him a new trial.