Virginia Contractors: Are your contracts updated to reflect this defense to joint liability?
Along with the well-known defenses to joint liability, there is now another defense available to contractors. Virginia Code § 11-4.6 allows general contractors to be held liable if the subcontractors they hire do not pay their employees. However, in 2021, the statute was modified giving general contractors the chance to provide a certification as evidence that they did not know and had no reason to know that their subcontractors were not paying their employees. This certification must be in writing from the subcontractor and must be signed by the subcontractor under oath. The certification must state that the subcontractor and its subcontractors paid all their employees for the work performed. With this modification not offering this defense, contractors will want to update their contracts to include a provision regarding the certification.