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§21-5-7. Prime contractor’s responsibility for wages and benefits.

(a) Whenever any person, firm, or corporation shall contract with another for the performance of any work which the prime contracting person has undertaken to perform for another, the prime contractor shall become civilly liable to employees engaged in the performance of work under the contract for the payment of wages and fringe benefits relating to such work only, exclusive of attorney’s fees, interest, liquidated damages, or any other damages of any kind, as provided in §21-5-4(e) of this code, or other applicable law and/or common law, to the extent that the employer of the employee fails to pay the wages and fringe benefits: for work performed under the contract with the prime contractor. The employer, and its shareholders, owners, directors, and officers shall be personally and civilly liable to the prime contractor for any sums paid under this section, including attorney’s fees.

(b) Any individual or entity seeking redress pursuant to subsection (a) of this section must:

(1) Notify the prime contractor, by certified mail, only that wages or fringe benefits have not been paid within 100 days of the date the wages or fringe benefits become payable to the employee; and

(2) Commence the action within one year of the date the employee delivered notice to the prime contractor pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

 (c) The employer of the employee to whom wages and/or fringe benefits are owed, shall whenever feasible provide, immediately upon request by the employee or the prime contractor, complete payroll records relating to work performed under the contract with the prime contractor.

(d) Whenever the employee to whom wages and/or fringe benefits are due is represented by a union or other plan administrator, the union or other plan administrator, shall whenever feasible, immediately upon notice of a claim hereunder, cooperate with the employee and the prime contractor to identify and quantify the wages and fringe benefits owed for work performed under the contract with the prime contractor. Further, if the union or agents thereof or other plan administrator, including, but not limited to, third party administrators, trustees, administrators, or employees, become aware that an employer is not timely in the payment of wages and/or fringe benefits, the union or other plan administrator shall immediately notify the affected employee and the prime contractor for whom the affected employee provided work.

 (e) A prime contractor must notify the owner and the architect prior to the completion of the contract if any subcontractor has not been paid in full.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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