Contractor not paying his employees on my job.

4 Replies

Hey BP,

So first let me start by saying this is 100% my fault for hiring the cheap guy.  I knew it was going to be a calculated risk, but due to the cost savings I was willing to roll the dice.  Heres the scoop.

I have already given the Drywall/Painter a down payment of $3200.  I have a singed contract with both of our signatures on it, a copy of the check used to pay him, and a "Receipt and Waiver of Mechanics Lien Rights" singed by him.  I am going to spare the long story about everything going wrong so far.  But now I found out that the employees he has had working on my property are not getting paid.  The work has come to a stop because he cant afford to pay anyone and they are all walking off the job.  There has not been enough work done to justify my deposit check, but I am not too concerned about that part.

What I am worried about is my liability here.  Has anyone dealt with this before?  The property is in MN.

Thanks for any advice/input.

In FL the workers could file individual liens, as MO mentioned.
You can google MN state mechanics lien laws.
I assume you’ve had direct contact with the workers, maybe hire them direct since you didn’t have someone with workers comp anyway, and hope they don’t get hurt. Or, hire a legit guy.

Depending on state law, you may be able to fire the contractor you hired and consider making a deal with the workers he's stiffed. I had a similar situation (oddly with a dry waller). I called a sheriff who performed a service called a "citizen's stand down" because the dry wall guy threatened to take a sledge hammer to the walls he partially installed. The sheriff came on-site to ensure that neither I or the project got hammered.

Depending on how much more work more work needs to be done and how much more that work would cost, you may be able to hire the workers directly and make them whole and in the process avoid them filing liens on your property. 

I was able to do that with the workers the original sub hired and stiffed. We got a great job, came out whole financially and managed to keep the job site a friendly place to be. 

Good luck!