New Laws in 2021: What to Know for Public Works Construction Projects
Due to the Covid-19 stay at home periods throughout the year the state legislature considered and passed fewer laws this year in comparison to previous years. Nonetheless, there are still several new laws to keep in mind as 2021 begins in just a few weeks. Below is a list of several important laws and code sections policies that will particularly impact public works construction projects beginning in 2021.
California Fire Code Section 510
Beginning on January 1, 2021 Fire Code Section 510 will be enforced. Section 510 requires all new buildings built by schools and community college district be provided with emergency responder radio coverage. Project architects will be responsible for obtaining design and equipment specifications from the local fire department. Project architects will also be required to submit plans, fees, and requested documents for review and approval by the local authority.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, all employers in the state of California are required to provide written notice to any employee who may have been exposed to Covid-19 at their worksite. The same information included in a CalOSHA Form 300 injury and illness log is required in the Covid-19 written notice.
Under AB 841, state energy efficiency funds are allocated to upgrade or replace heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in public schools. Schools in underserved communities and particularly close to freeways and industrial areas are prioritized under the law. Funding for electric vehicle charging stations is also included in the bill.
For public works projects advertised for bid, or contracts awarded, on or after July 1, 2021, prevailing wage will not be required if the following two conditions are both satisfied:
- Public subsidy for the project is less than $600,000
- Public subsidy for the project is less than 2% of the total project cost
Notice of skilled and trained workforce requirements must be given in all bid documents and all construction contracts for projects requiring skilled and trained workforce.
For contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2021, a state agency may withhold the lesser of $10,000 or the final payment owed to the prime contractor if the prime contractor was required and failed to provide the required certification of amounts paid to a disabled veterans enterprise. If the payment is not made within 15 to 30 days after notice has been received, the withholding is forfeited.
If you have questions related to any of the laws mentioned above, please feel free to contact either Parker & Covert office.
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Northern California Office (916) 245-8677
Southern California Office (714) 573-0900