Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

Category: SC Law Basics (page 1 of 6)

What You Need to Know about South Carolina’s Statute of Repose

The statute of repose is a defense that we often assert as a defense in design and construction cases that we handle because cases are often brought, or our clients are added as a defendant in a case that has been pending for years, long after a construction project has been completed.  A statute of repose is a law that requires that a lawsuit be brought against each defendant within a certain number of years following a specific date – usually the date of substantial completion.  South Carolina’s statute of repose is found at S.C. Code Ann. §15-3-640.   South Carolina’s statute of repose provides that a lawsuit for damages based upon a defective or unsafe condition of an improvement to real property must be brought within eight years after substantial completion of the improvement.

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Are Your Architects and Engineers Exempt?

Navigating employment laws can be challenging for design and construction firms, particularly in today’s uncertain climate.  One concept that is surprisingly complex and requires careful attention is the classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt.  Most employers assume it’s an easy distinction, especially regarding seasoned career professionals, but what about unlicensed intern architects and engineers-in-training (ETIs)?

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Effective Responses to Submittals

The review of requests for information, shop drawings and other submittals are an key part of the job of architects and engineers in construction administration.  The timely review of RFIs and other submittals promotes smooth progress of the project, while untimely reviews can lead to delays in the contractor’s work or to delay claims.  Thus, it is crucial for architects and engineers to provide timely and complete responses to RFIs and other submittals.

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If You Are Not Properly Licensed, You May Not Get Paid

In South Carolina, a contractor must be properly licensed to file a lawsuit or mechanic’s lien to collect money owed.  It is well-known that a general or mechanical contractor’s license is required for commercial construction with a total cost over $5,000.  However, proper licensure does not simply mean having a Group One general contractor’s license.  Proper licensure varies according to the specific project, but it may require holding a license for certain subclassifications (such as concrete, masonry, roofing) or holding an appropriate group license for larger projects.  The consequences of not holding the proper license are dire, since it may prevent a contractor from recovering any damages.

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Overtime Rule is On Hold

overtimeA federal judge in Texas issued an injunction last week enjoining implementation of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules that were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  The rule mandates that employees falling under the executive, administrative or professional exemptions must earn at least $913 per week ($47,476 annually), which would more than double the currently existing minimum salary level of $455 a week.  The rule was estimated to impact an estimated 4.2 million workers.  Twenty-one states filed emergency motions for a preliminary injunction in October to halt implementation of the rule.  The cases were consolidated with a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

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