Construction liens, statutory late fees, and special advantages for construction sub-contractors
Compared to most states, Mississippi law governing the workplace is basically non-existent. There is no state law against sex discrimination, for example, so you can only rely on federal law. This means that sexual harassment is legal for employers with fewer than 15 employees! As another example, it is perfectly legal to fire someone in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim in Mississippi.
Why? Because employees are so poorly organized. If the employees were sufficiently organized to have a meaningful voice at the legislature, these laws would change in a hurry.
We can see this in the unique advantages that construction industry subcontractors have. Large subcontractors with deep pockets have coordinated to create a legislative environment that works for them.
For example, state law requires that, on bonded projects, the subcontractor or employee that does construction work on the project can collect directly on the bond, and can intervene in any lawsuit on the bond to make sure that they get paid. The office manager at that same firm has no such rights.
In addition, state law gives contractors a lien against the property they work on if they are not paid.
And subcontractors have an automatic statutory late penalty they can exact from a general contractor or higher-level sub if they are not paid within a couple weeks of the general contractor receiving payment.
These laws were basically written by construction industry lawyers who represent subcontractors in litigation, and know how to get the necessary advantages to collect on construction projects.
When the workers of this state come together in political and labor organizations to advance their interests, they will quickly see the benefits.
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