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Direct contractor liability bill puts unnecessary burden on home builders

February 1, 2021

Legislators have resurrected a bad bill that’s been introduced and rejected multiple times.

Senate Bill 5278, also known as the Direct Contractor Liability bill, holds general contractors liable if their subcontractors fail to pay wages and benefits. It is unnecessary, burdensome, bad for our economy. And it’s scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.


The Department of Labor & Industries already enforces the state’s wage and hour laws. It also publishes the names of violators on its website.


SB 5278 increases overhead and administrative costs. General contractors rely on a number of subcontractors to build a home. This bill would require them to review each subcontractor’s payroll every pay period to ensure workers have been paid. Contractors will have to either hire or contract out for accounting services to complete this work.

Bad for the economy

At a time when new home buyers are struggling to find affordable homes, this bill adds unnecessary complexity and cost to the process. Requiring general contractors to prove their subcontractors have paid their employees will slow payments to subcontractors which could force them out of business at a time when our state needs more, not fewer, workers building homes.

Legislators should let Labor & Industries do its job to enforce existing wage and hour laws—and let homebuilders do what we do best: Build homes.

Tell the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee home builders can’t afford SB 5278. 
Testify in committee OPPOSED to SB 5278
Can’t testify? We still need you to register your opposition: Sign-in opposed here

Be sure to sign up no later than 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3!




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