Construction Related Investigations

• Accident Investigations
• Wage Theft/ Payroll Fraud
• Subcontractor vetting
• Security assessments

Wage Theft/ Payroll Fraud

On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Bill S2766C into law. The amendment holds prime and general contractors and construction managers (GC’S/CM’S) jointly and severally liable for unpaid wages, benefits, and wage supplements owed by a subcontractor at any tier. GC’S/CM’S may be liable for liquidated damages (one hundred percent of the unpaid wages or treble damages for a willful violation), interest, attorney’s fees, and penalties for statutory claims. This is all in addition to the liability for unpaid wages, benefits, and wage supplements. When a subcontractor fails to pay an employee, the GC/CM is liable to pay the unpaid employee along with liquidated damages. Should the general contractor have already paid its subcontractor, the GC/CM will have paid three times for that employee’s work. This risk requires a general contractor to confirm all project employees are being paid properly.
This new law, which takes effect January 4, 2022, applies to construction contracts created, modified, amended, or renewed, on or after the effective date. It is imperative that all GC’S/CM’S have a plan in place to detect and correct payroll anomalies before subcontractors are paid for their work. Failure to do so may result in GC’S/CM’S having to bear the fines, fees and penalties after already paying the subcontractor for services performed.

Collection of certified payrolls will become an arduous task, requiring the hiring of multiple people to complement office and field staff. The cost of hiring staff to undertake this work could cost a GC/CM approximately $200,000 to $1,000,000. This value does not factor in the cost of training needed to perform this work.
Trinity Investigative Group LLC (TIG) has a system that will detect anomalies in your subcontractor’s payroll system. Engaging TIG to perform this service will be more cost effective than hiring permanent employees. The system is cost effective designed to detect issues while the subcontractor is still on site. It is imperative to detect potential issues while the subcontractor is still working in the early stages of the project, to allow the GC/CM to enact remedial measures before paying the subcontractor. Our investigators and analysts have thousands of hours of experience working on these types of issues and have operated at the highest levels in their fields.