Employees' rights & responsibilities in construction

Construction professions of the widest range in the US are in demand no less than in the rest of the world. Vacancies for qualified builders, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters are never exhausted. A good background of a specialist is highly valued here, which is adequately reflected in the salary and related bonuses.

But it is important that the rights of the builders are protected and the customer of the project strictly fulfills them.

Ensuring and maintaining safe working conditions

Builders are provided with safe working conditions. Construction companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers at construction sites. Employees are entitled to personal protective equipment. These should include gloves, eye shields, hard hats, and ear protection. The equipment on which the builders will work must be serviceable. Workers have the right not to work on a construction site that is unsafe until the customer creates conditions for safe work.

Equitable labor practices

For a builder to operate and protect his rights in the United States of America, he must have a license. It is issued not to an organization, but to a specific specialist. And only then the document is attached to the construction company. By the way, if a worker quits, he will need a new license.

The certifying builder must pass a 6-hour exam, based on which a license will be issued. The specialist needs to answer about 250 questions related to the industry and legislation. For example, you need to have information about the types, basic parameters of the feeder, current strength, and voltage. Specialists planning to become engineers must pass 2 exams. The first goes immediately after graduation, the second - after 4 years of work.

It requires calculations, as well as knowledge of mathematical equations. After all, each builder has not only rights but also obligations at the facility, which must be fully performed by the contract. A practicing engineer who makes a mistake on site by making an incorrect drawing will be liable.

Obtaining a license is possible only in a specific specialty. The official license classifier contains 46 points, and each profession has its test and procedure for issuing a document. Just for this reason, contractors work in a highly specialized direction with a maximum of 2 licenses.

The exam is a very serious test, through which technical knowledge in general, and highly specialized skills, in particular, are tested.

Thus, every highly qualified specialist should own a license. To obtain a license for a master electrician, in addition to a diploma of vocational education and an internship, it is necessary to work 12 thousand hours under the supervision of a master, take advanced training courses, and also pass a state exam. Then there will be a regular renewal of the license by confirming the level.

A person who graduated from an architectural university with a degree in architecture cannot present as an architect until he receives a license. To be admitted to the exam, in addition to the diploma, the applicant must submit certifying documents on working out 700 days (working), or 5.6 thousand hours in a design organization under the supervision of an experienced employee of proper competence. At the same time, the intern is required to acquire versatile skills in the main areas of architecture.

How is builders' right to wages protected in the USA?

In the United States, there is a so-called Mechanics' Lien ("Builder's Deposit") law. Its essence is to protect the rights of the contractor to receive money. Any contractor, subcontractor, supplier of equipment and materials, worker, architect, gardener, plumber, or electrician associated with this construction may place a lien on the property if the master has performed work under the contract, and was not paid. The deposit is unconditional, and the consent of the property owner is not required.

However, the law also has a downside. If you are a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the contractor, subcontractors, and workers received their wages. Otherwise, one day you may find yourself facing the fact that your property is forcibly sold due to a minor debt, let's say for an unpaid plumbing repair crane.

Is an employee protected from wrongful dismissal?

Can an employee be fired without giving a reason in USA?

USA is known for the fact that here the employer and his ward interact based on principle at will, which means "according to desire." Either party has the right to terminate the employment contract at a convenient time due to any reason or even without it.

This principle significantly disciplines both the employee and the organization. The leader understands that a highly qualified valuable shot can easily be lured away by a competitor, or if the attitude is not right, a specialist can quit.

Meanwhile, the employee is well aware that the company does not need to follow the dismissal procedure (draw up acts on lateness, violation of labor discipline, failure to perform official duties, conduct convincing conversations), since the manager can notify the subordinate of the dismissal, and after 10-15 minutes this action will already take effect.

A note in the contract at will indicates that the court will not consider claims for damages incurred during layoffs.


Builders have the right and must report if it is dangerous for them to be at the construction site. If the project manager or customer does not provide decent working conditions, builders may require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to inspect the construction site. If builders contact OSHA, they cannot be subject to any penalty or reduction in wages by their employer.

Delayed wages or non-payment are also protected by law. And any builder can put a mortgage on the property and ensure the payment of the amount earned.

We can say that the rights of any worker in the US are protected. But the builder must fulfill the duties because the master can be deprived of a license to conduct activities.