Last night, the evening news reported that Tennessee House Democrat Leader Mike Turner planned to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, alleging that "one of the contractors working on the Music City Center project is hiring illegal immigrants." Turner stated that he received the information from an inside source.
While there may be muchos problemas on the Music City Center, this is a good time to review the state’s laws on use of immigrant labor on public projects. Here is what the law requires:
- The state shall not contract for goods or services from any person who knowingly utilizes the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of the contract.
- That means, no contractor can knowingly utilize the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of a contract with the state.
- Effective January 1, 2007, the contractor must attest in writing that it will not knowingly utilize services of illegal immigrants.
- If a contractor does so, then he may be barred from public contracting for a period of one year.
So, how does the contractor comply with the state law? First, it should include an appropriate attestation clause in its prime contract with the state, which may look something like this:
Contractor attests, certifies, warrants, and assures that it shall not knowingly utilize the services of an illegal immigrant in the performance of the Work and shall not knowingly utilize the services of any Subcontractor who will utilize the services of an illegal immigrant in the performance of the Work.
The next step for the contractor is to include a similar requirement in its subcontracts, which may look something like this:
Contractor has agreed to comply with the immigrant labor provisions of all applicable laws, including Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 12-4-124. Accordingly, Subcontractor agrees that it will not knowingly utilize the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of the Work. Additionally, upon execution of this Subcontract, Subcontractor shall provide a written attestation in the form of the attached “Addendum” stating that it will not knowingly utilize the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of the Work.
This information may be helpful for projects in Tennessee and you should check with your attorney to review the applicable state and other Federal labor requirements for public projects.
Update: Thanks for friendly reader Emily for pointing out that there is no such thing as muchas problemas and the correct phrase is muchos problemas. Gracias Emily!