Thursday, October 22, 2009

HBA of Greenville Members Recognized by BBB

Five members of the HBA of Greenville were recognized this week by the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate with Business Integrity Awards. Awards were presented for Marketplace Ethics, Customer Service, and Community Service.

The following HBA members received Business Integrity Awards at a banquet held Thursday, October 22, in downtown Greenville:

Addison Homes, LLC
Hubbell Lighting, Inc. (2 awards)
J. Freeman and Associates
Palmetto Exterminators, Inc.
Prudential C. Dan Joyner Company, Realtors

The Board of Directors and staff of the HBA of Greenville congratulate these members on being honored for their outstanding business practices.

E-Verify Extended for Three Years

A system that lets employers check whether newly hired workers are in the country legally has won a three-year extension from Congress.

But the debate over the E-Verify program is far from over. In addition to renewsing the controversial voluntary program, Congress voted to approve $137 million for it over three years as part of a $43 billion spending bill for the Homeland Security Department. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law soon.

South Carolina is one of 12 states that have passed legislation in recfent years requiring employers to use the E-Verify program as a way to combat illegal immigration.

For more on this from The Greenville News, click here.

Seminar on Work Site Safety and Workers Compensation

Join us before the Fall Preview Luncheon as we hold a special seminar for members on work site safety, risk management and workers compensation law. The seminar will be held from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. in Room 201 of the Carolina First Center.

Speakers include Danny Dilworth, ARM, Risk Control and Safety Manager with the SC Home Builders Self Insurers Fund, and Debbie Brown, Esq. and Cory Ezell, Esq., Workers Compensation Attorneys with Gallivan, White and Boyd, P.A.

The seminar is complimentary to members, with RSVP. Guests of members are $20.

To RSVP, contact the HBA Office at 864-254-0133. You can also register online by clicking here.

Annual Meeting Slated for November 19

Make plans now to join us for the 2009 Annual Meeting and SPIKE Appreciation Luncheon, Thursday, November 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the Greenville Hilton.

Special guest speaker will be Barry Rutenberg, Third Vice Chair of the NAHB Board of Directors. Rutenberg will udpate our membership on the state of the home building industry nationwide, and will be honoring our SPIKES, those who help your association grow by recruiting new members. Rutenberg is a third-generation home builder from Gainesville, Florida, where his company Barry Rutenberg and Associates has built thousands of homes in more than a dozen communities.

The Annual Meeting is also a time for members to vote on changes to the association by-laws and the slate of officers for the 2010 Board of Directors. Please note that if you cannot attend the meeting, we have mailed proxy forms and information on changes to all members. Please mail these back to us as soon as possible if you are not able to attend and vote in person.

Click here to download the event form, or register online for this and other HBA events by visiting

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HBASC Legislative Day and BBQ

On Wednesday, November 18, the Home Builders Association of South Carolina will hold its annual Legislative Day Conference in downtown Columbia at the Marriott. Some of the state's gubernatorial candidates will be present to speak, and the 2010 Legislative Agenda for HBASC will be set. A reception and BBQ will follow.

Invited panelists include:
Congressman Gresham Barrett
Lt. Governor Andre Bauer
Attorney General Henry McMaster
Senator Larry Grooms
Senator Vincent Sheheen
Representative Nikki Haley
Dwight Drake, Esq.
Jim Rex

Special guest will be Bob Jones, Vice Chairman of NAHB.

We encourage all of our members to attend this event. You can download a registration form by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Update: Shifting Liability for Workers Compensation Benefits

Guest Author: Scott Bradley of Gallivan, White and Boyd, P.A.
General Counsel for the Home Builders Association of Greenville

On June 15, 2009, the South Carolina Supreme Court reaffirmed that general contractors must thoroughly validate the certificates of insurance of its subcontractors to be able to shift liability for workers' compensation benefits to the South Carolina Uninsured Employers Fund pursuant to S.C. Code Section 42-1-415. The underlying action involved a general contractor that hired a subcontractor to perform certain work on a project. The subcontractor provided the general contractor with a Certification of Insurance in connection with the project. The certificate showed that the policy was effective from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003 but the "Description of Operation" box was blank and no information was provided on coverage, deductible or the applicable project.

While working on this project, on February 19, 2004, an employee of the subcontractor was injured. As it turns out, the subcontractor did not have Workers' Compensation coverage. Under South Carolina law, since the general contractor was the highger tier contractor, it was the statutory emplyer of the injured worker. Therefore, as statutory employer, it was liable to pay benefits to the injured worker for his injuries. As a result, the general contractor then sought to transfer liability to the South Carolina Uninsured Employers Fund pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 42-1-415.

This matter was heard by the Workers' Compenstaiton Commission, the South Carolina Circuit Court and then appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court, finding there was substantial evidence in the record that showed the general contractor did not comply with Section 42-1-415 and therefore, could not shift liability.

The case was appealed once again. The Supreme Court of South Carolina agreed with the Court of Appeals stating that in order to transfer liability, the general contractor must have properly documented the subcontractor's claim that it retained workers compensation insurance. The Court found that acceptance of an incomplete certificate did not constitute proper documentation as to comply with Section 42-1-415. Additionally, the Court noted that a general contractor may not rely upon an expired policy as evidence of workers compensation insurance; therefore, after December 31, 2003 the general contractor no longer had proper documentation that the subcontractor had workers compensation insurance.

This opinion reaffirms that general contractors must diligently verify the information on certificates of insurance and maintain a system to require subcontractors to update their certificates. Otherwise, they may find themselves liable to subcontractors employees for benefits.

Ref: Timothy Mark Hopper v. Terry Hunt Construction, South Carolina Uninsured Employers Fund, Kajima USA, Inc. and Zurich American Insurance Company, Opinion No. 26665, South Carolina Supreme Court (June 15, 2009).


Thank you to Scott Bradley and Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. for submitting and allowing us to use this article.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Help Us Help Housing: Join the Fix Housing First Coalition Today!

As you many know, things are moving on the homebuyer tax credit and now it appears that there may be a vote on it as early as next week in the US Senate. We're not sure about what that bill will look like just yet - there are a lot of bills, proposals and rumors swirling about. (See the last post in this blog for just one proposal on an amendment to a current bill.)

In preparation for next week, we need your help now to build our army. Some 50,000 people have already taken action through the Fix Housing First website, a testament to how important the tax credit has been to our economy. But we need more - it just takes a second and a few clicks to help us help your industry!

Please join the Fix Housing First coalition by clicking here. Once you join the coalition, make sure to take a few minutes to contact your Senators to let them know how important it is to the future of housing and our economy that the tax credit is extended and expanded.

Senators Isakson and Dodd Seek Action on Home Buyer Tax Credit

Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) plan to offer an amendment to extend and expand the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit to a House-passed bill that would extend unemployment insurance benefits. Though it is unclear if the Senate will act on this proposal, NAHB will be urging senators to approve the amendment if it comes up for a vote.

The Isakson-Dodd proposal would extend the credit to June 30, 2010 and expand it to a wider circle of principal home buyers. It would also double the current income eligibility limit to $150,000 for single taxpayers and $300,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.

Reporting on the Isakson-Dodd proposal, the AP cited NAHB statistics that extending the tax credit for one year and expanding it to all buyers of a principal residence would spur 383,000 additional home sales, create more than 347,000 jobs, generate $16.1 billion in wages and salaries and $12.1 billion in business income.

To read more on Isakson and Dodd's proposal, as well as NAHB's efforts to extend the tax credit, click here. You can also visit to find out what you can do to help.

Source: NAHB