Joel Dillard & Associates

Representing Working People

Construction liens, statutory late fees, and special advantages for construction sub-contractors

Compared to most states, Mississippi law governing the workplace is basically non-existent. There is no state law against sex discrimination, for example, so you can only rely on federal law. This means that sexual harassment is legal for employers with fewer than 15 employees! As another example, it is perfectly legal to fire someone in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim in Mississippi.

Why? Because employees are so poorly organized. If the employees were sufficiently organized to have a meaningful voice at the legislature, these laws would change in a hurry.

We can see this in the unique advantages that construction industry subcontractors have. Large subcontractors with deep pockets have coordinated to create a legislative environment that works for them.

For example, state law requires that, on bonded projects, the subcontractor or employee that does construction work on the project can collect directly on the bond, and can intervene in any lawsuit on the bond to make sure that they get paid. The office manager at that same firm has no such rights.

In addition, state law gives contractors a lien against the property they work on if they are not paid.

And subcontractors have an automatic statutory late penalty they can exact from a general contractor or higher-level sub if they are not paid within a couple weeks of the general contractor receiving payment.

These laws were basically written by construction industry lawyers who represent subcontractors in litigation, and know how to get the necessary advantages to collect on construction projects.

When the workers of this state come together in political and labor organizations to advance their interests, they will quickly see the benefits.


This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.

To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.

First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against - and no other information. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation from an attorney that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.

Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with the attorney in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.