The laborer is present at every construction project across the world.  He or she is the sweat on the brow of the project, doing the hard work day-in and day-out to ensure buildings get erected and project specifications are correctly delivered.  And based on my experience in mechanic lien laws across the United States, they have the greatest level of protection under these statutes.

When a state requires preliminary notices, they very frequently do not require them from pure laborers. And in some states, like Oregon, a laborer’s lien gets super-priority over other liens and encumbrances (like bank mortgages).

In other words, if a laborer or construction company employee does work on a construction project is unpaid, he or she has a very real and powerful remedy in mechanic lien laws. There is no need to figure out whether the laborer’s work qualifies them to file a mechanic’s lien (as it is required regarding other work types), if someone is performing labor on a construction project, they have lien protection.

Despite this substantial protection, the laborer very, very rarely files a mechanic’s lien. So either laborers are always getting paid on the project (doubtful!) or there is something else causing this.

I can think of a few reasons why laborers rarely file liens.  They typically don’t have the finances of a contractor or supplier, and so they can’t afford a lawyer and the cost of a lien. Also, they are typically less experienced in legal remedies like liens, and don’t know where to start to protect their rights.

Anyone else have any insight or reasons why laborers so infrequently file liens?