Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am a superintendent for a general contractor that built a project i have not been payed my final pay check can I lean the property r

I am a superintendent for a general contractor that built a project i have not been payed my final pay check can I lean the property r

FloridaMechanics LienNotice of Intent to LienRight to Lien

As my question states I am a superintendent for a general contractor. I was offered a position with another company at a higher pay rate, I took the job and my employer will not pay me my final paycheck can I lien the property that I last built for my boss

1 reply

Jun 19, 2019
That's an interesting question, and I'm sorry to hear you haven't been paid. In Florida, lien rights are available to "laborers" among others - and, generally, this applies to employees of contractors.

More specifically, the Florida lien statute defines a "laborer" to include any person who personally performs authorized work on the site of improvement - as long as they don't furnish the materials and labor of others. Generally, this provides for the ability of employees to file a mechanics lien on their own behalf when they have worked on the property but not been paid. Plus, a general contractor's supervisor doesn't actually "furnish" the materials and labor of others - that work is "furnished" by the GC, and merely coordinated by the project's supervisor.

Of course, it's worth taking a look to be sure that the specific work performed will give rise to lien rights before filing a lien claim. Generally, in order for lien rights to arise, work performed must serve to improve the property - and, in some cases, mere supervision might not give rise to lien rights if the party supervising is not also participating in the work and improvement of the property. But, at the same time, when labor or services were done and that work ultimately resulted in the improvement of property, a mechanics lien might be appropriate. It might not be a perfect comparison, but this article shares some light on lien rights for supervisory work: Can Construction Managers File Mechanics Liens?

Finally, it's worth mentioning that regardless of whether a lien claim can or will be filed, sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien can speed up payment without the need for actually proceeding with a lien claim. By sending this lien warning, a potential claimant can let their employer and the project's owner that there is a payment issue and that if it isn't resolved, a lien might be filed. Nobody likes dealing with a mechanics lien (even claimants), so providing one more opportunity to resolve the dispute is generally preferable to filing a lien - plus, because a Notice of Intent to Lien gets sent to the owner, it can put extra pressure on a contractor to make payment.

Lastly, keep in mind that Florida has strict notice and deadline requirements. If these rules aren't followed to a T, Florida claimants could lose their right to recovery via lien claim. You can learn more about those rules here: Florida Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statute.
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