Whether you call it a construction labor lien release, construction worker labor lien release, workers labor release, laborers lien waiver or simply a laborers release, more and more property owners are demanding they get labor releases from every worker on their project. No wonder this is becoming more "popular"... it seems like consumer advocates, in everything they write, tell property owners to protect themselves from having a labor lien placed against their property by using this form. General Contractors also find this form useful as a tool for checking up on their subcontractors to make sure the sub is paying their employees out of the progress payments they have received.
The problem is that state laws from California to Florida DO NOT provide for a labor release form like they do for other, construction related lien release forms. Also... State labor commissioners are given broad power to collect wages due employees from SOMEONE. The prefered "pocket" to get these overdue wages is the actual employer of the worker on the construction project. If this is a subcontractor on the job, and their "pockets" are empty, the next pocket looked at will be the contractor whom the owing subcontractor has contracted with on the project. This contractor can be another subcontractor of a higher "tier" or level or it could be the Original or General Contractor on the project. If the wages cannot be paid at this level of the construction subcontractor "tier" then the next higher tier is looked at until the top "tier", which is the project property owner, is expected to pay the wages!
What does this "Problem" mean?
The short answer is that you can NEVER rely on a labor release form to fully protect you from claims made by workers on your project like you can the other construction lien release forms used between your construction contracting company and other construction contracting companies working for you. You can, for example, pay a subcontractor for the job they agreed to do and demand a lien release from the subcontractors company. This release will protect you, in most cases, from a lien from this subcontractor. If, however, this same subcontractor took the money you paid them and "ran", failing to use this money to pay wages owed his workers on your project, you will most likely be expected to pay these wages even though you already "paid" the wages once through payments received and mis-appropriated by the subcontractor. Then it's up to you to get re-imbursed for these wages directly from the subcontractor who should have paid them in the first place. That just ain't right!