State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) announced he will introduce legislation that would allow three Northern Virginia localities to require developers to enter into agreements to protect workers who are building certain high-density projects.
“The legislation reflects the values of communities that want to ensure that workers are treated fairly, paid competitive wages and protected from wage theft,” Ebbin said.
“Without additional authority, localities cannot require developers of large projects to provide necessary protections for the workers who build those projects.”
Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol, who partnered with Ebbin to develop the legislation, explained that “as our urban environments and local economy transforms, the economic gains and opportunities should be shared by all our workers. This bill supports that goal, and serves the overall public interest by ensuring that major construction projects proceed effectively and on schedule.”
Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey noted, “As Arlington’s transit-rich planning corridors redevelop, it is vital that the men and women who build those projects don’t suffer the abuses that are common with large-scale projects,” Dorsey said. “This legislation will permit Arlington to develop standards so that special exception projects requiring Board approval do not get built without adequate protections for the workers who build them.”
The proposed legislation, Ebbin said, will speed up the completion of projects by helping developers attract skilled workers and preventing work stoppages. “Completing projects in a timely fashion benefits communities by minimizing disruptions to surrounding neighborhoods and impacts on transportation and public infrastructure,” said Ebbin.
The legislation will include provisions for competitive wage levels; wage theft protections; timely payment to workers; apprenticeship and training programs, and neutral third-party dispute resolution processes.