• Adrian Middleton

A Guide to Stop Work Orders in Florida

Updated: Feb 6, 2018

You may have heard other building sites in Florida suffering a stop work order but been uncertain what it is. Now your building site has been issued a stop work order. It’s important to understand what it is, and what you can do about it. No contractor wants their project held up. It’s important that your employees get back to work ASAP, before it can affect your business.

A stop work order can be issued by one of many people under the authority of the State of Florida. They’re often issued because there are employees being listed as “independent contractors”. They can also be issued if there is some worksite safety issue that could pose a danger to your workers’ well-being, or pose a risk to the public.

The Florida Workers’ Compensation has the requirement that the employee will secure payments of workers’ compensation and will provide the accurate information for payroll and classification codes. Not all violations will be your fault. In some instances it may be the employee who demands to be treated as a contractor rather than an employee, yet Florida State won’t treat it that way.

The department has many rights when investigating these issues. They can conduct investigations. They are allowed to enter a business site at any time so they can investigate employer compliance. They can ask and examine financial and employee records. They may seek subpoenas for additional records or information.

Once they’ve gathered together their information, they’ll decide if a stop work order is warranted. If not, you as a manager, need to do nothing.

If they do issue a stop work order Florida, your business will then need to cease operating until fines can be determined.

The department will also be responsible for overseeing the administration, and impose fines and collect penalties. If these are not paid, they’ll continue to impose the stop work order and impose additional fines.

You may be curious as to what grounds there are to issue a stop work order.

The most common issue is that not all workers on a site are covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

Interestingly, the stop work order is applicable for all the employer’s worksites in the entire state of Florida. So, it may be more than simply non-compliance of a few employees at one site, but could in fact involve a much wider problem.

An employer may not be compliant if they failed to obtain the right policy, which includes Florida class codes, rules, manuals, and rates.

If the business received a written notice that they were to deliver required business records within five business days after receipt, a stop work order may be issued.

During investigation, if the employer has intentionally tried to conceal payroll, or made false changes on it, it’s considered that they are not in compliance, and they will need to cease business operations.

If employers have falsely stated what an employee’s duties are in order to pay cheaper fees, that can be cause for a stop work order.

Experience modification factors may also play a role, as rates can vary depending on employee’s experience.

Another issue can arise when the employer has hired out services to subcontractors, but those workers have failed to apply for Workers’ Compensation, then a stop work order can be issued.

As you can see, in some instances, it may not be the fault of your business. In others, it may be due to poor record keeping, or a failure to understand how the Workers’ Compensation program works.

It’s important to hire a competent lawyer who can assist you through the complicated process of trying to get a stop work order Florida ruling lifted.

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