The Maryland Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association (MDNVAFCA) has retained the services of Bruce Bereano, the leading lobbyist in Annapolis, to represent the industry’s interests with regard to the Workplace Fraud Act and related issues during the current legislative session. The organization is requesting financial assistance from its members to cover the costs of Bereano’s legal services.
The State proposes to end the business model for all of floor covering installation companies by severely curtailing the use of independent subcontractors to perform its labor needs.
“This threat, in and of itself, will create undue hardship and expenses including payroll taxes, vacation pay, healthcare, workman’s comp and legislated wage and hour costs for any installation independent contractor that you use, at a time when we are already struggling to survive,” said Kurt Zanelotti, MDNVAFCA legislative committee chairman, in a statement to the organization’s members. “We have over 80 dealer members in the MDNVAFCA. Of those 80, the state has already put 29 dealers under audit, including dealers from Virginia. We have seen fines from the Comptroller’s side of the audit in the $100,000 range and above. If you believe they will skip over your company, you are more than likely wrong. They have come after both large and small dealers, including virtually every dealer in the Frederick area. Many of our members have spent countless hours battling this issue over the course of the last several months. We have met with a variety of lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, and industry groups seeking help.”
“Last week, there was a four hour-hearing in Annapolis by the House Economics Committee, which featured one of our members testifying,” said Zanelotti. “We left that meeting feeling that we can get this law altered IF we keep the pressure on. There were a number of legislators clearly “on our side”. We did feel, however, that our industry needed its own voice in Annapolis, and Mr. Bereano knows the Work Place Fraud Act cold. At the law’s inception, he was able to get his clients (package delivery people) excluded from the Bill.”
”Mr. Bereano’s fee is quite substantial, but we feel it is worth it compared to the potential money we will all spend if the DLLR is left to enforce this law,” said Zanelotti. “Many of us have already spent a fortune on legal fees contesting this issue. We feel, as you should, that the state is going to chip away at us individually unless we stand as a united group who will NOT be dictated to us how we should legally run our businesses.”
“The MDNVAFCA is not in a financial position to fund this fee,” said Zanelotti. “As a result, we are writing today to ask each and every one of you to contribute something to the payment of this fee according to your ability to do so. We need to help our local floor covering industry and to spread this cost more equitably among our membership. The Association has spoken to many of you personally about this matter and we feel NOW is the time to act. We have never seen a more serious threat to our industry and this matter needs to be taken very seriously. This matter affects Virginia and Maryland Dealers alike and we strongly urge you to support the MDNVAFCA in this fight.”
To make a donation, members should contact Kurt Zanelotti at (301) 937.0030 ext.115; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MDNVAFCA seeks financial help to fight Workplace Fraud Act
February 3, 2012