Our Subcontractor's Bill of Rights
At EllisDon, we understand how important our Subcontractors are to our future. We recognize that without your loyalty, EllisDon cannot compete or ultimately survive. And we all know that if EllisDon is the preferred GC throughout the subcontractor market, we will have a substantial advantage over all of our competitors.
It is our goal that every single one of our Subtrades gets treated the same way by every EllisDon employee all the time, every time, in accordance with a clear set of principles, upon a foundation of basic fairness.
Our Promise To You
Therefore, we have developed our Subcontractor Bill Of Rights as a way to ensure that we are always treating our subcontractors professionally and ethically. All EllisDon employees are expected to commit to this code of ethics every day, so that every subcontractor benefits from fair and equitable treatment. Here are the five key principles:
1. Price Shopping Will Be An Employment Termination Event
Price shopping is when, during a bid close, one subcontractor's lower price is quietly given to another subcontractor, in order to make that sub low. It is one of the most unethical practices in the industry and it will not be tolerated at EllisDon. If an EllisDon employee is shown to have engaged in this practice once, they will receive a formal warning. If they are caught twice, they will be terminated, regardless of tenure or seniority. If any subcontractor has concrete evidence or proof of bid shopping, they are welcome to contact the CEO directly.
2. The Low Qualified Sub At Closing Gets The Job
We need to make sure that we get all the info on every price at closing, so we know which price to carry. If you are the low qualified sub at closing, you get the award on those terms, period, full stop. (Let's acknowledge that CM subcontractor bids to clients often have more complexity and are often beyond our control, but our ‘recommendations to award' will follow this standard.)
3. No Back Charges
EllisDon defines back charges as a charge that comes without both clear advance notice and appropriate justification/documentation. The idea that we can send out back charges at the end of projects, without an adequate prior warning (enabling the sub to fix the problem) and appropriate justification, has no future at EllisDon. If you, as a subcontractor, can show an inappropriate back charge, according to the above definition, it gets cancelled. Regardless of the amount.
4. Timely Payment
If EllisDon does not include a sub's legitimate billing on our invoice, or if we don't bill the owner when we should (and as a result the sub doesn't get paid on time), we will pay the subcontractor interest at the prime rate on the payment delay. 5. Returned Phone Calls If you indicate that your issue is important, we will return your phone call within 24 hours. If an EllisDon person is not responding promptly, you are encouraged to call me to complain. EllisDon must be committed to this standard. If our people are on holiday, they will leave instructions as to whom to talk to in their absence.
The Bottom Line
We all must acknowledge that issues are often more complicated than contemplated by these brief, formal standards. On Construction Management projects, for example, clients often control bid closings and awards. In this case, we will strive to let our subcontractors know what the process is, and you can decide what you want to do. Project prices often require subsequent clarification. But the bottom line is that day to day we at EllisDon and our subcontractor partners must treat each other fairly, and we must each respect the protocols and the written and unwritten rules of our industry. Appropriate judgement, openness and fairness are required from everyone.
EllisDon is determined to be the best builder in the industry; that demands high standards of execution, professionalism and ethics at every level, every day. That is the promise we are making here, with our Subcontractor Bill of Rights.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if at any time you feel that any of the principles outlined above have not been honoured by someone in our company, and I will make it a point to follow up personally.
Thank you for your time, your trust and your confidence in us. Geoff Smith, President & C.E.O.