The 104-Year-Old Law that Impacts Your Construction Contracts

May 26, 2017

Sometimes the law struggles to keep pace with the ever-changing needs and demands of the people. As a result, some very old and very puzzling laws are still technically in effect. Dozens of top-ten lists have been written on the most humorous of these laws—like a law in Florida about what parking fees apply to an elephant tethered to a parking meter—but in Pennsylvania one particular law can have a big impact on your next construction project.

The Separations Act of 1913 dictates that public construction projects of $4,000 or more must use separate contracts for services like plumbing or electrical work. Pennsylvania is one of only three states with a law like this, and since the contract requirements for public projects do not extend to private projects, The Separations Act of 1913 has generated quite a bit of controversy.

Speaking with John Baer of, our very own David Scotti argued that this law increases project costs, saying, “If this was economically smart, you’d see the private sector doing it.”

And according to Baer, other industry insiders support this analysis, suggesting that public construction costs 10 percent more because of the law.

Read the full article »to learn more about the Separations Act of 1913.