How General Contractors Can Support Their Communities

As general contractors, we offer vital services to our customers. These services are necessary but not always attainable for some or are needed in high demand in the case of widespread disasters. This is where we can show our dedication to the people of our community by volunteering time and resources to support those most in need.


Target Vulnerable Populations

When volunteering your time and sometimes materials, you want to ensure you are making the most impact. You can do just that by targeting those who need the most support. The elderly, disabled veterans, and low-income residents are among the most vulnerable in many communities.


You may choose to offer your services to anyone in need, but by selecting a specific population to support, you can build a reputation as an advocate and champion for those who need you most.


Partner With an Organization

A larger organization that provides contracted services for those in need will often already have a list of who needs help and what exactly they need. This can make it much easier to know where and when you are needed, saving you time and effort finding volunteer opportunities so you can get to work.


Organizations may be regional and focused on helping your specific community or much larger, like Habitat for Humanity, which supports communities nationwide. Not only does partnering with an organization to volunteer your services support those in need, but it can also help you network with other professionals and grow as a leader within your industry.


Join a Relief Effort

General contractors are in high demand following natural disasters. Many homes and other buildings may be severely damaged or completely destroyed after widespread flooding, wildfires, tornados, or other extreme events.


After the dust has settled and the extent of the damage can be more accurately determined, construction specialists are needed to help rebuild these communities. There may be an organization or a community liaison helping to direct the reconstruction efforts in the area that can get you set up with the most critical projects that fit your skills.


Let Your Customers Decide

Many general contractors have turned to their customers to find people in their community that can benefit from their services the most. By running a campaign that allows customers to nominate someone they feel needs and deserves your services, you can decide who you are capable of and wish to help. You also show the public that you are an active participant and engaged in your community by listening to them.


In their latest Community Outreach project, the Contractor’s Association of Minnesota (CAM) has supported a local veteran with a handicap accessible entryway to her home. Learn more about CAM and the many benefits of membership, then apply online.


How Do I Know if I Have an Ice Dam on My Roof?

If you are familiar with Minnesota winters, you have likely seen an ice dam before. Usually starting as small icicles hanging from the eaves or gutters, they quickly turn into dangerous ridges of ice that run along the roof’s overhang. In extreme dam conditions, you can have large icicles extending a foot or more from the roofline. Those icicles are attached to heavy ice sheets that could seriously injure someone. The weight of the falling ice can also pull gutters, soffit, facia, and shingles off the house when they break away. It is important to have ice dams removed and prevent them from recurring.


What Causes Ice Dams?

When the heat from your home escapes into the attic or rafters, it creates a warm spot. This causes the snow on the roof to melt, and the water runs down the shingles until it meets the cold eves. Once this happens, it refreezes and forms a small ridge. Every melt-freeze cycle increases the size of the ridge, eventually forcing the ice to back up onto the roof. This can force water under the shingles and into your home, damaging your ceilings and walls. You will see the water damage as brown stains on the ceilings or brown streaks on the walls. Your paint may also blister or peel.


What To Do When You Have an Ice Dam

Winter conditions make roof work very difficult, and it is dangerous for homeowners to remove ice dams on their own. Qualified, licensed contractors offer professional ice dam removal services that ensure your safety, protect your roof, and keep water out of your home.

You can ask your contractor about what steps you can take to prevent future ice dams. They may recommend one or more strategies depending on the type of roof you have, the age of your home, and the type of ductwork servicing the house. Some potential options are adding insulation, wrapping uninsulated ductwork and venting, cleaning the gutters, and adding gutter guards.


Choose a Professional Contractor

Choosing a CAM contractor will give you peace of mind knowing that other contractors trust them, are local to the area, and have excellent business ratings with a longtime presence in the area. By bringing in a reputable contractor, you are protecting yourself from liability issues and avoiding the dangers of falling ice. Never underestimate the dangers ice dams pose. Work with a professional to resolve the issue permanently.


CAM, DAV Project, and Iron River Construction give back



We partnered with the DAV Project and Iron River Construction to give back to Carol Fink, a disabled veteran. We are very proud with the results of this project and happy we could help! Learn how you can help disabled veterans with the DAV of Minnesota Foundation-



Important Upcoming Dates

August 5, 2019 Storm Deadline


As many of you know, a substantial hail event rolled through the twin cities metro area about two years ago.  Most Minnesota insurance policies provide two years from the date of loss to take legal action if the claim has not been resolved.  This is a frequently misunderstood topic.  The two-year deadline is a deadline to take legal action (a “statute of limitation”).  It is not a deadline to simply submit a claim.  That is not enough.  If the homeowner does not have an extension or tolling agreement (in writing), they have to take legal action to preserve their rights under the policy.  If they do not, then their claim will be time-barred and they will not be able to recover additional funds.  Appraisal does not toll this deadline.  Waiting for material to drop does not toll this deadline.  Nothing does other than a written extension or legal action.


If your homeowners do not have an extension, the sooner they contact a lawyer, the more likely we will be able to help.  They should not wait until the day before at the risk of losing their insurance benefits.


August 10, 2020 Iowa Derecho Deadline


Along the same topic, the Iowa Derecho event is approaching its one-year anniversary.  If you’re doing any work down in Iowa, most Iowa policies have 1 or 2 year limits from the date of loss.  The statutory minimum is 1 year, so many policyholders are also coming up on their deadline to take legal action from this event.  Again, that is a deadline to take legal action, not just submit a claim.  We can help those homeowners secure extensions or take legal action, but the sooner we can talk to them the better.


DLI Wage Investigations


I’ve noticed a recent trend of employee classification investigations by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) into whether sales representatives are Independent Contractors or Employees.  Historically, it’s been okay to classify sales reps as independent contractors as long as they are truly independent.  The “nine-factor test” that DLI uses to determine classification can be found here.  You’ll want to make sure you’re following that and that your contract includes these factors.  There can be pretty stiff penalties and fines if DLI reclassifies someone as an employee.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.


7900 Xerxes Avenue South

Suite 2020

Bloomington, MN 55431

Direct: 952-314-1169

General: 952-388-0289

Fax:  612-235-7927


CAM Announces FALL Golf Classic!

Coming off the huge success of our golf event in May, CAM has decided we will continue to hold our regular FALL event as a golf event as well this year. We plan to have a tighter format for the more serious golfers, but will still offer fun for golfers of all caliber. Save the date for  The CAM Fall Golf Classic to be held at Links at Northfork Golf Course in Ramsey on Thursday September 16th, 2021.  This will be a shotgun start at 1 pm. LUNCH prior and a BBQ after will be included with the player packages.  We look forward to holding our 2022 Spring Conference in April of 2022 and Fall Golf Classic again in 2022.

More Information & Registration HERE!


CAM Legislative Update – Contractor Recovery Fund

The Contractor Association of MN (CAM) submitted comments supporting bills authored by Senator Justin Eichorn (Bemidji) and Rep. Shane Mekeland (Clear Lake).  The bill prevents the use of any funds from the Contractor Recover Fund except for its intended use by providing clarifying language.  The Contractor Recovery Fund is allowed for the following:

(1) compensate owners or lessees of residential real estate who meet the requirements
of this section;
(2) reimburse the department for all legal and administrative expenses, disbursements,
and costs, including staffing costs, incurred in administering and defending the fund;

(3) pay for educational or research projects in the field of residential contracting to
further the purposes of sections 326B.801 to 326B.825; and

(4) provide information to the public on residential contracting issues.

You can read the letter submitted by CAM below.

Date: March 8th, 2021

Rep. Shane Mekeland
215 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Rep. Mekeland:

On behalf of the Contractor!s Association of Minnesota, we are writing to express our support
for HF 762.

This bill will ensure that funds licensed contractors must, by statute, pay into the Contractor
Recovery Fund will not be allowed to be used for other purposes. In lean years, the fund has
been raided to cover other funding shortfalls.

Minnesota Statues 327A is a statutory requirement known as the “home warranty” provision.
This statutory requirement states that homeowners building new homes or remodeling their
homes are protected from structural issues. For example, if a homeowner builds a new home
and there are structural issues, the Contractor Recovery Account will ensure that a contractor
who is unable to fulfill their statutory obligations will make the homeowner whole when repairs
are made. HF 762 protects the Contractor Recovery Fund from being used for anything other than
protecting homeowners and making sure that these funds are available to the homeowner.

Tracy Dahlin
Chairperson – Contractors Association of Minnesota


CAM Announces Virtual Day At The Capitol

CAM Virtual Day at the Capitol

February 23rd, 2021
9:30 am – 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting with Lobbyist & DOLI

Register Today at:


9:30 am – 11:00 am                       Group Meeting On Zoom – Intro to Day at the Capitol and Guest Speaker(s)

11:30 am – 4:00 pm                      Individual Zoom Meetings with Legislators

Virtual meetings will be set with individual Legislators with the information given at time of registration. Your personal virtual passcode to meet with your specific Legislator will be given at the Group Meeting.




Worker Protections Related To COVID-19

Employees are protected by a number of state and federal laws. These protections and employers’ legal obligations are discussed in more detail below. Further updates and guidance for Minnesotans about COVID-19 is available at

Use of sick leave

If your employer allows you to take time off for your own illness, your employer must also allow you to take time off to care for an ill minor child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent. Your employer must allow you to use your sick time in the same manner as the employer would allow you to use the leave for yourself. Under current law, this provision may not apply to all employees and all employers.
Contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) at 651-284-5075, 800-342-5354 or with questions.
The cities of Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul all have sick and safe time ordinances that require employers to offer paid time off when employees are sick:

•Duluth sick and safe time leave;
•Minneapolis sick and safe time leave; and
•St. Paul sick and safe time leave.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Under the federal FMLA, covered employers must provide employees job-protected, unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons, which may include COVID-19 where complications arise. Employees on FMLA leave are entitled to the continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms as existed before they took FMLA leave.
Call the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, at 866-487-9243 with questions or see U.S. DOL’s COVID-19 FMLA guidance.

Employers cannot discriminate

The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability, race, national origin, age and other protected classes. Individuals with disabilities have the right to request “reasonable accommodations” from employers that are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or the MHRA.

If you have a disability that affects your risk for contracting COVID-19 or being harmed if you do contract the virus, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer. For example, employees with disabilities that put them at high-risk for complications related to COVID-19 may request telework or paid/sick/unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation to reduce their chances of infection during a pandemic.

Employers may ask employees if they are experiencing influenza-like symptoms, such as fever or chills, and a cough or sore throat. Employers must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with state and federal law.
During a pandemic, employers may not ask employees who do not have known or apparent influenza symptoms whether they have a medical condition the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says could make them vulnerable to influenza complications. Under no circumstances may an employer make decisions based on stereotypes or bias.
If employees voluntarily disclose to their employer that they have a medical condition or a disability that places them at higher risk of COVID-19 complications, the employer must keep this information confidential.

Employers may not assume employees with known medical conditions or disabilities are at heightened risk of complications from COVID-19. For more information about pandemic preparedness in the workplace and relevant legal requirement for employers, visit
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state’s civil rights enforcement agency and enforces the MHRA. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the department at 651-539-1133, 800-6573704 or or fill out a consultation inquiry form at

Unemployment insurance benefits

If you lose your job or had your hours greatly reduced, you should apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The application process allows you to tell the UI program why you are not working. To get more information about Unemployment Insurance or to apply for benefits, visit
Gov. Tim Walz issued a March 16, 2020, executive order to better enable workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to access unemployment benefits. For more information about this executive order and some frequently asked questions and answers, visit

Protections for workers who contract or have been exposed to COVID-19

Under a state health law, if you have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19, and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends that you stay home (isolate or quarantine yourself), your employer may not discharge, discipline or penalize you for missing work. This protection also applies if you need to care for a minor or adult family member for whom MDH recommends isolation or quarantine. (The adult family member must
have a disability or be a vulnerable adult.) This employment protection is available for 21 workdays. For more information, call the number MDH will give you with its recommendation.

Workers’ compensation

If you contract a disease that arises out of and in the course of your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including payment of wage loss and medical benefits. However, you must show that you contracted the disease due to your employment.
If an emergency responder contracts an infectious or communicable disease that they are exposed to in the course of employment outside of a hospital, the disease is presumed to be an occupational disease due to the nature of their employment.

If you are not ill, but must stay home from work because you were exposed to the virus, you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under current law.
Every case is fact specific. Call the Department of Labor and Industry at 800-342-5354 (press 3) if you have a question about whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Final wages

If your employment ends and your former employer has not paid you your final wages, there are several steps you can take to ensure you are paid all the wages you are due. To learn what steps you can take to receive your final wages, visit the making a demand for final wages page.
Changes to working conditions

Overtime mandates

If employers schedule and require employees to work overtime hours, then they must pay any overtime that is earned under either state or federal law. State law provides one exception to required overtime for nurses. Other employees may be covered by collective bargaining agreements that contain provisions allowing employees to opt out of overtime hours.
Work location changes

Employers are required to track, record and pay for all hours of work performed by employees and may, in certain circumstances, be required to reimburse employees for work-related expenses. These expenses may not be required to be reimbursed until the end of employment.
Hours worked; hours paid

Salaried exempt workers

Under limited situations when a business decides to cut business hours, the employer can reduce the salary of an exempt worker. If a salaried exempt worker misses a full day of work the employer may deduct a proportional amount of their salary. This deduction can be only be made if the employee does not complete any work activities during that day.

Unpaid volunteer work may be performed for nonprofit organizations or government agencies. For-profit employers are required to pay the minimum wage and overtime, among other labor standards’ requirements, for those completing work activities.

Workplace safety and health

To get more information about workplace safety or health related to COVID-19, visit

Your employer may not retaliate against you for reporting health and safety concerns at work. If you believe your employer retaliated against you, you may file a complaint with Minnesota OSHA within 30 days of the adverse employment action.

Contact Minnesota OSHA Compliance at, 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742 with questions.

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