Medford, New Jersey recently disqualified five would-be city contractors from receiving municipal contracts until 2017 for allegedly making political contributions in violation of the Township’s pay-to-play ordinance.

The ordinance, adopted in 2012, imposes an automatic four-year bar on contracting with a company that contributes to candidates or committees in excess of the law’s per-recipient or aggregate contribution limits.  The ordinance also contains an unusual restriction barring subcontractors if the subcontractor would be prohibited from being awarded the primary contract.

Medford’s action serves as a harsh reminder that companies must remain vigilant regarding changes in pay-to-play laws, even at the local level.