The prevailing wage is considered the “minimum wage” for construction workers who work on government projects. The employer has to pay the worker the prevailing wage for the specific public construction project. The reason for the prevailing wage is to prevent companies from winning bids on government projects by underpaying construction workers.
How is a prevailing wage rate determined?
This rate is the normal hourly rate that is used to calculate payment for workers. These workers are in a wide range of crafts, classifications, and kinds of work pertaining to public works. There may not be one rate used to calculate payment for most workers. If so, then whatever the rate is that a plurality of workers receive is the one that’s used.
What are the effects of the prevailing wage?
If California, the law regarding prevailing wages involves assurances for those who obtain public works contracts. You can get a contract that won’t be based of lower rates than competitors have. Every bidder has to apply the same rates when bidding occurs on these projects.
What are general prevailing wage determinations?
The prevailing wage is determined by the person directing the California Department of Industrial Relations. These determinations are released two times a year, on 2/22 and 8/22.
What are special prevailing wage determinations?
If a particular type of worker falls outside of being covered by the general determination, a special determination may apply. A request has to be done 45 days or more before a bid advertisement date.
How do you know what the issue date is?
The issue date is the day when copies of a determination get placed in the mail. As mentioned before, these are put out two times a year, once on 2/22 and another on 8/22.
Why do expiration dates exist for both determinations?
These dates exists that the determinations can change, if there is a reason that the director deems adequate.
Sometimes there is an asterisk after an expiration date. What is the significance of this when a determination is involved?
A prevailing wage determination with an asterisk in this sort of situation signifies that the determination will stay in place for the entirety of a project.
There are sometimes two asterisks after an expiration date for a determination. What is the significance of that?
When a prevailing wage determination has two asterisks after its expiration date, that means rates have already been determined earlier. If work goes beyond the expiration date, a new rate or set has to be created and placed into contracts.
What are predetermined changes?
Predetermined changes are related to hour rates, overtime, rates for holidays, and other payments that will be specified within union agreements. They will be determined when a bid date is advertised and when it’s referenced to within the general prevailing rate.
When are prevailing wage determinations effective? Is there a specific day they go into effect?
Yes, there is. The day would be 10 days past the day a determination has been issued. This is when it becomes effective.
What are residential projects?
These are projects where single-family dwellings are subject to payments of prevailing wages. The dwelling can be either a home or an apartment and four stories or less. The payments come out of public funds, which can include federal funds as well.
What are commercial projects?
Commercial projects include anything that is non-residential. Besides new construction, repair work, reconstructions, alteration, and additions are all included. A commercial project can also include a residential project if it is five stories or higher.
How is coverage determination defined?
Coverage determinations are processes where parties like contractors, employees, or unions ask for a written determination from the Department of Industrial Relations. They will ask about a particular project or kind of work that will be done.
When is overtime due?
Overtime involves any time worked beyond the usual 40 hours over the course of a week. The rate will be at least 1.5x for the base pay rate is.
What is required for a public works project?
If a project is $1,000 or more, prevailing wages have to get paid out to everyone working on the project. In the case of an approved labor compliance project being enforced, prevailing wages won’t be necessarily paid out. This is true if the projects are $25,000 or less (construction) or any other project if it is $15,000 or less. This would include alternations, demolitions, repairs, and upkeep.
Director’s General Prevailing Wage Determinations