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Article 8 (Construction): Frequently Asked Questions

Prevailing Wages & Supplements

Q: How often are prevailing rates determined and when do they take effect?

A: The prevailing rate of wages and supplements are determined annually on July 1 of each year and are effective through June 30, i.e. July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2002. (Article 8, Section 220, subd. 5a) When you review a schedule for a particular occupation, your attention should be directed to the dates above the column rates. These are the dates that additional adjustments become effective. Any error corrections or updates in the annual determination will be posted to the Department’s website on the first business day of each month. Contractors are responsible for paying these updated rates retroactive to July 1st.


Q: Is the contractor held responsible to pay the newly determined rates even if the new rates are not included in the wage schedule?

A: Yes


Q: How are prevailing rates determined?

A: Prevailing rates in a locality are determined by virtue of collective bargaining agreements between bona fide labor organizations and employers of the private sector, provided that said employers employ at least 30% of workers in the same trade or occupation in the locality where the work is being performed. (Section 220, subd 5a)


Q: What is the locality to which specific wage rates apply?

A: "Locality" means such areas of the state described and defined for a trade or occupation in the current collective bargaining agreements between bona fide labor organizations and employers of the private sector. (Section 220, subd. 5d)


Q: How does DOL determine which union or unions is the appropriate labor organization for determining prevailing rates? What if there is more than one collective bargaining agreement in a given locality?

A: The Department of Labor utilizes the collectively bargained agreements that were used in the previous year’s annual determination of prevailing rates, unless competent evidence is provided that the negotiated agreement does not cover 30% of workers in the same trade or occupation. Also see Section III - Classification of Workers.


Q: What happens if a union does not report new rate information to DOL by May 31?

A: The prevailing rate from the previous year’s annual determination will be included in the new annual determination of prevailing rates.


Q: May prevailing rate determinations be contested?

A: An employer may contest a determination by the fiscal officer. The employer must allege and prove by competent evidence that the actual percentage of workers, laborers, or mechanics covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the locality is below the required thirty per centum.


Q: Are prime contractors required to provide subcontractors with prevailing wage schedules?

A: Yes. It is a violation for any contractor or its subcontractor to fail to provide to its subcontractor a copy of the schedule of wages and supplements specified in the contract as well as any annually determined rate issued subsequent to the schedule specified in the contract. (Section 220-a, subd. 1)


Q: Are contractors required to file Labor Affidavits?

A: Before final payment is made by a public agency for any amounts due on a public work contract, the public agency shall require the contractor or subcontractor to file a statement in writing certifying to the amounts then due and owing from such contractor to or on behalf of any worker employed on the public work contract. (Article 8, Section 220-a)


Q: What are the posting requirements for prevailing rates?

A: “The contractor and every subcontractor on public work contracts shall post in a prominent and accessible place on the site of the work a legible statement of all wage rates and supplements as specified in the contract to be paid or provided …" (Section 220, subd. 3-a)


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