Contractors, developers, architects, owners, project managers, and even public bodies often ask the same obvious question when dealing with any type of prevailing wage ordinance or law, “what are my obligations?” While everyone involved in public construction projects want to comply with prevailing wage mandates, more often than not those involved in such projects are either oblivious to their responsibilities or are mistaken in their belief as to such responsibilities. This is not surprising in light of the great variance in prevailing wage laws, related rules, and interpretations of such rules and laws on a local, state, and federal level. It’s unfortunate that there is no set standard or guidebook on the subject. And, that’s the point of this alert!
What a GC or subcontractor must do under California’s prevailing wage law is entirely different with respect to Illinois law. Likewise, what a developer or owner needs to ensure on a prevailing wage project under Ohio law is different than pursuant to New York mandates. There are also great variations in the types of forms required (including the certified transcript of payroll), written notifications and/or legal disclaimers, contract provisions, wage and fringe benefit responsibilities, actual rate determinations per trade and area, potential liabilities, and actual compliance standards. These variations are controlled on a local and state level where prevailing wage requirements still exist. For a summary of where state prevailing wage mandates still are in play, the U.S. Department of Labor’s quick summary is quite helpful.
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