Introduction
Public agency requirements
Contractor and subcontractor requirements
Comment

Introduction

Senate Bill 854, which was enacted in June 2014 by the California legislature, made several significant changes to the laws pertaining to the administration and enforcement of prevailing wage requirements for public works projects by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). This new public works monitoring scheme has created a mandatory registration programme for all contractors and imposes new reporting obligations on public agencies.

Public agency requirements

PWC-100 form
Public agencies must file a PWC-100 form with the DIR within five days of awarding a public works contract. The PWC-100 form serves to notify the DIR that a public works contract has been awarded and provides general information about the project including:

  • name of awarding agency;
  • date of award;
  • type of work to be performed;
  • contract amount; and
  • funding sources.

The PWC-100 form may be filed online at www.dir.ca.gov/pwc100ext/.

Notice
Public agencies must include notice in their call for bids and in the contract documents that:

  • no contractor or subcontractor may be listed on a bid proposal for a public works project unless it is registered with the DIR;
  • no contractor or subcontractor may be awarded a public works project contract unless it is registered with the DIR; and
  • work performed on the project is subject to compliance monitoring and enforcement by the DIR.

Rejection of bids submitted by unregistered contractors
Public agencies may not accept a bid or enter into a contract for public work with an unregistered contractor.

Job site notice
Public agencies must post, or require the prime contractor to post, the following DIR job site notice pertaining to the prevailing wage rate determinations:

"This public works project is subject to monitoring and investigative activities by the Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Department of Industrial Relations, State of California. This Notice is intended to provide information to all workers employed in the execution of the contract for public work and to all contractors and other persons having access to the job site to enable the CMU to ensure compliance with and enforcement of prevailing wage laws on public works projects.

The prevailing wage laws require that all workers be paid at least the minimum hourly wage as determined by the Director of Industrial Relations for the specific classification (or type of work) performed by workers on the project. These rates are listed on a separate job site posting of minimum prevailing rates required to be maintained by the public entity which awarded the public works contract. Complaints concerning nonpayment of the required minimum wage rates to workers on this project may be filed with the CMU at any office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Local Office Telephone Number: ________________________

Complaints should be filed in writing immediately upon discovery of any violations of the prevailing wage laws due to the short period of time following the completion of the project that the CMU may take legal action against those responsible.

Complaints should contain details about the violations alleged (for example, wrong rate paid, not all hours paid, overtime rate not paid for hours worked in excess of 8 per day or 40 per week, etc.) as well as the name of the employer, the public entity which awarded the public works contract, and the location and name of the project.

For general information concerning the prevailing wage laws and how to file a complaint concerning any violation of these prevailing wage laws, you may contact any DLSE office. Complaint forms are also available at the Department of Industrial Relations website found at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/PublicWorks.html".

Contractor and subcontractor requirements

Annual registration
All contractors and subcontractors must register with the DIR annually and pay a fee of $300 to be eligible to work on any public works project in California. To be eligible for registration, contractors and subcontractors must provide evidence of the following:

  • workers' compensation coverage;
  • a licence from the Contractors State Licence Board (if applicable);
  • no delinquency of unpaid wages or penalty assessments owed to any employee or enforcement agency;
  • no federal or state debarment; and
  • no prior violation of registration requirements in the 12 months preceding the application or since the effective date of the new registration requirements, whichever is earlier. Note, that the registration requirement does not apply to bids prior to March 1 2015 or work on projects for which the public works contract was awarded prior to April 1 2015.

Electronic submission of certified payroll records
All contractors and subcontractors must electronically submit all certified payroll records from public works projects directly to the DIR. This requirement applies to all new contracts awarded after April 1 2015 and for work performed on any public works project after January 1 2016 regardless of the date of award.

Comment

The intent behind Senate Bill 854 is to ensure compliance with California's prevailing wage requirements. As such, it is anticipated that the DIR will actively monitor and enforce compliance with the new registration and notice requirements. Public agencies and contractors working on public works projects should thus immediately familiarise themselves with the new requirements.

For further information on this topic please contact Michael T McKeeman or Patty H Lee at Seyfarth Shaw LLP by telephone (+1 415 397 8549) or email (mmckeeman@seyfarth.com or plee@seyfarth.com). The Seyfarth Shaw website can be accessed at www.seyfarth.com.

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