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If you are a contractor or subcontractor, you may have heard of the prevailing wage law. The prevailing wage law stems from the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. This federal law requires contractors and subcontractors to pay their employees a certain wage for work on federal projects. This includes any construction or repair of public buildings or other public works, such as highways, that receive federal funding over $2,000.  A similar Connecticut law applies to contractors performing work on behalf of the state.

Pay Depends On Location And Job

Wages depend upon the location of the job, as well as the type of work performed. For example, an asbestos worker in Bethel will earn a different rate from a tile finisher in Bethel. He or she may also earn a different rate than an asbestos worker in Roxbury. The state publishes the prevailing rates for each location and job on July 1 of every year. The state law currently applies to any project with a total cost of over $100,000 for renovations and $1,000,000 for new construction.

Other workplace laws for public works

Contractors for public works projects must also follow certain other requirements and regulations. All mechanics, laborers and workers on the project must complete a 10-hour safety course. The employer must show proof of completion on its certified payroll for the employee’s first week of work. They also must certify their payroll with the labor commission in charge of the project.

Employers who fail to follow these regulations could face civil, administrative and even criminal penalties. In fact, falsifying or failing to provide a certified payroll is a felony under state law. Paying workers less than the prevailing rate is a crime that could rise to the level of a felony, depending on how much the employer owes in unpaid wages. The employer could also face civil fines and can be barred from future public works projects.

If you are a contractor or subcontractor wishing to participate in public projects, you may want to thoroughly review the rules and regulations those projects entail. A labor and employment professional can help you understand and comply with the requirements.