As a worker in a construction project, there are a host of things that keeps you concerned such as deadlines, safety, and materials. An important fact that should not keep you awake is the concern of your payment at the end of the day.
What are Prevailing Wage Laws?
In the present, the prevailing wage laws call for contractors and also subcontractors performing public jobs to pay a majority of the workers at the current prevailing wage rate and nothing less than that.
The prevailing wage operates as the bear minimum wage payable to the contract workers currently engaged in public projects in any geographical area. It aims at preventing the use of cheap and non-local labor to pay the unskilled local workers.
It is through these laws that aim at leveling the playing field. This is regardless of whether they are local or non-local labor used. The wages for both cases in relation to the labor will also remain the same. This makes for the minimum cost of labor which remains similar in all cases.
Where Does the Requirements Emanate and How Do They Apply?
In relation to federal projects, the Davis Bacon Act brought into being the prevailing wage requirements. It stated that the feed construction projects happening across all the 50 states become automatically covered under the federal prevailing wage law.
In relation to state projects, not every state operates under the prevailing wage for a state-owned construction project. The Little Davis Bacon Act which bear resemblance to the Miller Act were passed in most states following the acceptance of the Davis Bacon Act. Currently, there are 32 states which are operating under the prevailing wage laws.
How Do You Determine the Prevailing Wages?
The local prevailing wage can be determined in two simple ways. The first method includes carrying out a survey of the wages received by the various classes of workers who are employed on projects of a character which is similar to the contract work. This relates to the political subdivision of the state with which the public work is carried out.
The second method includes using a prevailing wage which has been determined by the United States Department of Labor. This relates to the Davis Bacon Act and the relevant amendments.
What Happens When a Contractors Does Not Abide?
In case of failure by a contractor to abide by the rules of the prevailing wage, there are penalties that result in liabilities for unpaid wages and liquidated damages. It also includes the inability of securing future public jobs and criminal or civil prosecution which leads to fines or serving a prison sentence.
How Do You Know If You Are Being Underpaid
In the case of federal projects, there is a wage and hour office hotline for prevailing wage contractors. You can also fill a question or inquiry through an email and make a visit to the local office. There is also a chance to make a claim through the Department of Labor.
There is a complexity when it comes to understanding the prevailing wage laws in your state. However, you can learn more about your case from prevailing wage contractors near you.