Frequently asked questions on State Prevailing Wage 

Whether you are just starting out as a prevailing wage contractor or just looking to keep yourself updated, we have compiled these resources about state prevailing wage. Here are the most common questions of prevailing wage contractors and workers to help expand your knowledge!

Prevailing wage contractors working on certain public works projects in New Mexico should be aware of the different provisions under the law. Otherwise, contractors and subcontractors face the inconvenience and threat of penalties.

To keep your business strong, it is best to comply strictly with government standards and regulations. Read on for more about prevailing wage in New Mexico.

How are New Mexico prevailing wage rates determined?. . .

The Director determines the prevailing wage rates in New Mexico. The determination can consider applicable collective bargaining agreements (CBA). These CBAs must cover the same or the most similar trade classification, and becomes the prevailing wage rate.

However, if the data submitted for employees who are not covered by a CBA makes up at least thirty percent of the hours worked for the trade classification, the weighted average of the total man hours is established as the prevailing wage rate by the Director.

Note that the total man hours refer to the number of hours worked by employees under a CBA plus the hours worked by those not under a CBA. If there is no relevant CBA, the Director establishes the prevailing wage determination based on a survey and voluntarily-submitted information.

Does the New Mexico Prevailing Wage Law apply to all public works projects in the state?. . .

The New Mexico Public Works Act, or NMAC, only applies to employers and workers performing work for a state or locally-funded public works construction project. Specifically, the act applies to projects (for construction, demolition, alteration or repair) with a contract value exceeding $60000 in state or other political subdivision funds.

What is the timing of wage determinations?. . .

The wage decision is set for a specific public works construction project. As the bid documents are being put together, a request for a wage decision is made. This request must describe the scope of the work.

There are four different sets of rates depending on the type of work.

These are:
· Set A for projects involving street, utility and light engineering, highway
· Set B for general building projects
· Set C for projects classified as residential
· Set H for heavy engineering work

Two types of wage rates can be issued if 80% of the project in question does not belong in one type of construction.

In terms of timing, the wage decision expires 120 days after the issue date. However, if bid opening takes place before the expiration, the wage rates are applied for the entire duration of the project.

Are there any increases to the general wage determinations?. . .

Increases in the prevailing wage rate depend on the type of method used to establish the wage rate by the Director. If a CBA was considered, an increase in the CBA means an increase in the prevailing wage rates.

The NMAC states that overtime for any work done exceeding forty hour in a seven-day workweek, regardless of the number of projects worked on, should be compensated for overtime. This overtime rate is one and a half times the base pay, with fringe benefits added back.

On the other hand, the prevailing wage law does not specify differing rates for work on the weekends and legal holidays, though the overtime rules still apply. There are also no different rates for working different shifts of the same trade.

Are there any regulations on training and apprenticeship wage rates?. . .

For Type B, C and H, training contribution is required in the prevailing wage regulations.

The wage rate would include the base pay and the fringe benefit, plus mandatory contributions to apprenticeship in some instances.

Under the Public Works Apprentice and Training Act, the contribution requirements will be determined by the Director. This information should be part of all applicable projects.

To be classified as an apprentice, the apprentice should be properly indentured, they should be in training and compliant to standards and written apprenticeship agreements.

Further, they should be employed at the work of the trade they are indentured, and there must be a certification proving the registration status accompanying the first full payroll including the apprentice. This certification should be made by the contractor, with verification obtained from the office of the Apprenticeship Council. For any inquiries regarding apprenticeship, you can call (505) 841 8565.

What are the regulations on fringe benefits in the state of New Mexico?. . .

Under New Mexico prevailing wage law, fringe benefits are defined as payments made by a contractor or person acting as such, subcontractor or employer that have been authorized through a negotiated process or through a CBA, and that are for holidays, sickness/injury leave, personal or vacation, bonuses, authorized expenses during the course of work, health/life/accident/disability insurance, profit-sharing plans, contributions to a pension or retirement plan, or zone, incentive and subsistence pay and any other pay. Fringe benefits are mandated under New Mexico law.

Are travel and subsistence pay covered under New Mexico Prevailing Wage Law?. . .

Yes, but only for Set B contractors. Payment is based on location and trade classification.

Should contractors be licensed in the state of New Mexico?. . .

Contractor licenses are issued by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, and they are required for anyone who will engage in construction-related contracting, e.g. general work, plumbing, electrical projects. The activities defined as contracting are outlined in the Construction Industries Licensing Act.

Applicants seeking a license should pass the licensing and examination services facilitated by the Psychological Services Inc. with a score of at least 70%.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?. . .

Contracting without a license therefore goes against the law. Such a violation may lead to the Division halting the project and filing a criminal charge against the involved contractor. Violators can only be eligible for a license after a year from the date of conviction. Violations of the prevailing wage law also merit penalties. The Director has a non-discretionary duty to request all payroll records from the subcontractor or contractor within 30 days of a report or detection of a possible violation.

The requested certified documents should be provided within 10 days of the request. Failure to comply or proof of violation that has not been rectified will result to the withholding of the payment to the contractor in proportion to the amount owed by the non-compliant party, until compliance has been secured.

Further failure to comply can mean debarment for the contractor or subcontractor. Legal action through a request to the attorney general can also be enacted to ensure compliance.

 

Stay Compliant with New Mexico Prevailing Wage Law with Help from ARCHER JORDAN

Navigating the intricacies of the New Mexico Public Works Minimum Wage Act and the federal prevailing wage law can be a challenge without the right team behind you. With ARCHER JORDAN, you can be assured of strict compliance with government regulations.

Our thirty years of experience can help you provide proper pay and fringe benefits to your employees.

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Our lawyers require the following - While we endeavor to insure that all information represented on this website is current and accurate, we make no guarantee as such. This state prevailing wage section should not replace the advice of competent counsel related to your specific situation and use of this information is at your own risk.