Davis Bacon Related Acts

Resources for Ohio prevailing wage contractors



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!

The prevailing wage law of Ohio was codified in the Ohio Revised Code 4115. The prevailing wage sets the amount of pay that employees working in public work projects should receive. Read on below for more information. For help with fully compliant fringe benefit plans in Ohio please get in-touch via email or give us a call today!

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What is the Ohio prevailing wage composed of?

According ORC 4115, the prevailing wage for workers is composed of the following:

  • Hourly basic rate of pay
  • Pension
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Vacation leave
  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Other fringe benefits
What industries should have a contractor license before engaging in an Ohio public project?
Companies that are involved in HVAC, Refrigeration, Hydronics, and Electrical should have a state license. Government contractors that are involved with general construction should have a license at the local level. You may inquire at your city or county council for licensing requirements. Click here for the Contractor Licensing Policy implemented in Ohio.
Is there a limit to the amount of prevailing wage?
As of September 2013, the threshold level for construction prevailing wage is $250,000. On the other hand, prevailing wage for reconstruction, alteration, enlargement, repair, renovation, painting, and remodeling was adjusted to range of $60,000- $75,000.
The thresholds are adjusted twice a year by the Director of Department of Commerce in accordance with the Price Deflator for Construction Index, Bureau of the Census and the US Department of Commerce. The increase or decrease of the values is limited to 3% per year.
What are the responsibilities of an Ohio prevailing wage contractor?
  • Ensure that certified payroll reports and payroll records (including time cards, daily work records, payroll ledger, cancelled checks, and records of bona fide fringe benefits) are always available for inspection.
  • Pay the right prevailing wage for each work classification. It should include all the changes or corrections done during the project.
  • Pay an overtime rate of 1.5x the hourly basic rate. The applicable fringe benefits should also be added.
  • Do not make any deductions for lodging, food, and transportation unless these have been pre-approved by employee and the Department of Commerce.
  • Hire only registered apprentices that are posted in the Ohio prevailing wage schedule.
  • Pass certified payroll reports not later than 2 weeks after the first payment has been made.
  • Pass the accomplished Final Affidavit of Compliance upon completion of the project.
When are prevailing wages determined in Ohio?
Prevailing wage rates in Ohio are restructured once a week in accordance with the new collective bargaining agreements that are submitted to the Department of Labor. The rates being used are reflective of the agreements specific for each trade.
Rate update sheets are sent to the public authorities every week. The public authority is given 7 days to forward the notice to the contractor. Ten days is given to the contractor for him to comply with the updated wage rate.
Does the Ohio prevailing wage law pay work that was rendered beyond work hours?
An employee that renders work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week will be compensated in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Standards Act. There is no special rate for work during the weekends.
For holidays, only those that are listed in the employment contract will be paid. Contractors that do not belong to a union are not covered by this regulation.
What does the prevailing wage law say about apprenticeships?

An apprentice must fulfill the following requirements in order to receive the apprentice rate:

  • The apprentice must gain the approval of the Ohio Apprenticeship State Council
  • The apprentice must register in a recognized apprenticeship program

Those who fail to register will only receive the journeyman rate. Visit the Ohio State Apprenticeship Councilfor more information. Prevailing wage contractors are also required to contribute to the training fund. If this is not indicated in the union contract, the contribution should be made in cash. Contracts differ by trade, which means that the rates will often vary.

What information should be included in Certified Payroll Reports?

The certified payroll reports submitted to contracting agencies should contain the following information:

  • Name, present address, and social security number of the employee
  • Classification for the work being rendered
  • Total number of hours of work rendered for each work classification
  • Hourly prevailing wage rate paid to each worker
  • Contributions made for fringe benefits
  • Sum of gross prevailing wages, record of all deductions made and the net pay for every worker
What are the penalties given to those who violate the Ohio prevailing wage law?
  • Employees who receive wages that are less than what has been established by law may recover the difference from their employer with an additional 25% of that difference.
  • The contractor shall also pay the director 75% of the difference plus the amount paid to the employee. The money received will be deposited to the industrial compliance operating fund which will be used for the enforcement of the Ohio Prevailing Wage Law.
  • Employees may sue for the recovery of the unpaid wages in a period of 90 days once the director has already determined that a violation of the law has occurred. If the employee wins the suit, the employer needs to shoulder the costs and professional fees of the attorney that is allowed by the court.
  • Intentional violation of sections 4115.03 to 4115.06 of the revised code will prohibit the contractor to do work for 3 years starting from the date of expiration of the filing period for an appeal. If an appeal was submitted, the 3-year period will start from the day the court releases a final judgement. The Division of Industrial Compliance of Ohio posts a list of debarred employees in their website.


Prevailing wage contractors should take note that if wage determinations based on the Davis-Bacon Act are issued for a particular project, then these rates will preempt the Ohio prevailing wage rates. The rates established by the Davis-Bacon Act will apply for the whole project. If you want to know which rates should apply for your project, feel free to consult our team in ARCHER JORDAN.
Our team of fringe benefit experts have worked with a number of prevailing wage contractors. We take care of your employees’ benefits while you bid for more products and increase your profits. Contact ARCHER JORDAN today.

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