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!
Operating successfully in the state of Pennsylvania as a prevailing wage contractor requires knowledge of the different rules and regulations on public works projects. From bidding to reporting, here are some of the most commonly asked questions on Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage.
How are prevailing wage rates determined in the state of Pennsylvania?. . .
The prevailing wage rates in the construction industry are determined and enforced by the Bureau of Labor and Law Compliance under the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The Department is also the body responsible for determining the prevailing minimum wage rates as well as the benefits for specific work classifications and localities. The Secretary of Labor and Industry considers CBA, or collective bargaining agreements, and other types of data.
The municipality has the responsibility of obtaining the prevailing wage determinations for a project from the Commonwealth, Department of Labor and Industry. The public body is required to include the determinations in the contracts, notice for bids and also advertisements.
Are there any increases in prevailing wage determinations?. . .
Increases may vary depending on collective bargaining agreements for specific trades. However, wage rates are issued on a project-by-project basis.
Does the Prevailing Wage Act in Pennsylvania apply to all public work projects?. . .
A threshold must be met before a contract becomes subject to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act. Public construction projects, including construction, reconstruction, demolition, repair other than maintenance, and alteration, that are financed by a public body and are estimated to cost at least $25000 are subject to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act. A list identifying maintenance and construction work can be found here.
Does the Prevailing Wage Act apply to overtime, weekend, and holiday work?. . .
Under the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, contractors are not mandated to pay different overtime rates for different work classifications. There are also no different rates for working on the weekend, on legal holidays, and for working different shifts throughout the day.
Does the Prevailing Wage Act cover travel and subsistence pay?. . .
No. The prevailing wage law does not require the payment of travel and subsistence pay.
Are there regulations on training contribution and apprenticeship in Pennsylvania?. . .
Prevailing wage law in Pennsylvania does not compensate for training contribution. The employee benefit added to the base wage rate can be based on apprenticeship and training contributions which can vary by trade.
In order to obtain an apprentice classification, a person must: Be employed and working under a bona fide apprenticeship program, which should be directly related to the craft involved in the construction industry
Be registered with approval by the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council
Have training and employment in full compliance with the provisions of The Apprenticeship and Training Act
Additional information on apprenticeship and training can be sought from (717) 787-4671 or (800) 932-0665 for the Harrisburg Central Office, 1301 Labor and Industry Building, 651 Boas St., Harrisburg, PA 17121
Should prevailing wage contractors be licensed to operate in Pennsylvania?. . .
There is no state licensure requirement for public works in Pennsylvania. However, there are certain requirements for public works contractors mandated by the Department of Transportation. A certificate or license is also required to perform asbestos abatement work.
You can find more details online on the Certificate of License to Asbestos Abatement work and Pennsylvania’s Contractor Licensing Policy.
What are the obligations of prevailing wage contractors under the law?. . .
Pennsylvania prevailing wage contractors and subcontractors have the obligation to post a notice or notices in the form and manner prescribed under the law. The notice should be clearly legible and posted in a prominent and easily accessible place at the worksite and at places where payment of wages is made.
Aside from the postage of notices, government contractors and subcontractors are also required to keep and preserve an accurate record of employment and wage payments. These records should include the name, address and social security number of each worker.
What are the mechanisms to ensure compliance to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act?. . .
If you are found to have committed unintentional failure to pay the prevailing wages, you will be given a reasonable time and opportunity to adjust the pay by making payment or providing adequate security for the payment. However, if you are found to have intentionally underpaid or failed to pay the prevailing wages, you or your firm would become liable for liquidated damages. You will also be liable for damages for breach of contract, in the amount of the underpaid wages that is due to workers engaged in performance of the contract.
Aside from this, all public bodies will be notified of the person or firm’s name who committed the intentional failure to underpay. These persons and firms, and any firm, corporation or partnership they have an interest in, will no longer be awarded a contract for 3 years.
The Secretary of Labor and Industry can use the following evidence as support or proof for intentional failure to pay prevailing wages:
Any act of omission or commission done willfully or disregarding the rights of the workers, which resulted in the payment of less the prevailing wage determination
The person or firm fails to pay the prevailing wage rate or a subsequent failure to comply with the opportunity to adjust afforded by the secretary, in the instance after the person or firm is aware or made aware of the failure
Comply with Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage with Help from ARCHER JORDAN
Failing to fulfill your obligations as a Pennsylvania prevailing wage contractor can result to a number of unpleasant penalties. The unnecessary complications resulting from an unintentional failure, and the potential debarment given an intentional failure, are things any smart government contractor would want to avoid.
The best way to avoid such complications is to ensure compliance with the prevailing wage laws from the start. With ARCHER JORDAN, you have a trusted team of professionals who can ensure you provide the correct wages and determined fringe benefits to your employees. You’ll be able to build a successful and fruitful relationship with the federal state of Pennsylvania.