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MINNESOTA PREVAILING WAGE

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!

The Minnesota prevailing wage is the minimum wage that prevailing wage contractors must pay to their employees working on partly or fully state-subsidized public works projects like highways, roads, and public utility projects. The prevailing wage covers the hourly wage rate and the fringe benefits of the workers.

Minnesota prevailing wage contractors are required to pay the prevailing wage rates. Failure to do so can result to fines, penalties, and pay-back wages to the employees. To understand Prevailing Wage Minnesota, here are some things that prevailing wage contractors should know:

What department determines the prevailing wage rates per trade classification?
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is the one in charge of setting and enforcing the prevailing wage rate. The wage rates set by the Department of Labor and Industry are called “certified” prevailing wage rates. These rates are certified by the Department of Labor and Industry annually.

The prevailing wage rates are determined by conducting surveys with labor organizations, contractors, and other related parties. The majority wage rate of workers in a particular trade within a specific territory then becomes the prevailing wage rate. The prevailing wage rates are mandated by law to be posted on accessible areas in the construction site of the public works project.

Where can the prevailing wage rates in Minnesota be found?
The prevailing wage rates in Minnesota differ depending on the type of work performed by prevailing wage workers. Both the certified commercial wage rates and the certified highway/heavy rates can be found at the website of the Department of Labor and Industry.
How can workers file complaints against prevailing wage contractors?
If prevailing wage contractors do not comply with the terms set by the Minnesota prevailing wage law, workers can file a complaint at the Department of Labor and Industry by filling out a complaint form. The Department of Labor and Industry or the Minnesota Department of Transportation will review the complaint, and will decide if the issue can be pursued or not.

Although there are no provisions addressing debarment in the Minnesota Prevailing Wage Law, non-compliance can result to a misdemeanor charge, fines, and other types of penalties for the guilty parties.

Who are covered by Minnesota prevailing wage laws?
All prevailing wage contractors working on partly or fully-funded state projects are covered by Minnesota prevailing wage laws. The Department of Labor and Industry oversees the enforcement of the law in commercial projects, while the Minnesota Department of Transportation is in charge of the enforcement of the law on highway projects. The wage rate certification applies for the duration of the project, except for multi-year projects where annual certifications must be requested. Records of the payment to all workers are required to be kept for inspection and auditing.

Although there are no provisions addressing debarment in the Minnesota Prevailing Wage Law, non-compliance can result to a misdemeanor charge, fines, and other types of penalties for the guilty parties.

What are the different types of construction projects for wage rates in Minnesota?
There are three kinds of construction projects in Minnesota, all having different prevailing wage rates. The first one is the highway/heavy project. This category involves maintenance and construction of streets, highways, bridges, power lines and utilities, and the like. The second one is commercial construction. It involves all building projects exclusive of residential ones. The last one is residential construction. This category involves the repair or remodeling of single or two-family homes and structures, including agricultural buildings and private farm residences.
Are there thresholds for Minnesota Davis-Bacon Act projects?
Yes, there are thresholds for public works projects in the state of Minnesota. If more than one classification of work is involved, the total cost of finishing the public works project is going to be $25 000. If only one trade is involved, the cost of project completion is going to be worth $2 500.
What are the special rates for prevailing wage workers in Minnesota?
Under the law, employees must be paid overtime if he/she works for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. The special compensation rate for overtime hours is 1.5x the basic hourly rate plus fringe benefits. For employees working on weekdays and legal holidays, they would also be compensated with 1.5x the original hourly rate plus the fringe benefits. There are no shift differential rates in the state of Minnesota when it comes to prevailing wage workers.
What fringe benefits are offered in prevailing wage Minnesota?
The state of Minnesota allows payment for fringe benefits to prevailing wage workers. The state will give a credit to the total prevailing wage rate for bona fide fringe benefits like pension plans, health insurance, paid leaves, sick leaves, etc. Training contributions are do not qualify as a fringe benefit. Workers are required to be compensated for the lodging, travel, mileage, and subsistence pay while working on a public works project.
What should I know about apprenticeship in Minnesota?
There are no provisions in the Minnesota prevailing wage law when it comes to training contributions. Apprentices are not subject to the prevailing wage rate determinations, and are paid depending on the apprentice rate. Before an apprentice can be paid the apprentice rate, he/she must first be a registered in a bona fide apprenticeship program, or at least a person with 90 days of probationary status as an apprentice certified by the U.S. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
Are there licensing requirements for Prevailing Wage projects in Minnesota?
Yes, there are licensing requirements in the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is the department responsible for the licensing of residential builders and remodelers. However, subcontractors or other people that work with cooling, heating, and ventilation work are not required to be licensed, except those working with electrical work and plumbing. Contractors working on bridges and roads are also not required to be licensed. To know more, visit the website of the Department of Trade and Industry.
What are the duties and responsibilities of contractors and subcontractors?
Prevailing wage contractors are required to keep records of the name of the employee and identifying number, the prevailing wage job classification, number of hours worked and payment given, tax deductions, and dollars contributed to fringe benefits of every employee. They must also present the prevailing wage rates, and post them in areas where they can be easily seen by the works, together with other mandatory state posters. Contractors are required to give a copy of the payrolls to the contracting agency not more than 14 days after the wage payments.

LET ARCHER JORDAN HELP YOU COMPLY WITH MINNESOTA PREVAILING WAGE LAWS

ARCHER JORDAN has years of experience as an advisor to prevailing wage contractors doing business with government-sponsored public works projects. We can help you navigate through the intricate provisions in the Davis-Bacon Act and the Minnesota Prevailing Wage Law without a hitch.

Contact us today and get to know more about our services here at ARCHER JORDAN.