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MONTANA 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 prevailing wage law for public project contracts in Montana is known as the Little Davis-Bacon Law. It aims to protect the rights and welfare of employees in public work contracts. This includes services done in a state, municipality, district, or county that is worth beyond $25,000.

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Montana Prevailing Wage below.

How can I apply as a prevailing wage contractor?
Government subcontractors and contractors with employees must register their company with the Department of Labor and Industry. Those who do not have employees are not required to do so. The Business Division manages contractor licensing in Montana. You can call (406) 444-7734 to inquire about the list of licensed prevailing wage contractors or for more information on the contractor licensing policy.
What are the responsibilities of prevailing wage contractors and contracting agents?

If you are doing a project with the Montana federal government, you should take note of your responsibilities:

  • Displaying the Montana prevailing wage rates in an accessible and prominent spot at the location of the project.
  • Classifying the workers according to their craft or trade and pay them with the determined prevailing wage for their line of work.
  • Providing prevailing wage adjustments for contracts that last for more than 30 months.
  • Documenting the hours and wages that the workers receive.
  • Ensuring that the payroll records are always available for inspection by the Department of Labor and Industry and the contracting agency.
  • Allocating at least 50% of the positions for Montana residents.
    For contracting agents: · Requesting the schedule of prevailing wage rate to the Department of Labor and Industry
  • Giving the schedule of prevailing wage rate for bidding
  • Providing prevailing wage adjustments for contracts that last for more than 30 months.
  • Requesting that a provision be made in the contract which prioritizes Montana residents for hiring.
Who determines the prevailing wage rates in Montana?
The Labor Standards Bureau of the Department of Labor and Industry sets the prevailing wage rates applied in the service and construction industries based on the regulations set by the Davis-Bacon Act. Employees that are part of engineering, management, superintendence, office work, or contracts that are engaged with commercial suppliers are not covered.
How does the Department of Labor establish prevailing wage rates in Montana?

The prevailing wage is determined based on the following:

  • Surveys for wages performed by the Department of Labor
  • Prevailing wage rates utilized during the previous year
  • Valid CBA
  • Rates established by the federal government in compliance with the Federal Services Act and Davis-Bacon Act
How do I know the prevailing wage rates applicable for Montana projects?

You can contact the Labor Standards Bureau regarding the rates you can use for your project at (406) 444-5600. You can also check them online at http://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/state-prevailing-wage-rates.

Does the Davis-Bacon Act cover work that was rendered beyond work hours?
Overtime pay must be given for the time worked beyond 40 hours every week. The prevailing wage rate should not be lower than 1.5 times the usual hourly rate. Employers of workers who have erratic work schedules should calculate the average regular rate per week or pay them the highest rate for the entire week.

Work on weekends, legal holidays, and shift differentials are not required to be paid. The fringe benefits set by the Davis Bacon Act already takes into account any holidays, sick leaves, vacation leaves on an hourly basis. The same thing is true with travel, which is calculated based on the distance of the location where the project is being implemented.

Are Montana prevailing wage rates still subject to increases?

Prevailing wage rates are being surveyed every June and adjusted in January every year. Participating in the survey is voluntary. The degree of change in Montana prevailing wage depends on the amount of responses and their value. For more information on Montana multi-year contracts, click here.

How do I file a complaint if the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act were not followed?
Workers who did not receive the correct prevailing wage can file their complaints at the Wage and Hour Unit of the Department of Labor every year. An investigation will be conducted to check the merits of the complaint.
What are the penalties for Montana prevailing wage contractors that violated the Davis-Bacon Act?

Withholding funds

The county, state, municipality or district that executed the contract will retain $1000 to serve as liquidated damages for violation of the provisions indicated in the contract. The money will be allocated to the proper fund it belongs to.

Non-compliance due to gross negligence

The commissioner is allowed to retain an additional amount of at most $10,000 on top of the $1000 retained due to withholding funds. The money will be allocated to the proper fund it belongs to.

  • Aggravated or willful violations

The contractor may be debarred from taking any Davis-Bacon Act projects for a period of 3 years.

How does the Davis-Bacon Act apply to apprenticeships?

An apprentice must receive the required percentage of the basic rate per hour and/or fringe benefits, based on the total time he spent at work. Apprentices that perform labor should have a higher prevailing wage rate as compared to what is indicated in the apprenticeship standards. The contractor should pay the higher prevailing wage rate.

Contractors are also required to add costs for paying apprenticeship programs to the hourly fringe amount. You can check out the requirements for apprenticeships here and the wages that should be paid to apprentices here.

ARCHER JORDAN WORKS IN COLLABORATION WITH MONTANA PREVAILING WAGE CONTRACTORS

The Montana prevailing wage law requires contractors to pay their employees the prevailing wage rate that has been set by the commissioner. The Department of Labor and Industry conducts inspections and audits to ensure compliance.

Avoid facing penalties by consulting our team in ARCHER JORDAN. We will make sure that your employees will get the fringe benefits that they deserve.