Topic Thread

Subject: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

1.  Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-16-2017 15:52

Hello Everyone,

We are in the process of doing a State job and were on site one day so far and will be performing more work in the near future. The Prevailing Wage Coordinator is telling me I am using the incorrect rates for this job. I am using the same classifications as I do for all other jobs in this same county doing the same work. The rate she is advising is much higher than what I am currently paying and now have to do restitution checks for the employees. How do I know that she is correct? She does not know what we are actually doing on the job and we have never worked with this company before. How do you determine wage rate categories? Do I have any ability to tell her she is wrong?

Any information is appreciated!

Thank you!

Dann Maienza
Black Diamond Paving
Hayward CA
(510) 770-1150

2.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 08:29
In Maine the state has a list of classifications and what type of work they perform. If you contact your states DOL department, they should be able to provide one for you.

Martha Ward BS - Accounting
Nickerson & O'Day, Inc.
Bangor ME
(207) 989-7400

3.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 08:30
The schedule is in the specifications for the job.  It differs residential vs commercial, and by county.

Melinda Rose
Danco Builders
Rocky Mount NC
(252) 443-0735

4.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 08:37
All prevailing wage projects we have worked on - the governing body - be it the state or federal government - publish a wage determination list.  Most crafts have two to three levels.  Laborer group 1, 2, 3 and Operator group a, b, c.  Within those levels there is - usually - a list of the actual job functions that that level covers.  At least in KY.  You should be able to find the classification in there.  If your wage table does not list these, I'd have the GC you are working for send you the list.  If that does not work - contact the state DOL and they should be able to provide one.  Hope this helps.

John Cranfill
Woodall Construction Co, Inc.
Lexington KY
(859) 233-2909

5.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 08:45
What I've found is that If it was a public project, it should have been in the project specifications identifying what prevailing wage schedule to use.

Steve Tenney
Story Construction Co.
Ames IA
(515) 817-2606

6.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 08:54
Ohio publishes the different rates for all the classes by county and they are constantly updated.  However, if there is a dispute or confusion over which class is the correct one, we have gone to Ohio's Department of Commerce who govern the PW rates and asked for an opinion.  I imagine California has something similar that you can go to for answers.

John Newlon MBA CCIFP
Chief Financial Officer
Kelley Brothers Roofing, Inc
Fairfield OH
(513) 829-7717

7.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 09:11
There should have been a wage rate sheet in your contract for this project that includes the wages per Pay Classification and the additional fringes that you are required to pay in addition to the base wage rate.

for Example:   Laborer $17.50 per/hr and 5.75 per hour in fringes.  So the Laborer would be required to receive $ 23.25 per hour.  The fringes can be either added to his pay check or in some cases paid into a deferred account for the employee to receive in the future.

I hope that helps.

Brian Bixby BBA Accounting
Senior Consultant - Sr Software Consultant
Bixby Consulting Services, Inc.
Smyrna GA
(770) 432-2013

8.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 09:31
Contacting the Department of Labor regarding this issue, would be your best bet.

They normally respond within a 24 hour period.

You must explain in detail the type of work you are doing, location, and anything else that may be of pertinence to the DOL Officer.

Good Luck

Vania Schomp BA
Alpine Painting
Paterson NJ
(973) 279-3200

9.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 10:55
you can find the rates here:

Gail Wardell CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Collins Electrical Co., Inc.
Stockton CA
(209) 466-3691

10.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 13:44
Edited by Lynn Hanson 03-17-2017 13:55
In California the wage details are not typically in the contract. As a GC we provided documentation (Prevailing Wage Instructions and Infrorfmation Package) to subcontractors. My company told you what your determination was but didn't provide a copy. Typically, when a GC is awarded a prevailing wage project they do have a list of the classifications as it is usually part of the bid. You need to be certain you are paying correctly because in my past as a GC we withheld payment until the required payroll reports were provided and correctly documented and paid. If you are right you may need to prove it to them. It is the responsibility of the sub to go to California Department of Industrial Relations - Home Page and find the determination for the state/region/county/city and pay by that. Example of the determination number "NC-63-3-75-2017-1".

In order to know what your rates should be you need to know your determination and they change twice a year.  After you know the determination for the job it still may change. This is something we have always gotten from the contract with the issuing agency. It is based on the date they request bids. You can look the project up online and find it as all projects are now registered and this seems to be easier than getting the UC board of Regents on the phone. I have not done Prevailing Wage jobs in a year or so but with the registration you can see the advertised date (AKA Bid Date) and that will indicate the determination.

Once you have your determination you need to figure out if it has escalation built in. Below is the search link, below that is the DIR link for  prevailing wage. 

DIR - Compliance Monitoring Unit

Prevailing Wage

Lynn Hanson CCIFP
Director of Accounting
Horizon Solar Power
Murrieta CA
(951) 526-1176 ext 442

11.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-17-2017 14:57
In California you can find the correct craft under Director's General Prevailing Wage Determinations
Ca remove preview
Director's General Prevailing Wage Determinations
Division of Labor Statistics & Research
View this on Ca >
This will tell you the pay and any travel or subsistence requirements. 

If you want to ask the DIR you can call Director - Research Unit, P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco, CA  94142, (415) 703-4774 and they will tell you the correct craft. 

That being said, the awarding party (entity you are working for) is suppose to identify which crafts to work under.  Have not found that to be the case and they usually just refer to the DIR site.

Good Luck,

Pam Dale
Financial Operations Manager
Aquatic Environments, Inc
Concord CA
(925) 521-0400

12.  RE: Determiing Wage Rate for Prevailing Wage

Posted 03-19-2017 15:19
Worker classification was one of the more difficult parts of prevailing wage.  First, it seems those preparing the project specifications aren't particularly careful to be sure that all required trades are included in the wage determination that is published therein.  There were many times we had to request additional classifications after a successful bid.  Second, not all states have complete definitions published for all trades.  Third, the same type of work in one state may be classified differently in another state or even from county to county.  And in many cases, states will not respond to oral inquiries as to the correct classification.  They require you to write to them which takes so much time that the job may be over before you get an answer.  Finally, the classification of the work has nothing to do with your job titles it has to do with the work that is actually being performed which means that one employee may have multiple classifications even during the course of one day.

All that said, if a prevailing wage officer or DOL auditor is telling you to use a different classification ask them to provide written documentation of trade definition they are using.  You may ultimately end up following their direction anyway, but you then have something on which to base future classification decisions.

Kit Gleason
Sioux Falls SD
(605) 321-5495