Prevailing Wage Lawyer in Los Angeles
Prevailing wage is a base pay rate established by California law to ensure that all construction workers engaged in public works projects are paid adequately for the craft they are working in (i.e. electricians etc…). It is a combination of an hourly pay rate plus fringe benefits. Payment of the prevailing wage is supposed to ensure that contractors will hire qualified workers and the public entity will therefore receive quality work.
But, many contractors and sub-contractors take advantage of the higher pay they receive from public entities by paying their employees less that the prevailing wage rate.
The US Department of Labor states that typical prevailing wage violations include:
- Misclassification of laborers and mechanics
- Failure to pay full prevailing wage, including fringe benefits, for all hours worked (including overtime)
- Inadequate recordkeeping, such as not counting hours worked or not recording hours worked by an individual in two or more classifications during a day
- Failure to submit certified payrolls
If you are fired or retaliated against for complaining about not receiving prevailing wages, you may also have a wrongful termination/retaliation claim.
Who is subject to receiving prevailing wages?
All construction personnel who actually work on a public works project are required to receive prevailing wages. Professional or support personnel such as architects, clerical staff or security guards are not subject to prevailing wages. Bona fide material suppliers who deliver materials to a job site are not subject to payment of prevailing wages. However if they then begin to help with the construction/installation, they are covered from that point forward.
What about Certified Payrolls?
Certified Payrolls provide a true and accurate record of the labor hours worked on a project. They are signed under penalty of perjury and are due weekly from the prime contractor and ALL subcontractors, owner-operators, vendors and suppliers who provide personnel to work at the job site. Prime contractors are responsible for ensuring that ALL subcontractors, etc. submit the required payroll documents.
Must a worker be in a union to get prevailing wages?
Common classifications include:
- Iron Worker
- Cement Mason
- Fence Builder
- Pile Driver
- Drywall Installer
- Hazardous Material
- Asbestos Worker
- Operating Engineer
- Parking & Highway Improvement
If you believe you have not been paid the proper prevailing wage or been retaliated against for complaining about prevailing wage violations call us now for a free confidential case evaluation at 310-400-5891.