On August 16, 2023, New York Governor Hochul introduced the Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act, which then took effect on September 15, 2023. This act significantly impacts workers in the construction and utility industry, changing Labor Law §220 and adding a new section, Labor Law §224f. It specifically targets situations where private utility companies hire contractors or subcontractors to perform work that involves excavation or opening of public streets. The Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act aims to guarantee that workers engaged in these projects receive prevailing wages. This act can affect your projects in several different ways, including:
- Under the new law, contractors who obtain permits for street-related utility work are now obligated to pay the prevailing wage to all workers involved in the project. This applies to tasks such as opening or closing roads, sidewalks, curb cuts, and more.
- The legislation also establishes more stringent record-keeping requirements. Contractors and subcontractors working for utilities are now mandated to maintain records of prevailing wage payments at all times, regardless of whether local laws or ordinances necessitate it.
- All permits issued after the effective date of the law must include a copy of the Roadway Quality Assurance Act. This ensures that contractors and workers are aware of the prevailing wage requirement.
- Government entities granting permits for covered excavation projects are subject to specific requirements. Permits cannot be issued until there is a contractual agreement in place confirming the payment of prevailing wages. This agreement must also be filed with the relevant department of jurisdiction.
- Contractors and subcontractors in the utility sector must submit certified payrolls to the department of jurisdiction in accordance with Article 8 of the New York State Labor Law.
In conclusion, The Roadway Quality Assurance Act seeks to ensure fair compensation for workers engaged in excavation and construction projects on public streets. By mandating prevailing wages and outlining clear provisions, the Act promotes fair and competitive wages for those in the construction and utility industry.