All workers employed on public works projects must be paid the prevailing wage determined by the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, according to the type of work and location of the project. The prevailing wage rates are usually based on rates specified in collective bargaining agreements. The Department of Industrial Relations and its various sub-entities oversee public works requirements. Labor Code Section 1771 provides a minimum threshold of $1,000. Labor Code Section 1771.5 provides a higher threshold of over $25,000 for construction work or over $15,000 for alteration, demolition, repair or maintenance work under the circumstances specified in that section.

Compliance Tips:

  • California Labor Code Section 1771 provides a minimum threshold of over $1,000 at which all workers employed on the site of work must be paid not less than the applicable wage rate for the scope of work performed.
  • California Labor Code Section 1720 provides the definition of activities covered by “public works” to which payment of prevailing wages would be subject.
  • For applicable classifications, the employment of apprentices is required at a ratio of not less than 20% for the entirety of the project. The Division of Apprenticeship standards oversees apprentice requirements and registration. All apprentices must be registered with an applicable program based on their classification in order to be paid an apprentice rate less than the journeyman rate.