header
Invoice Procedures : Invoice Submittal Requirements : Prevailing Wages

Prevailing Wages

The Davis-Bacon Act is a federal law requiring that workers be paid "prevailing wages" on public works projects. All federal, and most federally assisted, construction contracts over $2,000 must include provisions for paying on-site workers no less than the local prevailing wages. A prevailing wage is the average wage in a specific area for a specific trade pre-determined and published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Prevailing wage amounts apply to both hourly pay rates and fringe benefits. Federal and State interpretations of "public works" differ. Generally, federal prevailing wage requirements apply only to work performed on actual construction job sites. Federal requirements are generally restricted to "blue collar" activities, with the exception of land surveys and inspections performed during construction.

Senate Bill #1999, passed in Nov 2000, revised the California Labor Code definition of public works to include work performed during the design and construction phases of construction including, but not limited to, inspection and land surveying work. In other words, the prevailing wage requirements were extended to more professional job classifications for the purposes of California Law.

In accordance with these laws, Caltrans requires the consultant to pay at least the prevailing wage for any contracts that fall within the Labor Code definition of a "public works." All contracts, even if funded entirely with federal dollars, are subject to California Labor Code requirements. Federal requirements also apply to any contract with federal funding. Where both State and Federal requirements apply, the consultant must comply with the more stringent requirement (usually State) and pay the higher of the two wage rates.

To determine the prevailing wage rate for specific classifications, consult the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website.

  • If you need additional assistance, contact the District Labor Compliance Officer or DPAC A&E Coordinator.

  • Consultant guidelines for prevailing wage and labor compliance can be found on the Division of Procurement and Contracts (DPAC) website.

  • When an invoice containing work covered under prevailing wage requirements is submitted to Caltrans, the consultant must include the corresponding Statement of Compliance, certified payroll records and the fringe benefit statement for each individual.

  • If an individual has no change in his/her fringe benefit statement from month to month, the consultant is not required to submit the same form every month. You may want to request is occasionally as a quality assurance check.