All prevailing wage rates in California are established by craft classification (i.e. Laborer, Carpenter, Plumber, etc.). Workers are paid based on the type of work they perform, not necessarily by the classification into which they were originally hired. For union signatory contractors, this is generally easier as union contracts also restrict the type of work a specific worker may perform.
California allows employees to work in more than one wage classification in a given day. However, the burden of proof is on the employer to keep accurate records of the time and classification each employee works. For example: if the employee’s time card only states 8 hours at the highest paid wage classification in which the employee worked. On the other hand, a time card which details 3 hours as Laborer, 4 hours as Carpenter and 1 hour as Plumber for that same day will allow the contractor to pay the employee at each of these different rates.
Many classifications of work have sub-classifications. California prevailing wage determinations have many more wage classifications than Davis-Bacon determinations. It is important that the contractor review the published Scope of Work for each classification to make sure the proper prevailing wage is being paid.
Which Scope of Work applies on a prevailing wage project is not controlled by a contractor’s union agreement. It is the DIR’s determination of wages and Scope of Work which apply.
The information above is brought to you by: Deborah Wilder’s
“What Every Contractor Should Know About Prevailing Wages”