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Article 8 (Construction): Frequently Asked Questions

Classification of Workers

Q: How does DOL determine whether the "building" rate or the "heavy/highway" rate should be used for particular work?

A: Prevailing rates are based on collectively bargained agreements. The Department utilizes those agreements to determine the rate that covers the type of work activity in question.


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Q: How does DOL determine which rate applies to a particular task?

A: The Bureau of Public Work looks at all factors, including:

  1. Nature of the work
  2. Collective bargaining agreements
  3. Jurisdictional agreements
  4. Jurisdictional decisions
  5. Historical practice
  6. Past DOL recognition
  7. Case law precedents

What happens when two different trade unions claim the same work (jurisdictional dispute)?

The Department again would look at all the above listed factors when two different trade unions claim the same work.


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Q: May contractors request an opinion from the Bureau of Public Work when there is a classification question as to which trade and rate to use prior to bid?

A: Yes. Requests should be in writing and include sufficient information regarding the work in question. All requests should be forwarded to the Public Work office nearest where the project takes place.


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Q: If an employee is working in more than one classification of work during the same day or during the same week, how should a contractor report this on his payroll records?

A: The contractor and every subcontractor shall keep original payrolls or transcripts thereof showing the hours and days worked by each worker, the occupation at which he/she worked, the hourly wage paid and the supplements paid or provided. [Section 220, subd. 3-a (a)]


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