Prevailing Wage Laws and Requirements

Construction contractors face a unique set of challenges when performing public work. Projects funded in whole or in part by government money are typically covered by prevailing wage statutes requiring payment of certain minimum wages and/or benefits. These statutes come with a myriad of notice, recordkeeping, apprentice ratio and other requirements that can easily snare the unwary contractor. And mistakes can be costly. For example, a contractor on an Ohio public improvement job faces back pay liability plus a 100% statutory penalty for prevailing wage errors. Any employee – or an “interested party” (i.e., union) on behalf of any employee – can file an administrative claim for back pay and penalties, and can even file a private lawsuit to recover back pay, penalties and attorneys’ fees.

Taft attorneys help contractors navigate the intricate details of prevailing wage law. We work closely with the Construction Practice Group to marry technical prevailing wage compliance with the practical realities of the construction world, where contractors face short bidding deadlines, transient workforces, and the day-to-day challenges of getting a project completed on time and within budget.