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Welcome to our newsletter! You will find important updates and industry related news, along with upcoming speaking events and educational opportunities. Thank you for your interest in CCMI.

Deborah Wilder
CCMI President 
California Supreme Court Expands Definition of Prevailing Wages for Special Districts

The California Supreme Court recently ruled March 29, 2021 that prevailing wages are not limited to just construction related projects when it comes to public utility, reclamation and other special districts. Kaanaana v. Barrett Business Systems. The Court essentially ruled that any contracts Special Districts entered into must be paid at prevailing wages.

The court reasoned that the language in Labor Code Section 177(a)(2) specifically referencing special districts was different than the language relating to other agencies engaged in “public works”. For the last 90 years prevailing wage or public works projects have been limited to construction or construction related projects, including construction, repair, remodeling, alternation, maintenance, emergency work and warranty work. Even though the California Department of Industrial Relations has continued to define the work performed under Labor Code Section 1720 et seq as restricted to construction related work, the court ruled, Section 1720(a)(2) provides that prevailing wage includes “work done for irrigation, utility, reclamation, and improvement districts, and other districts of this type.” The court stated because this particular section of the code did not specifically call out construction and related work, that the interpretation was to expand the definition relating to Special Districts to include ALL work awarded by a public agency and paid for in whole or in part from public funds.

That means that contracts with a Special District will require prevailing wage for sorting recycling, computer consulting, computer technician work, janitorial services and more. This is a big financial hit for Special Districts.

So, what is the solution? ACWA, CASA and CSDA are working on a legislative correction. In the meantime, there is a provision in the California Labor Code and regulations that allow an Awarding Agency to request a wage classification and wage rates from the Director. The provision requires providing the DIR with 45 days notice before the Bid Date. If you need more information on this topic, please contact CCMI. dwilder@ccmilcp.com

Upcoming Training: There is currently no in person training taking place due to COVID-19. However, here is where you can still get some prevailing wage training with Deborah Wilder and CCMI.
Want On-Demand Prevailing Wage Training in California? Contact LCPtracker Academy www.lcptracker.com

Join us virtually at ACWA’s Semi Annual conference May 12th and 13th. Contact www.acwa.org for more details

Prevailing Wage Training for Public Agencies in California; May 26th  9 a.m. -11 a.m. Zoom Training For more information,. Contact Matt Morley at the City of Los Gatos MMorley@losgatosca.gov

Stop by and see us IN PERSON at the CSDA General Manager’s Conference at Squaw Valley June 27-June 29. For more information, contact www.csda.net
Want to schedule your own prevailing wage workshop?
We will customize a workshop or webinar for you and your Agency/Company. Contact us at: info@ccmilcp.com 
What Every Contractor Should Know About Prevailing Wages, 3rd Edition.
Available through www.ccmilcp.com $45 inclusive of tax and shipping.
You asked, we answered!

QUESTION: My workers are installing a granite countertop on a federally funded prevailing wage project. How do I know if this is carpentry work or stone mason work?
ANSWER: The federal Davis Bacon prevailing wage determination does not include a description of work or scope of work for many of the trades. As such, the DOL classifies workers based on the prevailing practice in the area where the project is located. While you may be able to ask a contracting officer (if your project is directly with the federal government), the U.S. DOL has said that a contracting officer’s determination relating to classification of workers is not binding on the DOL. So, the best solution is to contact the Department of Labor’s Government Enforcement Coordinators for the specific region in which the project is located. Find your contact at this link https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/government-contracts/contacts. Send them an email so that you can have their answer in writing. The answer may be different if your project is in California or New York or Georgia or Alaska.

Feel free to send your questions to info@ccmilcp.com
CCMI is not just another firm....

We are not merely a "consulting" firm, but rather a team of individuals who understand the needs of the Public Entity and contractors to "get the project done." Our staff includes retired contractors, auditors, attorneys and industry veterans.