Monday, July 19, 2010

When Do Prevailing Wages Apply to Landscape Construction Work?

On May 19, 2010, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) issued a policy statement on when Landscape Construction prevailing wages may not be used.
Policy Offers Guidance Only:  L&I noted that the policy does not change the requirements of state law or of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).  According to L&I, the "policy is intended as a guide in the interpretation and application of the relevant statutes, regulations, and policies, and may not be applicable to all situations."  L&I periodically issues policy statements on a variety of prevailing wage issues that are all available online.

Classification Descriptions:  Under the Washington Administrative Code, L&I has adopted descriptions of most prevailing wage classifications to help guide contractors and public agencies in determining what work is subject to particular classifications.  Landscape Construction is described in WAC 296-127-01346.  

Work Not Permitted Under Landscape Construction:  L&I's new policy outlines certain tasks that may not be performed under the Landscape Construction prevailing wage rate classification.  Rather than attempt to summarize the specifics of the policy, I suggest that you read the actual May 19, 2010 policy.

Questions:  If you have any questions about the policy, you may contact L&I at (360) 902-5335 or by e-mail at PW1@LNI.WA.GOV.

No Descriptions for Federal Prevailing Wages:  As a side note, the U.S. Department of Labor which administers enforcement of the federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, does not have similar descriptions of work for each classification, but tends to rely on the prevailing practices as described in labor union collective bargaining agreements to determine what classification is appropriate for a specific situation.

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