Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Prevailing Wages Effective March 4, 2015

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries published updated prevailing wages on February 2, 2015.  According to WAC 296-127-011, the new prevailing wages will become effective 30 days later, or on March 4, 2015. 

Effective Date for Projects:  For any public works project with a bid submittal deadline of March 4, 2015 or later, the new wage rates will be in effect.  For projects advertised prior to March 4, 2015, but which have a bid submittal date of March 4, 2015 or later, public agencies should issue an addendum with the revised prevailing wage rates.  To look up the new wage rates, visit Labor and Industries' website. 

Current Prevailing Wages:  Projects with a bid opening date of March 4, 2015 or earlier are governed by the current prevailing wage rates dated August 31, 2014.  Labor and Industries publishes corrections to prevailing wages on their website. 

Notifying Contractors of Applicable Wages:  It is important for public agencies to make sure that the correct prevailing wage rates are either included in the bidding documents for any public works project bidding on or after March 4, 2015, or that the bidding documents reference L&I's website and include other information.  See my previous blog entry on incorporation of the prevailing wage rates by reference. 

No Incorporation by Reference of Federal Wages:  For federally funded projects, the actual federal prevailing wage determination must be physically included in the bidding and contract documents, and may not be just included by reference.  In order to eliminate confusion on federally funded projects, the best practice is to also physically include the state prevailing wages in the bidding and contract documents, even though it is permitted that Washington state prevailing wages may be incorporated by reference.

Differences Between Federal and State Wages:  On federally funded projects, both federal and state prevailing wages apply and the contractor is required to pay the higher of the two wages for any classification of labor.  Public agencies should ensure that language to this effect is reflected in their bid and contract documents.

Presidential History:
  • Presidential History Blog:   While I will discontinue writing this Public Contracting Blog on March 5, 2015, you can sign up for a free email subscription to my Presidential History Blog at www.PresidentialHistory.comOn a case-by-case basis, I will only be accepting limited consulting and training opportunities after March 5, 2015.
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