Public Works requirements and Labor Compliance Programs
1771. Except for public works projects of one thousand dollars
($1,000) or less, not less than the general prevailing rate of per
diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which
the public work is performed, and not less than the general
prevailing rate of per diem wages for holiday and overtime work fixed
as provided in this chapter, shall be paid to all workers employed
on public works.
This section is applicable only to work performed under contract,
and is not applicable to work carried out by a public agency with its
own forces. This section is applicable to contracts let for
1771.2. A joint labor-management committee established pursuant to
the federal Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (Section 175a of
Title 29 of the United States Code) may bring an action in any court
of competent jurisdiction against an employer that fails to pay the
prevailing wage to its employees, as required by this article. This
action shall be commenced not later than 180 days after the filing of
a valid notice of completion in the office of the county recorder in
each county in which the public work or some part thereof was
performed, or not later than 180 days after acceptance of the public
work, whichever last occurs.
1771.5. (a) Notwithstanding Section 1771, an awarding body shall
not require the payment of the general prevailing rate of per diem
wages or the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for holiday
and overtime work for any public works project of twenty-five
thousand dollars ($25,000) or less when the project is for
construction work, or for any public works project of fifteen
thousand dollars ($15,000) or less when the project is for
alteration, demolition, repair, or maintenance work, if the awarding
body elects to initiate and enforce a labor compliance program
pursuant to subdivision (b) for every public works project under the
authority of the awarding body.
(b) For the purposes of this section, a labor compliance program
shall include, but not be limited to, the following requirements:
(1) All bid invitations and public works contracts shall contain
appropriate language concerning the requirements of this chapter.
(2) A prejob conference shall be conducted with the contractor and
subcontractors to discuss federal and state labor law requirements
applicable to the contract.
(3) Project contractors and subcontractors shall maintain and
furnish, at a designated time, a certified copy of each weekly
payroll containing a statement of compliance signed under penalty of
(4) The awarding body shall review, and, if appropriate, audit
payroll records to verify compliance with this chapter.
(5) The awarding body shall withhold contract payments when
payroll records are delinquent or inadequate.
(6) The awarding body shall withhold contract payments equal to
the amount of underpayment and applicable penalties when, after
investigation, it is established that underpayment has occurred.
1771.6. (a) Any awarding body that enforces this chapter in
accordance with Section 1726 or 1771.5 shall provide notice of the
withholding of contract payments to the contractor and subcontractor,
if applicable. The notice shall be in writing and shall describe
the nature of the violation and the amount of wages, penalties, and
forfeitures withheld. Service of the notice shall be completed
pursuant to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure by
first-class and certified mail to the contractor and subcontractor,
if applicable. The notice shall advise the contractor and
subcontractor, if applicable, of the procedure for obtaining review
of the withholding of contract payments.
The awarding body shall also serve a copy of the notice by
certified mail to any bonding company issuing a bond that secures the
payment of wages covered by the notice and to any surety on a bond,
if their identities are known to the awarding body.
(b) The withholding of contract payments in accordance with
Section 1726 or 1771.5 shall be reviewable under Section 1742 in the
same manner as if the notice of the withholding was a civil penalty
order of the Labor Commissioner under this chapter. If review is
requested, the Labor Commissioner may intervene to represent the
(c) Pending a final order, or the expiration of the time period
for seeking review of the notice of the withholding, the awarding
body shall not disburse any contract payments withheld.
(d) From the amount recovered, the wage claim shall be satisfied
prior to the amount being applied to penalties. If insufficient
money is recovered to pay each worker in full, the money shall be
prorated among all workers.
(e) Wages for workers who cannot be located shall be placed in the
Industrial Relations Unpaid Wage Fund and held in trust for the
workers pursuant to Section 96.7. Penalties shall be paid into the
General Fund of the awarding body that has enforced this chapter
pursuant to Section 1771.5.
1771.7 is pending legislation (9/02) that would require
schools to have a Labor Compliance Program in effect before having access to the
$12.5 Billion Public Education Facilities Bond.