Victoria K. Loomis

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California’s prevailing wage laws were established to “level the playing field” when bidding on a public works project. In general, public works means construction, installation, demolition, alteration or repair work performed under a contract partially or completely paid out of public funds. This includes pre and post-construction work pertaining to the public works project (See California Labor Code §1720). All bidders on a public works project must use the same wage rates (as determined by the California Department of Industrial Relations), creating certainty that a contractor will not be awarded a public works contract based on paying lower wage rates than a competitor. Moreover, California law requires that all workers employed on a public works project are paid no less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages. read more.