Prevailing Wage Oversight Procedures
This document is intended to provide information and guidance regarding state and federal prevailing wages, as well as specific procedures and responsibilities to be carried out by the department and the contractor to assure compliance with contract prevailing wage provisions. The Prevailing Wage Oversight Procedures are in an e-Pub format digital manual on the MDOT Manuals & Guides website at the following link.
State prevailing wage requirements are set forth in the State of Michigan Prevailing Wage Law, Act 166, P.A. of 1965. Federal prevailing wage requirements are included in the Davis Bacon and Related Acts, some of which are set forth in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), Parts 3 and 5. The requirements of these CFRs along with other federal regulations are included in FHWA 1273, which sets forth the Required Contract Provisions for federal aid construction contracts. FHWA 1273 is included in all MDOT let federal aid contracts.
The prime contractor is responsible for all subcontractor and lower-tier subcontractor compliance with the requirements for state and federal prevailing wage. Note: The term subcontractor includes any company with which the prime contractor has entered into a contractual agreement to work on the project. Each prime contractor and subcontractor is liable for the payment of prevailing wage rates to its employees. The prime contractor is also liable for the payment of prevailing rates that are not paid by their subcontractors. In order to comply with these requirements, the prime contractor must:
- Advise all subcontractors of prevailing wage requirements and that all employees must cooperate during wage rate interviews.
- Submit all required weekly certified payrolls for themselves, each subcontractor, and each lower-tiered subcontractor to the project engineer.
- Submit MDOT Form 1955 with each weekly payroll submittal verifying that certified payroll has been reviewed, as described in this procedure under “Certified Payroll Review”.
- Display labor compliance posters and wage determinations on the jobsite.
Submittal requirements for the first weekly certified payroll on each contract are allotted a three week “grace period”. The three week period is to allow for processing and review of the certified payrolls by the prime contractor. Subsequent certified payrolls shall be submitted on a weekly basis thereafter.
In addition, the first weekly certified payroll must also include:
- An hourly breakdown of fringe benefits paid each work classification and the program administrator contact information with the first certified payroll for each contractor.
- Identification of trainees and apprentices, and program levels.
These contractor requirements are supplemental to all other required contract provisions.
STATE PREVAILING WAGE
The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG) determines prevailing rates pursuant to the Prevailing Wage Law, Act 166, P.A. of 1965. The purpose of establishing prevailing rates is to provide rates of pay for workers on construction projects for which the state is the contracting agent and which are financed or financially supported by the state. By law, prevailing rates are compiled from the rates contained in collectively bargained agreements that cover the locations of the state projects. The prevailing rates attached to state projects provide an hourly rate which includes wage and fringe benefit totals. Special attention should be paid to overtime and premium pay requirements, as they may vary from federal prevailing wage requirements.
FEDERAL PREVAILING WAGE
The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) “prevailing wage” is made up of two interchangeable components – the basic hourly wage and the fringe benefits. The wage rate decision in the contract will list a basic hourly rate for all classifications and a fringe benefit for each classification. The total of the basic hourly wage and the fringe benefits comprise the “prevailing wage” requirements. The prevailing wage requirement may be met by any combination of hourly wages and creditable “bona fide” fringe benefits provided by the employer. Fringe benefits may be paid in one of the following manners.
- The total, including any fringe benefits listed for the classification, may be paid entirely in hourly wages.
- Payments made or costs incurred by the contractor for “bona fide” fringe benefits may be creditable toward fulfilling the requirements.
- A combination of hourly wages and “bona fide” fringe benefits may be used to meet the total required prevailing wage.
Examples of “bona fide” fringe benefits under DBRA include the following.
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Sick Leave
- Disability insurance
- Defrayment of costs for apprenticeship programs
- Supplemental unemployment benefit programs
- Others as approved by the Secretary of Labor
The following are examples of fringe benefits not allowed under DBRA.
- Workers compensation
- Unemployment compensation
- Social security contributions
- Safety Equipment
- Use of a company vehicle
- Christmas or other bonuses
- Per diems
- Fuel allowance
If there are any questions on the eligibility of a fringe benefit listed on the contractor’s breakdown, contact the Construction and Technology (C&T) Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist.
All MDOT-let contracts will contain either the state or the federal wage decision. On contracts involving two or more projects and job numbers and the type of funding is mixed, when one source of funding is federal, MDOT only places the wage rates issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) in the contract. Federal requirements apply for all the contracted work. On contracts where DBRA does not apply, the state wage decision will be in the contract.
On most contracts where DBRA prevailing wages apply, the General Decision MI7 (AIRPORT & BRIDGE, HIGHWAY, SEWER/INCID. TO HWY.) is used in MDOT contracts with federal funds. There are some exceptions, which are detailed in each contract and discussed below.
MULTIPLE WAGE DECISIONS
The USDOL requires multiple wage decisions to be placed in contracts in which a second category of work is substantial in relation to project cost. Substantial is defined as more than 20 percent (or $1,000,000). The following are the most common types of work that may require an alternate decision:
- Sewer and watermain
- Rest area or other buildings
When one or more of the above types of work is more than 20 percent of the contract cost or $1,000,000 (based upon the engineer’s estimate), an alternate wage decision will be included in the contract along with the MI7 decision. The wages in the alternate decision can only be used for the type of work that is more than 20 percent of the contract cost or $1,000,000. All other work performed on the project will be subject to the wages in the MI7 decision.
Sewer and watermain work (MDOT prequalification classification K) is considered to fall under the Heavy Construction work classification; therefore, when that work type is more than 20 percent of the engineer’s estimate or $1,000,000, the wage decision with the construction type “HEAVY” will also be included in the contract and is to be used for the work related to the sewer and watermain work. All other work performed on the project will be covered by the “AIRPORT & BRIDGE, HIGHWAY, SEWER/INCID. TO HWY” (MI7) wage decision. If the contract also contains landscaping work, and it is not more than 20 percent of the contract or $1,000,000, the “HEAVY” decision rates cannot be used for that work. The landscaping and restoration of areas disturbed by roadwork would be covered by the MI7 wage decision. However, any restoration of areas disturbed by the sewer and water main work would be covered under the “HEAVY” decision.
When landscape work (MDOT prequalification classification H) is more than 20 percent of the contract cost or $1,000,000, the “HEAVY” wage decision will be included in the contract to cover all landscape work. All other work performed on the project will be covered by the MI7 wage decision. If the project is a total landscape project, only the “HEAVY” wage decision will be in the contract.
Rest area building contracts will include the construction type “BUILDING” wage decision when the Building portion of the work is more than 20 percent of the contract cost or $1,000,000. When the “BUILDING” decision is included for rest area building contracts, the electrical work covered by the “BUILDING” decision is limited to the rest area building and within five feet of the perimeter. All other electrical work is covered by the MI7 decision. The other work performed on the contract will be covered by the MI7 wage decision and/or the “HEAVY” wage decision (landscape and/or sewer and watermain work) if either or both are greater than 20 percent or $1,000,000. In some cases the alternate decision is for both construction types: “BUILDING” and “HEAVY”. In this instance, the alternate decision could apply to the building, landscaping and sewer if the work for any or all is greater than 20 percent of the contract or $1,000,000.
Prevailing Wage Classifications
When determining which classification applies to the work being performed on the project, it is always acceptable for the contractor to pay workers the highest rate.
Laborer - Open Cut as listed in the Highway, Airport & Bridge and Sewer/Incidental to Highway
The majority of landscaping and restoration work is not covered by the open cut laborer classifications. These laborer classifications are incorporated into the federal general wage decisions only for open cut work that is incidental to highway work. For the purposes of prevailing wage laborer classification, incidental is defined as equal to or less than 20 percent of the engineer’s estimate for the contract work. If the work is more than that amount, the contract will have multiple wage decisions. Open cut construction is work that requires the excavation of earth. Examples of MDOT open cut work are sewer, watermain, and wetland mitigation. When landscape and/or restoration is required as a result of work associated with an incidental amount of open cut work (i.e. 20 percent or less), then Group 7 would apply only to that portion of landscaping or restoration associated with the open cut activities. If the landscaping and/or restoration work is not related to the open cut work, then the Group 7 rates listed in the open cut classification are not appropriate. The correct classification would be the Group 1 Laborer classification for miscellaneous or unskilled labor under the classifications for Laborers. This does not include hazardous waste abatement, tunnel, shaft and caisson, or open cut construction.
If the work is internal sewer inspection by video taping only, the requirement to pay prevailing wage would not apply. However, when the internal inspection of sewer lines for leakage and damage through the use of video inspection and simultaneous repair and/or cleaning is involved, the operation of the video equipment is covered.
When pavement sweeping is a requirement of the contract, it is covered by prevailing wages. Group 2 under the power equipment operators for airport, bridge and highway construction classifications is appropriate for the operator of the sweeper truck.
Weekly certified payrolls covering the contractor’s and subcontractor’s workforce shall be submitted to the engineer on all MDOT-let contracts. Certified payrolls are required for all covered laborer and mechanic work regardless of the contracting method used such as subcontract, purchase order, invoice, or other contractual arrangement. Certified payroll information may be submitted in any format provided that all information requested on form WH-347 is included, and the compliance statement has original signatures. This is a USDOL form and a link is available on the MDOT Web site at http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/webforms/index.cfm .
The first certified payroll is to be received by the engineer within three weeks from the start of the work for the prime contractor and/or subcontractor(s). The three week period is to allow for processing and review of the certified payrolls by the prime contractor. The first pay estimate can be made prior to the submission of the first certified payrolls. The three week grace period allows the first estimate to be paid in good faith assuming the contractor and subcontractor(s) will submit certified payrolls in a timely manner. Subsequent certified payrolls shall be submitted on a weekly basis thereafter. In certain circumstances, the time frame for submittal of the first payroll is two weeks for shorter duration projects as discussed at the end of the section titled “Notice of Delinquent Certified Payrolls”. Certified payroll submissions not meeting the above time requirements will be considered delinquent.
NOTICE OF DELINQUENT CERTIFIED PAYROLLS
When weekly certified payrolls are delinquent as defined above, the engineer is to provide the prime contractor a first written notice of delinquent certified payrolls by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the first notice was received by the prime contractor, with a copy by regular mail to the offending subcontractor. The region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance is to receive a copy by regular mail. The notice informs the contractor that payment for work is suspended as of the date the certified payrolls became delinquent for the work items of the offending contractor(s). When the pay estimate is generated, the statement “Items withheld-Delinquent payrolls” should be entered in the comments area. In addition, the notice is to state that if certified payrolls remain delinquent after 30 calendar days from receipt of the first notice, non-compliance damages will be assessed retroactive to the date the contractor received the first notice. The damages will be assessed on a calendar day basis until complete and accurate certified payrolls are submitted and are current.
If the certified payrolls continue to be delinquent after 30 calendar days from receipt of the first notice by the prime contractor, the engineer is to implement the actions from the first notice. Concurrently, the engineer is to send the prime contractor a second written notice of delinquent certified payrolls by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the second notice was received by the prime contractor, with a copy by regular mail to the offending subcontractor. The region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance and the C&T Division prevailing wage compliance specialist are to receive a copy by regular mail. The notice is to state if the certified payrolls remain delinquent for 30 days from the receipt of the second notice, the engineer will rescind all previous payments for work completed by the offending contractor(s). In addition, the engineer will complete interim Contractor Performance Evaluations for the offending contractor. If certified payrolls have not been received from the contractor after 30 calendar days from receipt of the second notification, the engineer is to implement the actions from the second notice. In all circumstances, the withholding of payments, assessment of non-compliance damages, and rescinded payments are to continue until all delinquent certified payrolls are current, complete and correct.
The notification sequence previously described would be as follows:
|Initiate Notice||Notice Sequence||Contractor Notice of Action||Allotted Time For Response/Resolution||If No Response/Resolution|
Note 1: Notice is to be signed by the engineer and delivered by certified mail or other method which establishes the date received by the prime contractor. The region coordinator for prevailing wage is to be copied on the first notice to the prime contractor. The region coordinator for prevailing wage and the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist are to be copied on the second notice to the prime contractor.
Note 2: Prior to generating an estimate on which payment is being withheld or deducted, the following statement will be entered in the comment box: “Items withheld – Delinquent payroll”.
Note 3: See Table 1 Schedule of Non-Compliance Damages
The engineer should work with the project design staff during the development phase of the project to include Notice to Bidders 03NB12, Prevailing Wage Oversight for Short Duration Projects, for projects with a progress schedule duration of 75 days or less. The Notice to Bidders reduces the “grace period” from three weeks to two weeks for the initial certified payroll submittal, and adjusts the allotted time for response/resolution from the above table. This will allow the engineer time to ensure resolution will be obtained prior to the contract completion date. The Notice to Bidders 03NB12 is to be included in the bidding documents prior to the project advertisement or by addendum.
50,000 to 99,999
100,000 to 499,999
500,000 to 999,999
1,000,000 to 1,999,999
2,000,000 to 4,999,999
5,000,000 to 9,999,99910,000,000 and above
a “Contract” amount if offending contractor is the prime contractor. “Subcontract/P.O./Invoice” amount if offending contractor is a subcontractor/vendor.
CERTIFIED PAYROLL STATUS RECORD
The engineer is to maintain a current (updated weekly) log documenting the submittal status of certified payroll for each contract. The Certified Payroll Status Record (MDOT form 1954) is available for this purpose. The record is to show whether the contractor and/or subcontractor worked during the weekly period, and the date the certified payrolls were received from the prime contractor. In addition, the status record should document the date any notifications are sent to the prime contractor (via certified mail) of delinquencies and/or deficiencies with certified payrolls, and the dates when the revised/corrected certified payrolls were received. All certified payrolls are to be date stamped upon receipt from the prime contractor. The envelope in which the certified payrolls arrive should be attached to the payroll and saved as part of the project file records.
The certified payroll is to include the following information:
- The firm’s name and address with the prime or subcontractor(s) identified.
- Payroll number, week ending, project location and contract ID (contract identification).
- The employee’s full name and only the last four digits of their social security number. If a contractor or subcontractor submits certified payrolls with complete social security numbers, the engineer is not to take possession of the certified payrolls and will return them to the prime contractor. This is the only instance where certified payrolls are to be returned to the prime contractor. Failure by the contractor or subcontractor to submit certified payrolls with only the last four digits of the social security number shall not change the time frames for the consideration of delinquent and deficient certified payrolls and resulting actions by the engineer.
- Information identifying minority and female employees. The following ethnic code notation is to be used: Black (B), Hispanic (H), Native American Indian or Alaskan Eskimo (N/A), and Asian or Pacific Islander (A). For female use (F).
- The employee’s classification and group number. (DBRA Laborer example: LABO0465-001, Group 1)
- Identification of trainees and apprentices, and program levels.
- The employees daily and weekly hours worked in each classification, including actual overtime worked.
- The total weekly hours worked on all jobs (prevailing and non-prevailing wage)
- The basic hourly rate, overtime rate (if applicable) and the method by which fringe benefits are paid (By checking Box(4)(a) approved programs, Box (4)(b) paid in cash, or a combination of the above methods with an explanation in Box (4)(c). If fringe benefits are paid to an approved plan, a detailed breakdown of the type of benefits and hourly dollar values must accompany the first certified payroll. In addition, plan administrator contact information shall be included. If there is a change to the fringe benefits payment after submittal of the first certified payroll, the fringe benefit information must be resubmitted. This information is to be used to verify the benefits being paid are “bona fide” and that the total compensation is in compliance with the required prevailing wage in the contract.
- The itemized deductions - miscellaneous itemized deductions must be explained on the certified payroll. (Space provided after paragraph (1) on the compliance statement)
- The gross job wages paid.
- The gross weekly wages paid for all jobs.
- The net weekly wages paid for all jobs.
- The compliance statement with original signature.
CERTIFIED PAYROLL REVIEW
The engineer is to closely review the certified payrolls from the prime contractor and subcontractor(s) that work on the project. Once it is established that a contractor/subcontractor is submitting complete and accurate certified payrolls, subsequent payrolls need to be spot checked during the remainder of the project for that contractor/subcontractor. The review should verify that the information described above is included on the certified payroll. Form 1952, Certified Payroll Review Checklist, is available on MDOT’s forms Web site to assist in checking the payrolls for completeness. In addition, the total combination of base wage and fringe benefit reported on the certified payroll should be at least the prevailing wage contained in the wage rate decision in the contract or applicable addendum.
The review should compare information contained in the certified payrolls with information on the Inspectors Daily Reports (IDRs), including number of workers, hours worked, type of work and equipment on the job. It is important that the information is accurately recorded on the IDR each day so the proper review can be completed on the certified payrolls. The review should verify that the appropriate work classifications are reported to support the type of work being done on the job. For example, when concrete curb and gutter is being placed on a job covered by DBRA, there are finishers (cement masons, PLAS0016-016); laborers (form/line setters, LABO0465-001, Group 6); laborers (unskilled laborers, LABO0465-001, Group 1); and operators (if using a slipform curb machine, ENGI0324-006, Group 1). Compliance with prevailing wage requirements can only be determined once this comparison is made and any inconsistencies are brought to the attention of the contractor.
The rules for payment of overtime should be considered during the certified payroll review. Overtime rates are a combination of the base rate plus a premium amount. However, there are significant differences between overtime requirements when federal prevailing wages apply and when state prevailing wages apply.
Contracts with Federal Prevailing Wage:
- The overtime rate must be at least one and one half times the base hourly rate from the wage rate decision in the contract.
- Overtime is required to be paid for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week.
- Fringe benefits will be paid for every hour worked.
- If two or more base hourly rates apply, then a weighted average should be used to determine the overtime rate for hours worked in excess 40 hours per week. The applicable base hourly rates will be paid for every hour worked plus a weighted average premium rate for the hours worked in excess of 40 in a week.
Contact the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist for assistance with the determination of weighted average overtime rates.
Contracts with State Prevailing Wage:
- The time and one-half rate is stated in the prevailing wage schedule.
- The prevailing wage schedule for each contract will need to be referenced to determine the specific overtime payment requirements. In general, overtime is applied as follows:
- For hours worked in excess of eight hours in a day.
- For most classifications, the contractor may choose to work four tens (4 – 10 hour days) where overtime would be required after the tenth hour in a day and any time worked over forty hours in a week.
- Some classifications require double time in certain situations.
- The classification of iron worker has its own overtime requirements.
DEFICIENT CERTIFIED PAYROLL
During the review, if the weekly certified payrolls are found to be incomplete, inaccurate, or inconsistent with the other project records, they are considered deficient. The engineer is to notify the prime contractor of the deficiencies in writing by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the notice is received by the contractor with a copy by regular mail to any subcontractor(s) that may be involved and the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance.
The notice is to inform the contractor(s) that if the deficiencies are not corrected and revised certified payrolls are not received by the engineer in 30 calendar days from receipt of the notice by the prime contractor, payment for the offending contractor’s work items will be withheld until corrected and revised payrolls are received by the engineer. In addition, the notice will state the intent to assess non-compliance damages retroactive to the date the prime received the first notice until all issues are resolved. The offending contractor is to submit revised certified payrolls correcting all deficiencies and/or errors through the prime contractor.
If the issues are not resolved within 30 calendar days from the receipt of the first notice, the engineer will implement the action from the first notice. Concurrently, the engineer is to send a second notice to the prime contractor by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the notice was received by the contractor, with a copy by regular mail to any subcontractor(s) that may be involved. The second notice is to state that if corrected and revised certified payrolls are not received within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the second notice by the prime contractor, the engineer will rescind all payments for the offending contractor’s work items previously paid. In addition, the notice is to inform the contractor the engineer will complete interim Contractor Performance Evaluations for the offending contractor. The C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist and region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance are also to receive a copy of the second notice.
If the deficient certified payrolls are not corrected and revised certified payrolls received by the engineer within 30 calendar days of the second notice, the engineer is to implement the actions in the second notice and prepare the appropriate Contractor Performance Evaluations to report the continued non-compliance with prevailing wage requirements.
Assessment of non-compliance damages, withholding of payments, and rescinded payments will continue until all corrected and revised certified payrolls are received by the engineer.
The original certified payrolls submitted by the contractor/subcontractor(s) are to remain in the project files. Do not return certified payrolls to the contractor/subcontractor(s), except in the following circumstance. In the event the prime contractor submits certified payrolls containing full social security numbers, the engineer shall not take possession of the payrolls and shall return them to the prime contractor. This is the only instance where certified payrolls are to be returned to the prime contactor. This action is to protect the security of the employee social security numbers. Certified payrolls should never be altered, revised, corrected, amended or changed by project personnel (except for the date stamp).
The notification sequence previously described would be as follows:
|Initiate Notice||Notice Sequence||Contractor Notice of Action||Allotted Time For Response/Resolution||If No Response/Resolution|
Note 1: Written notice is to be signed by the engineer and delivered by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the notice was received by the prime contractor. The offending subcontractor(s) and the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance are to be copied by regular mail.
Note 2: Written notice is to be signed by the engineer and delivered by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the notice was received by the prime contractor. In addition, the offending subcontractor(s), the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance, and the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist are to be copied by regular mail.
Note 3: See Table 1 Schedule of Non-Compliance Damages
The engineer should work with the project design staff during the development phase of the project to include Notice to Bidders 03NB12, Prevailing Wage Oversight for Short Duration Projects, for projects with a progress schedule duration of 75 days or less to adjust the allotted time for response/resolution from the above table. This will allow the engineer time to ensure resolution will be obtained prior to the contract completion date. The Notice to Bidders 03NB12 is to be included in the bidding documents prior to the project advertisement or by addendum.
WAGE RATE INTERVIEWS
Wage rate interviews are required to be performed at least once for each contractor and/or subcontractor when they are on the job, throughout the life of the project, for both state and federally funded projects. For multi-year projects, wage rate interviews are to be conducted with all contractor/subcontractors each season that they perform work on the project.
When a contractor/subcontractor works on multiple MDOT projects within a region during a construction season, the number of projects where wage rate interviews are required may be reduced for that contractor/subcontractor when the following criteria are met:
- The contractor/subcontractor certified payrolls must be current and complete.
- The contractor/subcontractor can not have been involved in any prevailing wage violation actions within the last 12 months or have had any unresolved complaints.
- For prime contractors, all posters and jobsite information must be posted as required.
If the above criteria are met, the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance will coordinate with the TSCs to reduce the frequency of interviews to a rate of one project in five for a contractor/subcontractor within their region. The region coordinator will oversee the reduced frequency process and track which contractor/subcontractor(s) are eligible and which projects will have the wage rate interviews waived for those contractors. The region coordinator will provide the engineer with documentation for when wage rate interviews have been waived. This documentation will be placed in the project files. Wage rate interviews will continue to be required for all local agency projects.
The contractor and subcontractor(s) shall permit the engineer or their representative to interview employees during working hours on the project, and advise employees they must cooperate with department representatives during wage rate interviews. The prime contractor is responsible for advising subcontractor(s) of the requirement to pay the prevailing rate prior to the commencement of the work and that all employees must cooperate during wage rate interviews.
If a language barrier is encountered, employees of the contractor or subcontractor are not to assist in language interpreting. The services of a language interpreter are available to the engineer upon request. Contact the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist for information about interpreter service.
Use the Minimum Wage Rate Interview Sheet (form 1156) to record information obtained during the wage rate interview. The form should be filled out to the extent possible prior to conducting the interview. The following procedures are to be used when conducting wage rate interviews.
- Project or region staff will conduct field interviews with workers covered under DBRA or state prevailing wage on all federal and state funded projects in progress.
- Wage rate interviews will be completed each season for multi-season projects.
- Interviews will be conducted with a representative sample of the work force for each contractor and subcontractor on the project during each construction season. Each classification and group should be included in the interview process. Operators of equipment and trucks whose ownership is not clearly identified should be interviewed.
- Interviews should be completed during the early part of the project to verify prevailing wage compliance. If issues are found, they need to be dealt with immediately.
- The interview is to be done to ensure the privacy of the workers. Coworkers and supervisors are not allowed to be present during the interview or allowed to hear the interview.
- The worker shall be given a standard business card with contact information in the event the interviewee would like to discuss the interview issues further, supply additional documentation or information, or to continue the interview in a more private and confidential setting.
The engineer will compare the wages and the work classifications documented on form 1156 with the certified payrolls, IDRs, inspector’s observations, diaries, documentation in the project files and prevailing wage compliance requirements in the contract. If deficiencies or discrepancies (i.e., an employee is not paid prevailing wages and fringe benefits as stated in the contract) are found, the engineer is to look into the apparent violation (see section In-Depth Examinations below for further guidance). The engineer should contact the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist and region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance to discuss the examination and any actions that may be taken as a result of the findings.
When an apparent prevailing wage compliance violation arises and an in-depth examination of the certified payroll records becomes necessary, the engineer is to contact the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance for guidance and assistance. It is imperative that during any examination the identity and privacy of all individuals be protected. DBRA regulations require strict confidentiality for individuals. All discussions and communications with contractors and others must be general and all encompassing so individuals cannot be singled out. Examinations may be required due to a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- Wage rate interview issues
- Employee complaint
- Certified payroll discrepancies
- Fraud and Abuse Hot Line calls
- Laborer’s Council requests
- Contractor requests
- Inspector observations
- Other issues
Depending on the nature of the issue, a number of avenues may be pursued. Examinations will need to utilize, but will not be limited to, the following:
- Information in the project files which may include: IDRs, certified payrolls, payroll status records, wage rate interviews, diaries, force account records, delivery tickets, progress reports or other sources from the files and other readily available project information.
- Interviews with present and former employees of the contractor.
- Documentation from employees such as time cards and check stubs.
- Information from the contractor or subcontractor(s).
The examination may require detailed observation of the contractor’s activity on the job and documenting the number of workers, hours on the project and equipment in use. It is important that any information gathered and used in any examination be factual and accurate, as it may have to withstand the scrutiny of a court proceeding. The information from these and any other sources should be reviewed and analyzed to either support the existence of a violation, that no violation has occurred, or that there is not enough evidence to make a determination and further investigation is needed.
When it is determined that an investigation will need to go beyond what is readily available to the engineer in the project files and other sources, the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist is to be contacted. The situation will be reviewed and a determination made whether to pursue the issue further and turn it over to others to perform the investigation.
If the engineer and the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance determine there are prevailing wage violations and restitution is required, the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist is to be notified. If possible, the amount of restitution will be determined. The engineer is to send the first notice to the prime contractor and any involved subcontractors of the violation and restitution amount, if known, in writing by certified mail or other method which establishes the date the notice is received by the prime contractor. The first notice is to inform the contractor(s) that the engineer is immediately withholding the amount of the violation, if known, or an estimated amount and that if the violation is not fully resolved in 60 calendar days from the receipt of the first notice, the intent to withhold payment for the offending contractor’s items. The engineer and the contractor can mutually agree in writing to extend this 60 day requirement.
If the violation is not fully resolved within 60 calendar days from the receipt of the first notice or the mutually agreed upon extension, the engineer is to implement the actions from the first notice. Concurrently, the engineer is to send a second notice to the prime contractor and involved subcontractor(s) stating that if the violations are not fully resolved within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the second notice, non-compliance damages will be assessed back to the date of the first notice, and the contractor will be responsible for any and all costs associated with the investigation and audit expenses accrued by MDOT and associated entities in dealing with the violation. The notice will also state that the assessment of non-compliance damages will continue to be assessed until the date the violation is fully resolved and proof of payment in the form of cancelled checks or other form of acceptable proof is provided to the engineer.
If the violation is not fully resolved within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the second notice, the engineer will implement the actions from the second notice and prepare interim Contractor Performance Evaluations reflecting the non-compliance activity of the offending contractor(s) and lack of supervision by the prime if the offending contractor(s) are subcontractor(s).
A copy of all correspondence dealing with prevailing wage violations is to be sent to the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist and region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance. In addition, any extension of the 60 day requirement will be discussed with the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist and region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance.
The engineer will require the contractor to submit supplemental certified payrolls and canceled checks as proof of restitution. The supplemental payroll(s) shall reflect the amount of restitution paid to each employee, the time period covered by the restitution listing the payroll(s) number(s) and week ending date(s). If the violation involves a subcontractor, the engineer and region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance are to work through the prime contractor to assure that restitution is made. Once restitution has been made, the delivery engineer is to report the amount and number of employees involved to the region coordinator for inclusion in the central office semiannual report. On local agency projects, the local agency engineer is to report the same data to the delivery engineer in the TSC for inclusion in their report to the region coordinator.
When prevailing wage violations become apparent after the final estimate has been processed, the contractor is to be notified of the violation(s) in writing by certified mail with a copy to the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist and the region coordinator for prevailing wage compliance. If the violation involves a subcontractor, a copy of the letter will go to the subcontractor. The letter will give notice that if the issue is not resolved within 60 calendar days from contractor receipt of the notification, a post final negative estimate is to be generated rescinding payment in the amount required for restitution for the violation from the work items of the contractor found to be in violation.
CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE EVALUATION (CPE)
When a contractor/subcontractor(s) is found to be in non-compliance with the state prevailing wage or DBRA requirements and fails to take the necessary actions to become compliant, the engineer is to document the non-compliance through the use of the CPE process. Item number five includes prevailing wage compliance. During the project, when issues are found and there is a lack of cooperation from a contractor/subcontractor, an interim evaluation is to be submitted. The documented record of non-compliance is important when contractor prequalification is being reviewed for possible negative action. The use of the interim CPE can assist in getting the contractor to become compliant while the project is active. Without accurate and timely evaluations, corrective action with contractors is difficult to achieve.
PREVAILING WAGE DISCUSSION AT THE PRECONSTRUCTION MEETING
The following issues are to be discussed at the preconstruction meeting to establish the expectations of MDOT for the contractor with regards to prevailing wage compliance during the work on the contract:
- The Wage Rate Decision(s) to be used when there are multiple decisions in the contract.
- The wage classifications to be used when there are apparent overlaps in classification duties and rates (Open Cut; Airport, Bridge, Highway Construction; Underground etc.).
- Submittal of certified payrolls through the prime contractor.
- Prime contractor’s responsibility for prevailing wage compliance for all subcontractors on the project.
- Posting of wage rates and posters on the job site.
- Wage Rate Interview process and availability of employees for interviews.
- Payroll submission time frames.
- Specific overtime and trucking requirements for projects covered under state prevailing wage laws.
- The consequences of delinquent and deficient certified payrolls.
- Other issues as needed.
The following is a list of items to be posted at the job site for projects covered under federal and state prevailing wage requirements:
- OSHA 3165 – Job Safety and Health Protection
- OFCCP 1420 – Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law *
- WH-1420 – Your Rights Under Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
- WH-1321 – Notice to Employees (Davis-Bacon Wage Rate)
- WH-1495 – Wage Rate Information * (May be substituted for FHWA 1321)
- FHWA 1022 – Notice: Federal Aid Projects *
- WH-1462 – Notice: Employee Polygraph Protection Act
These posters may be obtained by calling 800-927-7332 (USDOL Office of Small Business Programs). For informational purposes, pdf versions may be downloaded at: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/boc/osdbu/sbrefa/poster/matrix.htm
- State of Michigan Civil Rights poster *
- State of Michigan Title VI poster *
*These posters may be obtained by calling 517-373-8546 (MDOT’s Business Development Division).
The contractor is also required to post the following at the jobsite:
- Prevailing wage rates from the contract
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy statement
- Letter appointing an EEO officer for the contract
All required posters and information must be placed in as accessible location on the job site. Some projects will not be conducive to having a particular location for postings such as moving operations, pavement marking contracts and similar types of projects. Questions concerning postings for these types of projects should be directed to the C&T Division’s prevailing wage compliance specialist.
- For current list of job site posters including revisions please visit the FHWA and USDOL websites.
- FHWA: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/poster.cfm
- U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/boc/osdbu/sbrefa/poster/matrix.htm
- Posters in Languages other than English are not required but should be encouraged where applicable.
SUPERVISORS AND WORKING FOREMEN
Supervisory and managerial personnel are generally not covered by federal or state prevailing wage requirements. However, working foremen who perform the work of mechanics and/or laborers on the job may be subject to prevailing wage requirements. On projects covered by DBRA, if the supervisor or working foreman devotes more than 20 percent of their time during the time worked during a work week to laborer or mechanic duties, they are considered to be laborers or mechanics for the time spent performing those duties and are subject to prevailing wage requirements. The state prevailing wage requirements are similar to those under DBRA except that the time requirement is more than 40 percent of their time in a work week.
Supervisors and working foremen that meet the above criteria must be reported on certified payrolls with the same reporting requirements as laborers and mechanics. For the time the supervisors and foremen are not performing DBRA covered duties, they still need to be included on the certified payrolls although their work hours and wages do not need to be reported.