I’m a plumber and I’m doing a retirement building of 7 floors and the we were givin prevailing wage of 53hr but now the employer said we can only get 14 hrs of prevailing wage and the rest of 26 hrs under the table

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

Employers and customers who attempt to circumvent prevailing wage requirements face still penalties. So, if they ask their workers to accept lesser payment or to intentionally avoid doing things by the book, it might be a good idea to discuss that matter with them a bit further. And, it’s generally never a good idea to knowingly go along with an employer who’s circumventing prevailing wage requirements and lying on certified payrolls.

In terms of receiving payment – it can be helpful to file a wage claim with the California Department of Labor. Before taking that step, though, it’d likely be useful to inform an employer or customer that, if they don’t abide by the necessary requirements, a claim will be made. And, with the new responsibilities under AB 1701, it could also be helpful to report the matter to the project’s prime contractor since they will ultimately be held responsible for wage violations on their project (even if it’s a sub or sub-subcontractor who makes the violation). For an example of how AB 1701 works, here’s a recent article: California General Contractor Fined $68,000 Under AB 1701.

Finally, keep in mind that demand letters can help to obtain full payment, and Notices of Intent to Lien or to file a bond claim can also do the trick. And, if necessary, bond claims and mechanics lien claims go a long way to secure payment.

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