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Prevailing Wage / Davis Bacon Wage

CaliforniaPrevailing Wages

We have designed a new building for a private developer using private development funds. The building will be occupied by a County use and the County will be paying rent to the developer. We are now in construction and the question being raised is do the soil technicians testing the soil, the surveyor doing construction staking for the grading and the deputy inspector inspecting the welding, concrete, etc be paid prevailing or David Bacon wages. There is no Public/government funds or grants involved in building the project.

1 reply

Jul 17, 2019
That's a great question, and it's smart to be cautious when evaluating whether prevailing wages may or may not be required on a job. Generally, prevailing wage requirements will only come into play when there's public property or public funds being used on the project since prevailing wages are only required for "public works projects". So, in a situation where the only public involvement will be their eventual lease of the property, prevailing wage rules would likely not apply. But, in a situation where the public entity is involved in the development agreement in some way, where public funds are used, or where publicly owned land is in play, prevailing wage laws very well may apply. But, ultimately, everyone who performs work on what's considered a "public works" project will need to pay prevailing wages.

For a little more background on what's considered a public works project, these are great resources:
Department of Industrial Relations: Public Works
A Quick Guide to Prevailing Wages in California
Prevailing Wage Compliance Q&A
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