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Employer Responsibilities


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  • Expand/collapse What is an employer's contractual obligations?

    Employers must abide by the terms of their contracts. On public works projects, the contract will state that prevailing wages must be paid to the workers, and will include a listing of the prevailing wage rates that apply to that contract.

  • Expand/collapse Are Intent and Affidavit forms required by employers?

    Employers must submit the Intent and Affidavit forms (approved and certified by the department) to the agency administering the contract in order to receive payment. Intent forms must be filed prior to the start of work, if possible. Affidavits are filed after completion of the work. Approval and certification of those forms by the Industrial Statistician is based on the information provided on the forms, and does not constitute approval of the classifications of labor reported.

  • Expand/collapse Am I responsible for labor classification information?

    All work performed under a public works contract must be classified into one or more of the many labor classifications for which prevailing wage rates have been established, so that the appropriate wage can be applied. For example, workers installing sheet metal ducts are classified as Sheet Metal Workers and should therefore receive the prevailing wage rate for that occupation. Employers are responsible to ensure that the proper classifications of labor are reported and should take great care since this is where many mistakes are made. Scope of Work descriptions are available as a guide in determining which labor classification is appropriate. Some awarding agencies are willing and prepared to offer advice regarding proper labor classifications. Any doubts or unresolved questions regarding the appropriate classifications of labor should be directed to the Prevailing Wage office.

  • Expand/collapse Am I required to post an intent?

    An approved copy of the Intent form for each employer must be posted at the job site prior to the commencement of work for contracts in excess of $10,000. In the event that the Intent form is in the process of being approved by the Industrial Statistician, the complete listing of the prevailing wage rates for the county where the job site is located may be posted until the approved form is received. Failure to meet these posting requirements is a violation of Chapter 39.12 RCW.

  • Expand/collapse What are my payroll records requirements?

    Contractors must keep accurate payroll records for three years following the date of acceptance of the project by the awarding agency. Payroll records must show the name, address, Social Security number, trade or occupation, straight time rate, hourly rate of usual benefits and overtime hours worked each day and week, including agreements to work up to 10-hour days, and the actual rate of wages. Upon receiving a written request by any interested party, the contractor must, within ten days, submit Certified Payroll Records records to the awarding agency and the department.

  • Expand/collapse What are usual (fringe) benefits?

    The prevailing rate of wage also includes usual benefits. Usual benefits include medical insurance, pensions, apprenticeship training programs, and vacation and holiday pay. Deductions from workers' paychecks are not usual benefits. Usual benefits are employer-paid. Benefits that are required by law (industrial insurance, social security, etc.) do not qualify as usual benefits. Employers must pay a wage and usual benefit package that adds up to the prevailing rate of wage. If an employer does not provide usual fringe benefits, then the total prevailing wage rate must be paid as an hourly wage. Special overtime rates are also established for each trade and occupation.

Bids and Contracts

  • Expand/collapse What are my requirements?

    All bid specifications and contracts for public work and for public building service maintenance contracts must include certain provisions and information. They must state that prevailing wage rates shall be paid, and they must include a list of the applicable prevailing wage rates. These requirements also apply to certain agreements to rent, lease, or purchase a facility from a private owner where the agreement calls for construction or alteration work to be performed.

  • Expand/collapse Is there any timing to be concerned with?

    The prevailing wage rates in effect on the bid due date are the prevailing wage rates that apply to that project, no matter how long it lasts, unless the contract is awarded more that six months after the bids were due. For those contracts where award was delayed more than six months, the prevailing wage rates in effect on the date of the award shall apply for the duration of the contract.

  • Expand/collapse What are "Small Works" rosters?

    Small works roster contracts are for projects less than $300,000, which do not need to be advertised. Some small works roster contracts may allow a public agency to have an employing contractor perform multiple smaller projects. Small works roster contracts, even if awarded from purchase orders, must require that the prevailing wage rates be paid, and that Intent and Affidavit forms are filed.

  • Expand/collapse Is there a minimum dollar amount?

    There is no minimum dollar contract amount for public work or prevailing wage. All contracts between a public agency and a private employer, to perform work at the cost of the public agency, are public works contracts and require the payment of prevailing wages.

  • Expand/collapse What about disputes?

    All public works contracts are required to include a provision stating that the Director of the Department of Labor & Industries shall arbitrate all disputes of the prevailing rate of wage.

  • Expand/collapse What if it is a joint state-federal project?

    For projects where both the state prevailing wage law and the federal Davis-Bacon and related Acts apply, contractors must pay the higher of the state or the federal wage rates, on a classification by classification basis. This should also be stated in the bid specifications and the contracts.


For more details about Awarding Agency Responsibilities:

See these State Laws (RCWs):
- RCW 39.12.010, RCW 39.12.020, RCW 39.12.030, RCW 39.12.040, RCW 39.12.060, RCW 39.04.010.

See these Agency Rules (WACs):
- WAC 296-127-011WAC 296-127-013, WAC 296-127-014, WAC 296-127-019, WAC 296-127-025, WAC 296-127-040, WAC 296-127-045, WAC 296-127-060, WAC 296-127-320.

Other resources:
- Is it a Prevailing Wage job?
- How to obtain forms related to Prevailing Wage
Acrobat PDF file Certified Project Payroll Records (366 KB PDF)

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