Rule Updates

Rules Under Development

Prevailing wage

Chapter 296-127, WAC

All updates for this rule:

Emergency Rule: Landscape Maintenance Workers (Chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage)

This emergency rulemaking amends chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage, to provide a new scope of work specific to landscape maintenance that is separate and unique from landscape construction. Under the emergency rule, the Landscape Maintenance Worker scope of work description is work involved in the tending to and maintenance of a previously beautified plot of land. A description of specific activities that may be within the scope and activities that are not included in the scope are listed in the rule. An initial emergency rule (WSR 19-07-014) and CR-101 Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (WSR 19-07-015) were filed on March 8, 2019. This rulemaking renews the emergency rules while the permanent rulemaking process continues. The changes were adopted 7/5/2019 and became effective on 7/5/2019.855.

7/5/2019

PDF: Emergency Order Adoption (CR 103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

7/5/2019

Rule Changes Effective

Landscape Maintenance Workers (Chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage)

The purpose of this rulemaking is to amend Chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage, by permanently adopting the Landscape Maintenance Worker scope of work. The department adopted emergency rules on March 8, 2019, effective March 11, 2019, establishing this scope as separate and unique from Landscape Construction (Landscape Laborer).849.

3/8/2019

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

Emergency Rule: Landscape Maintenance Workers (Chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage)

This emergency rulemaking will amend Chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing Wage, to provide a new scope of work specific to landscape maintenance that is separate and unique from landscape construction. Under the emergency rule, the Landscape Maintenance Worker scope of work description is work involved in the tending to and maintenance of a previously beautified plot of land. A description of specific activities that may be within the scope and activities that are not included in the scope are listed in the rule. 2018’s Substitute Senate Bill 5493, effective June 7, 2018, revised RCW 39.12.015. Under the new law, the department is directed to “establish the prevailing rate of wage… established in collective bargaining agreements for those trades and occupations that have collective bargaining agreements.” Where no collective bargaining agreement (CBA) exists, the department is to conduct wage and hour surveys. Other methods may be used where a survey is not sufficient. The department implemented SSB 5493 in the prevailing rates published on August 1, 2018. As a result of the new law, the rates for Landscape Construction (“Landscape Laborer”) significantly increased. On February 25, 2019, the department received a petition from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) to create a separate landscape maintenance scope of work. Due to the increase in costs, cities are deferring or eliminating necessary maintenance to keep public areas safe, including: preparing parks, athletic fields, trails and other recreational facilities for the spring and summer season; maintenance of critical vegetation on stormwater facilities like retention ponds; and storm related clean-up to remove dangerous debris from public spaces. Lack of adequate maintenance will result in unsafe facilities creating risks to the public and liability concerns for cities. The department has also heard from companies who contract with cities to do landscape maintenance work with concerns that contracts are not being renewed and workers will be laid off as result. Under WAC 296-127-013, scope of work descriptions may be issued by the director or designee to determine the applicable prevailing wage and are created using authoritative sources including: apprenticeship standards; CBAs; dictionaries of occupational titles; experts from organized labor, licensed contractors, and contractors' associations; and recognized labor and management industry practice. Under WAC 296-127-01346, the introductory paragraph of the Landscape Construction scope of work description is work involved in the beautification of a plot of land by changing its natural features through the addition or modification of lawns, trees, bushes, etc. Upon review of the scope of the work, the department determined that the separate scope for Landscape Maintenance Worker is appropriate. Based on information from the AWC and contractors, the rules meet the criteria for emergency rules as needed for the preservation of public health, safety, or general welfare. The department is also filing a Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (CR-101) to initiate permanent rulemaking. The changes were adopted 3/8/2019 and became effective on 3/11/2019.848.

3/11/2019

Rule Changes Effective

3/8/2019

PDF: Emergency Order Adoption (CR 103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

Prevailing Wage Housekeeping (Chapter 296-127 WAC)

The rulemaking adopts amendments in chapter 296-127 WAC, Prevailing wage. The Prevailing Wage Program reviewed the prevailing wage rules for housekeeping changes in order to further clarify the rules. Changes include updated references to correct current statutes and addresses, changes to gender neutral language, and replacement of archaic terminology. The Prevailing Wage Program notified interested parties by letter of its intention to proceed with a housekeeping rulemaking process and invited them to participate through Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee (PWAC) meetings or their independent communications with L&I. The program worked with the Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee (PWAC), and its representation from business, labor, public agencies, as well as received participation from the public regarding development of the housekeeping rule changes, and consensus was obtained on the proposed changes. The changes were adopted 7/23/2019 and became effective on 8/23/2019.840.

8/23/2019

Rule Changes Effective

7/23/2019

PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

PDF: Response to Public Comments (CES)

7/12/2019

Comments Due

7/9/2019

Public Hearing

6/4/2019

PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

12/18/2018

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

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