421 a Prevailing Wage Requirement

In addition to the above requirements, owners/promoters of “covered projects” are also required to comply with Articles 15-A and 17-B of the Executive Code with respect to the objectives and objectives of minority and women-owned businesses or businesses owned by impaired veterans. Public bodies that provide “public funds” are required to disclose to the owner or promoter the nature and monetary value of those funds, if those funds are excluded from section 224-a and the recipient`s obligations with respect to the reporting obligation under paragraph 224-a(8)(a)[5]. Finally, section 9 contains requirements for the tendering of construction sites that building owners must comply with, as well as the requirement that workers have access to applicable pay schedules. Builders who carry out their own construction work should be aware of these requirements. Where builders hire others to perform temporary work, the best practice is to include these requirements in operational contacts and, in addition, to make the publication of notices and the availability of applicable salary scales essential conditions of this contract. The prevailing wage requirements introduced at the federal level by the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 and at the state level by various state wage laws[1] effectively establish, where appropriate, a “minimum wage” requirement for applicable projects equal to the wage paid to the majority (more than 50%) of workers or mechanics in the specific trade classification for similar projects in the region during the period in question. Davis Bacon`s predominant wage is the combination of the basic hourly wage and a benefit rate indicated for a given classification of workers in determining the applicable Davis Bacon wage, and can be achieved either by paying each worker and mechanic the applicable wage in full in cash or wages, or a combination of cash wages and bona fide benefits provided by the employer. The Davis-Bacon and related laws apply to contractors and subcontractors who perform government-funded or supported contracts for the construction, alteration or repair of public buildings or public works. Federal rates are calculated by the Wages and Hours Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Proponents of the current wage requirements say they keep construction wages high, maintain a high quality of work, and prevent out-of-town companies from taking over local jobs by employing lower-paying workers from other parts of the country. On the other hand, opponents of the prevailing wage argue that these requirements increase the overall cost of public construction projects, which can lead to higher taxes and/or a decrease in construction projects overall. They also argue that large amounts of paperwork (especially at the federal level) can discourage small businesses from applying for the job.

The answer to the question can be found in the nine-page explanation of the rule change proposed by the Department of Finance (OFD). It concludes with: “The obligation to pay the applicable wage applies to any building technician who provides construction services on a designated property, whether or not the owner of that designated property employs such an employee.” While many builders hire construction service providers to manage and perform janitorial, security and other construction services, the law requires building owners to ensure that their construction service providers pay prevailing wages to affected workers. For property and development owners, it is crucial to determine whether the current wage requirement applies to their properties. Under Section 224-a of the recently passed New York Labor Act (“Section 224-a”), certain private construction projects in New York State that are “paid for in whole or in part by public funds,” also known as “Covered Projects,” under Section 224-a, must meet the wage requirements set out in section 220 of the Labour Act. When public funds are used to build private projects, owners and developers may be required to meet applicable wage requirements. Section 9 of the NYLL regulates the payment of wages applicable to service employees. Specific wage rates are set on the basis of the professional obligations and professions of the employees. Applicable rates of pay can be found in payment tables published by the New York State Labor Commissioner or Controller. The wage requirements in effect under Section 9 of the NYLL not only regulate the rates of pay of construction workers, but also require the payment of benefits in addition to the payment of the applicable rate of pay. The requirements establish rules that affect various working conditions.

The law also imposes strict payroll and record-keeping requirements on employers, such as filing certified pay slips that confirm the truthfulness and accuracy of hours and wages paid to employees, and keeping these time and payroll records for at least six years.