SB 349 - This act sets forth new definitions for the purpose of prevailing wage law. There is a notice provision for the wage rates and requires the wage rates be delivered to the worker with their first paycheck on the project.
The penalties for a contractor for paying workers less than the prevailing wage rate are changed from ten to fifty dollars per workman employed for each calendar day. All contracts must contain penalty provisions to this effect. In addition to the abovementioned penalties, a contractor shall pay fifty dollars per calendar day to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The department also has the authority to collect all unpaid penalties due to the department.
The funds collected by the department shall be transmitted to the department of revenue and deposited in the "Prevailing Wage Enforcement and Education Fund" which is created by this act in the state treasury. No portion of the fund shall be transferred to the general revenue fund until the amount exceeds two times the amount of the appropriations from the fund for the preceding fiscal year at the end of the biennium. The amount which shall lapse is the amount which exceeds the two times the amount of the appropriations from the fund for the preceding fiscal year.
The public body who awards a contract under prevailing wage law shall notify the department of labor and industrial relations when all work is completed and payments are made for the public works project.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shall investigate and determine the prevailing hourly rate of wages from time to time as it deems necessary and annually on or before July first of each year. In determining the prevailing hourly rate of wages, the department shall not consider rates paid to workers in bonafide apprenticeships.
A certified copy of the initial determination shall be filed with the Secretary of State and the commission. Within ten days of the filing, the annual wage order shall be posted on the division's web page. Any person affected by the annual wage order may object in writing to the commission. The rates for the annual wage order for a locality are final after thirty days.
The collective bargaining agreement rate shall be adopted as the prevailing wage rate unless there is evidence of no less than eighty hours of actual work performed in the locality during the preceding calendar year, and to supersede such a rate, an individual or individuals shall submit evidence to the department. Should the department determine the information is fraudulent, the department may forward the information to the prosecuting attorney in the locality the information submitter resides.
A general wage order must be filed with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission which shall post it on the division's website. Objections to the general wage order must be filed within thirty days of the filing with the Secretary of State and the commission. If no objection is filed, the general wage order is final. The Labor and Industrial Relations Commission shall set the date for hearing and hear the objections. The commission shall rule on the written objection within twenty days of the hearing. The final decision of the commission is subject to review and the division shall be notified of all applications for review and may intervene as a party in such actions.
The department, may take depositions, subpoenas, and make document requests to any public works project or nonpublic works project if the information is needed in any investigation concerning a public works project, prevailing wage information.
There are new requirements for the public body to collect certified copies of current payroll records for each contractor performing public works construction. The required information is listed in the act as well as record keeping requirements. The records shall be available for inspection by an authorized representative of the department.
The department shall file with the secretary of state a list of contractors or subcontractors who have been convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendere to violations. The contractors or subcontractors shall be prohibited from contracting or performing any work with any public body for one year from the date of the first conviction or entry of a pleading to the charge of violating the prevailing wage law and for three years from the date of each subsequent violation, conviction, guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere. The Secretary of State shall publish the notice of debarment.
Additional provisions allow a court to issue a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction when a violation occurs and removes the requirement for posting of a bond. When it appears to the department that a violation has occurred, the department may notify the Attorney General in writing. The attorney general may bring suit in the name of the state in the circuit court of the county of the occurrence. The public body, if not the state, shall be joined in any such suit. Nothing precludes a public body from bringing an action pursuant to contractual or statutory rights. All actions must commence within five years of the start of the cause of action.
Any person who violates, omits to comply, or knowingly provides false information with regards to prevailing wages shall be punished for each violation. Each prosecuting attorney and circuit attorney has the duty to commence criminal actions and the attorney general has original jurisdiction to commence such actions where venue is appropriate. Employers may not discharge or refuse to further employ a worker for filing a complaint or assisting in the investigation of a complaint. The punishment for doing such shall be a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment for each day such a violation or omission continues. The worker shall be returned to employment and shall receive wages from the date of discharge or refusal to employ until the date of re-employment.