In Massachusetts, the Prevailing Wage Law requires contractors and subcontractors working on public construction projects to pay their workers the prevailing wage rate. The prevailing wage rate is defined as the hourly rate of pay, including benefits, paid to the majority of workers engaged in a particular type of construction work in a specific geographic area. This law applies to all types of public works projects, including construction, alteration, and repair of buildings, highways, bridges, and other public works.
The purpose of the Prevailing Wage Law is to ensure that workers on public construction projects receive fair and competitive wages and benefits, and to prevent contractors from underbidding each other by using low-wage labor.
Typical Violations of Prevailing Wage Law in Massachusetts
- Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage Rate: This is the most common violation of the Prevailing Wage Law in Massachusetts. Contractors and subcontractors must pay their workers the prevailing wage rate for each hour worked on a public construction project.
- Misclassification of Workers: Contractors and subcontractors may misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying them the prevailing wage rate. This is a violation of the Prevailing Wage Law and the workers should be classified as employees.
- Failure to Keep Accurate Records: Contractors and subcontractors are required to keep accurate records of the hours worked by each worker and the prevailing wage rate paid. Failure to keep accurate records can result in penalties and fines.
- Failure to Post Notice of Prevailing Wage Rates: Contractors and subcontractors must post a notice of the prevailing wage rates on the job site in a place where it can be easily seen by workers. This is required by the Prevailing Wage Law to ensure that workers are aware of their rights and the prevailing wage rate.
What an Employee Can Do About Prevailing Wage Law Violations
- File a Complaint: If an employee believes that they are not being paid the prevailing wage rate, they can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS). The DLS will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action if a violation is found.
- Consult with an Attorney: If an employee is unsure about their rights under the Prevailing Wage Law or if they have suffered a violation of their rights, they can consult with an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law.
- Join a Union: Joining a union can provide employees with the support and resources they need to enforce their rights under the Prevailing Wage Law. Unions can negotiate with contractors and subcontractors to ensure that workers receive the prevailing wage rate and other benefits.
Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Employment Lawyer
The Prevailing Wage Law in Massachusetts is designed to protect workers on public construction projects from exploitation and ensure that they receive fair and competitive wages and benefits. If an employee believes that they are not being paid the prevailing wage rate, they can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards and consult with an experienced Massachusetts prevailing wage employment lawyer. By enforcing the Prevailing Wage Law, workers can ensure that they receive the wages and benefits they deserve and prevent contractors and subcontractors from underbidding each other by using low-wage labor.