Public Works Projects and the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law

Do you work on public works projects in Massachusetts? If so, you are likely covered by the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law.

The Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law establishes minimum wage rates for workers on public construction projects, workers engaged in school bus transportation, operators of vehicles and equipment engaged by public entities for public works purposes (including solid waste and recycling), workers engaged by employers which provide janitorial services for state buildings, office moving services, and for certain employees of housing authorities.

Before soliciting bids for any public works project, an awarding authority must obtain a prevailing wage rate sheet from from the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards. Each prevailing wage rate sheet contains a list of job titles and the corresponding wage rate. Every employee performing work that is covered by the prevailing wage rate sheet must be paid the wage rate that corresponds to the type of work they are performing. If an employer fails to pay its employees the total prevailing wage rate it has violated the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law.

If you are unsure of your correct job title, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards has published a comprehensive outline discussing the type of work that is covered by each job title contained within the prevailing wage rate sheets. The outline can be found here.




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