Prevailing Wage Requirements Expanded to Off-Haul of Road Construction Materials

Posted by Tom Squeri on Mar 18, 2015

Prevailing Wage Requirements Expanded to Off-Haul of Road Construction Materials

As this Blog has previously reported (See August 17, 2011 post, California DIR…), the California Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) has taken the position that the off-haul of materials excavated from a public works construction site is covered by the Prevailing Wage Law (PWL), if the off-haul of the material is part of the “execution” of the construction contract.  This is a fact-specific determination, and contractors may not know if the haul is part of the “execution” of the contract until the DIR attempts enforcement under the PWL.  The California Legislature has ended any uncertainty and now made clear that all off-hauling of “soil, sand, gravel, rocks, concrete, asphalt, excavation materials and construction debris” is covered by the PWL.  Assembly Bill 514, signed by Governor Brown last week and effective January 1 of 2012, now defines each of those common construction materials to be “refuse,” and the hauling of refuse is covered by the PWL.  It no longer matters where the material is going, who owns it, whether it will be recycled, or whether removal is required for the execution of the contract.  That material is now considered refuse by legal definition.

As of the date of this post, the DIR still has not established prevailing wage rates for independent owner-operator trucking, and until that occurs even refuse hauled by true independent owner-operators will not require the payment of prevailing wages.  For all other refuse hauling from public jobs, however, the new law will apply on January 1, 2012.

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