Heyl Royster

 

Developments in the Prevailing Wage Act

Efforts to make meaningful change in the Prevailing Wage Act (PWA) were largely unsuccessful this past year. In particular, proposals to create a minimum threshold before PWA requirements would apply (an overdue and important change) found little support. However, several changes were enacted to the PWA of which governmental officials should be aware.

Public Act 98-0328 amends the PWA to provide that contractors and subcontractors shall make and keep, for a period of not less than five years from the date of the last payment on a contract or subcontract, records of all workers employed on the project and provides that a public body must keep for five years certain payroll records. This changes the prior requirement which had established a record retention period of three years. These records may be retained in paper or electronic format. The change takes place with respect to records submitted after January 1, 2014. The Act also establishes a five year statute of limitations to bring an action for lost wages or compensation.

Public Act 98-0173 provides that governmental bodies are only required to file their yearly ordinances with the Department of Labor, not also with the Illinois Secretary of State. The Act is effective January 1, 2014.

Public Act 98-0482 changes the information required to be kept by contractors under the Act. Now the records to be kept by the contractor are the:

1) Worker's name
2) Worker's address
3) Worker's telephone number when available
4) Worker's social security number
5) Worker's classification or classifications
6) Worker's gross and net wages paid in each period
7) Worker's number of hours worked each day
8) Worker's starting and ending times of work each day
9) Worker's hourly wage rate
10) Worker's hourly overtime wage rate
11) Worker's hourly fringe benefit rates
12) Name and address of each fringe benefit fund
13) Plan sponsor of each fringe benefit, if applicable
14) Plan administrator of each fringe benefit, if applicable.

Items 9-14, however, are only required for a contractor or subcontractor which remits contributions to a fringe benefit fund that is not jointly maintained and jointly governed by one or more employers and one or more labor organizations under the Federal LMRA. Additionally, the time period for filing the certified payroll is moved back to the 15th day of each month from the 10th day of each month. Finally, the Act provides that the Department of Labor shall develop and maintain an electronic database capable of accepting and retaining certified payrolls and that the database shall accept certified payroll forms developed by the Department. This Act is also effective January 1, 2014.

Public Act 98-0109, effective July 25, 2013, requires certifications of PWA compliance in certain UST situations.

Public Act 98-0313, effective August 12, 2013, amends the county code regarding Winnebago County and provides that any sports, arts, or entertainment facilities that receive revenues from certain taxes will be considered to be public works within the meaning of the PWA.