FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2010-15
May 18, 2010

CONTACT:
Krisann Chasarik
Erika Monterroza
415-703-5050

Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


DIR establishes task force to monitor and safeguard California's public works projects

San Francisco—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) this week filed proposed regulations with the Office of Administrative Law to establish the Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) which will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the State’s prevailing wage laws on public works projects in California. The CMU will review certified payroll records, verify that workers on the projects are paid the correct rate of pay for the work performed, and will enforce compliance with pay, overtime, recordkeeping and hours limitation requirements. The CMU is expected to begin operation in August following the approval of proposed regulations.

“Awarding agencies have a great obligation to the state’s taxpayers to be the guardian of the public dollar. The continuing mission must be to see that public funds are spent wisely and invested in infrastructure that will last for generations,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “The new CMU will provide a greater level of monitoring over the use of public dollars on projects such as school construction, water projects and roadways.”

The public works projects are funded, in part, by State construction bond monies authorized by the voters for public school construction and water projects.  Other projects undertaken by local governments using special procurement processes are also subject to monitoring.

The Department will be conducting informational seminars throughout the State to ensure that the cities, counties, special districts and State agencies affected understand their responsibilities under the new Unit.  The CMU staff will also present training seminars for construction contractors to provide information for submitting certified payroll records and how to comply with the State’s labor laws.

The implementation of CMU began last year following the enactment of SBX2-9 signed by the Governor on February 20, 2009. Staff began developing the draft regulations which went before the public stakeholders and interested parties for development. The rulemaking process began in November 2009 and resulted in the incorporation of additional comments and ideas received from the public during that process.

In preparation of the implementation of the new CMU program, DIR conducted a pilot project with the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District to determine some of the best practices that could be incorporated into the monitoring program.

“Public works projects will have an enormous impact on California's economy and long-term competitiveness,” added Duncan. “We must ensure that corners are not being cut that jeopardize the well being of California’s businesses and workers.”

For more information about the Compliance Monitoring Unit and SBX2-9 visit our web site at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlsePublicWorks.html.  To learn more about the functions of the California Labor Commissioner, visit our web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse. Employees with work-related questions or complaints, including heat illness, may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757.

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