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Public works information - frequently asked questions

Topics covered in this FAQ include:

Notification of Contract Award
Employing Apprentices
Training Fund Contributions
Exemptions
Ratios
Miscellaneous

When should I submit a DAS 140 or notification of Contract award?

The Contract Award Information must be in writing and submitted to the applicable committee(s) within 10 days of the date of the prime or subcontract but in no event later than the first day the contractor has workers employed on the public works project. This is simply a notification of award; it is not automatically a request for dispatch of a registered apprentice. The information submitted must include an estimate of journeyman hours to be performed under the contract, the number of apprentices proposed to be employed, and the approximate dates the apprentices would be employed.

Where do I send the DAS 140?

If you are a contractor already approved to train apprentices (participating with a DAS recognized Apprenticeship Committee): “Contractors who are already approved to train apprentices must provide contract award information to the apprenticeship committee for each applicable apprenticeable craft or trade that has approved the contractor in the area of the site of the of the public works project.” If you are not already approved to train by an Apprenticeship Committee: "Contractors not already approved to train apprentices must submit Contract Award Information (DAS 140) to every apprenticeship program in the geographic area of the public works project, for each craft you intend to employ on the project". You can determine which apprenticeship programs are approved in specific geographic locations by searching our interactive database.

What are the differences between box 1, 2, and 3 at the bottom of the DAS 140?


  • Box 1 is for contractors who are already approved to train by an apprenticeship program (signatory/member).
  • Box 2 indicates that a contractor is willing to comply with a program's Standards for the current project only. This generally means that the fringe benefits and the training funds will be paid to that Committee’s Trust Fund. It also allows a contractor to take advantage of a more generous maximum ratio than the CAC Standards, but does not affect the minimum ratio of 1 apprentice hour for every 5 journeyman hours.
  • Box 3 means that a contractor will be governed by the regulations of the California Apprenticeship Council. Generally this means that the minimum and maximum ratio for apprentices is the same – 1 apprentice hour for every 5 journeyman hours per each craft, totaled at the end of the project. It also means the Training Fund Contribution is usually paid to the California Apprenticeship Council.

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What is a registered apprentice?

An apprentice is someone who has signed an agreement with an employer, an approved apprenticeship program or program sponsor, and whose agreement is registered with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). Only an approved apprenticeship program can provide a contractor with a registered apprentice on public works projects.

How do I know if an individual is a registered apprentice?

You can check in our interactive database. If that does not yield results, you can contact a DAS office for assistance in searching the database.

Do programs that provide apprentices for public works projects provide workers compensation benefits for the apprentice they send out to jobs or is the responsibility of the contractor and/or subcontractor?

No. This responsibility lies with the contractor and/or subcontractor (aka The Employer).

How can I find the names of the applicable approved apprenticeship programs/committees?

Two suggestions:

  • Visit our interactive website
  • Contact the DAS District office whose assigned geographic areas of responsibility cover the county/ies in which the public works project is located.

As a contractor who has been awarded a public works contract, and has my own employees, am I still required hiring registered apprentices?

Yes.

Important Notice: see changes in Code of Regulations section 230.1, regarding the employment of apprentices on Public Works

I am a non-union contractor.  Am I required to hire an apprentice?

Yes, you must request dispatch from all approved program s in the geographic area of the project.

Can I employ my friend, family, or my own employee who is still beginning to learn a particular trade, as an apprentice?

No. The law requires that you employ only apprentices who are registered with an approved program. However, if your friend or your employee is a registered apprentice, and has been dispatched to you by an approved apprenticeship program, yes you can.

What happens if I employed my friend who is not a registered apprentice and I paid him the journeyman rate?

You may employ your friend and pay him journey wages but this does not affect change to fulfill the apprenticeship requirements.

I requested an apprentice from an approved program and was asked to sign a document saying I would send the program my training fund contributions. Am I required to sign such a document?

No. You are not required to sign any additional documents, such as a firm agree to train (DAS 7), or agree to any other conditions set forth by the program. If the program does not want to dispatch apprentices unconditionally, and you have contacted all the appropriate programs in the geographic area then you have met your obligation under the law.

What are the benefits and advantages to hiring a registered apprentice?

The benefits of hiring an apprentice registered in a state approved program are:

  • Lower pay rate than the journeyman pay rate.
  • Elimination of recruitment programs for workers who are already trained.
  • Creates a diversified and flexible workforce and larger pool of employees with specific skills.
  • Increases productivity; employees in a structured training program are motivated to achieve.

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What if a non-participating or non-signatory contractor or a contractor who is not approved to train apprentices does not make the training fund contributions to the applicable approved apprenticeship program, can the contractor send instead the contributions to the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC)?

Yes. Contractors who do not contribute to an approved apprenticeship program should send their payments with a CAC2 form and at must submit their contributions to the following address:

California Apprenticeship Council (CAC)
P. O. Box 101325
Pasadena, California 91189-0005

What if I need to overnight my training fund payment, is there a physical address?

Overnight payments should be sent to:

California Apprenticeship Council (CAC)
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 9th floor
San Francisco, California 94102

How can I find out if a training fund contribution has been paid by a contractor?

If the contractor has paid the training fund contribution to the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC) information of payments received by the CAC can be found in our interactive database.
If a contractor has paid the training fund to an approved apprenticeship program, it will not be reflected on our website. You must ask the contractor for proof of payment to the program’s trust fund.

Where can a contractor go to obtain journeyman prevailing wage rates and training fund amounts due?

Training Fund amounts are listed on the same Prevailing Wage Determinations contractors use to calculate the correct prevailing wage to pay their workers for a specific project. Contractors can call the Director's office of Policy, Research and Legislation (OPRL) at (415) 703-4774 or visit their website to obtain Training Fund Contribution Rates for journeymen and apprentices. Training Contributions must be paid for every hour worked by every journeyman and apprentice working in an apprenticeable craft (including overtime). Training Funds cannot be paid to the workers unless it is a non-apprenticeable craft.

I am a contractor and I paid my employees the training fund contribution instead of the applicable program. Am I still required to pay into a training fund?

Yes and you are not allowed to recover the erroneous amounts paid to the employee.

Can I wait until the end of the project to pay my training funds?

No! Training funds are due & payable by the 15th of the month after the month the work was performed.

If the prime/general contract for the public works project is under $30,000 am I still obligated to pay training fund contributions?

Yes. Training Funds are part of the prevailing wage package and considered part of the employer contribution. If the craft is apprenticeable the training fund must be paid to an approved program for that craft or to the California Apprenticeship Council. You may only pay the training fund to the employee if the craft is non-apprenticeable, even if the project is exempt.

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What are the instances in which a contractor on a public works project is considered exempt from the requirements of LC 1777.5?

They are:

  • Labor Code 1777.5 does not apply to general contractors whose contract is under $30,000.
  • When the craft or trade is not apprenticeable.
  • When the contractor holds a sole proprietor license and no workers were employed by the contractor. In other words, the contractor performed the entire work from start to finish and worked alone.
  • When the project is a federal project and the funding of the project does not contain any city, county, and/or state monies unless the project is administered by a state agency in which case the apprenticeship requirements apply.
  • When the project is a private project not covered by the definition of public works as found in Labor Code section 1720.

What if I am exempt from the requirements of California Labor Code Section 1777.5 as my situation falls under one of the exemptions listed above. Do I still have to provide a "Notice of Contract Award" (DAS 140 form) to the applicable program?

You do not have to submit a "Notice of Contract Award". However, for purposes of letting the applicable program know of your exemption, you may, nevertheless, want to provide the form to the applicable program so they are aware of your exemption.

I am an Owner/Operator and do not have any employees and do not carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Am I exempt from hiring apprentices?

If your Contractor License shows you are a Sole Proprietor/Sole Owner business you are exempt. However, if your Contractor License indicates that your business entity is anything else, such as a partnership or corporation or LLC, then you are not exempt.

If I have an Individual Contractor Exemption granted by the Chief of DAS per Labor Code § 1777.5 (j), or § 1777.5(k), do I still need to send a DAS 140 to the appropriate programs?

Yes, you still need to submit a Notice of Contract Award Information (DAS 140) to the appropriate Program Committees. The Individual Contractor Exemptions and Program Committee exemptions pertain to the ratio of apprentices on a public works project and do not eliminate the DAS 140 requirement.

I am a small subcontractor and my job will take less than 40 hours. Am I exempt from hiring apprentices?

No, you must still submit a DAS 140 and 142. However, you may request apprentices in less than 8 hour increments. Important Notice: see changes in Code of Regulations section 230.1, regarding the employment of apprentices on Public Works

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How many apprentices must I employ on a Public Works project?

At the end of the project, your straight time apprentice hours must equal a total of 1 hour for every 5 straight time journeyman hours for each separate craft. For example, if you have a total of 100 journeyman hours at the end of the project, you would need 20 apprentice hours in that same craft.

Can I mix and match crafts to reach the minimum ratio?

No. The minimum ratio requirement is per each individual craft and only includes straight time hours.

Do overtime hours count toward the minimum ratio?

No, only straight time hours count. Be careful not to confuse premium pay with overtime pay.

What is the maximum number of apprentices I can use on a Public Works Project?

It depends on which box you have checked on your DAS 140. If you checked box 1 or 2 and fall under the regulations set forth in a specific program’s standards, then you are allowed to use the maximum ratio set forth in those Standards. If you have checked box 3 and agreed to be governed by the regulations set forth by the California Apprenticeship Council then the minimum and maximum ratio is the same: 1 apprentice hour for every 5 journeyman hours totaled at the end of the project.

I am a contractor who is approved to train by an approved program and am covered by their Standards, or I am a contractor who has agreed to be covered by a program’s Standards for a single project. How do I know what the Standards allow for that program’s maximum apprentice ratios?

You can ask the program for a copy of their Standards or a copy of the language in Article XV which covers ratios. Or you can call the DAS office nearest the location for that program and request the same.

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Please check out our Public Works webpage for more information. We suggest you bookmark it so you can check back frequently for periodic updates!
We also suggest visiting the Division of Labor Standards webpage and checking out the Public Works Manual

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October 2014