IR # 97-27
Friday, May 9, 1997

Rick Rice
Troy Swauger
(415) 972-8835

Prevailing Wage Decision To Be Appealed To Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO--Lloyd W. Aubry, Jr., director of the Department of Industrial Relations today announced that his department will appeal the decision of the First District Court of Appeal, which stops the use of appropriated funds by the department to conduct prevailing wage surveys.

"We are obviously disappointed by the decision of the First District Court of Appeal," Aubry said. "The Court failed to address one of the most significant aspects of the case, which was that the Department was using existing resources, which were not deleted by the Legislature, to conduct surveys."

Further, he added, we believe the decision puts in jeopardy the very authority that the Legislature vests in various departments and agencies. "Essentially we have been delegated rulemaking authority," said Aubry, "but when we exercise that authority and promulgate regulations which are approved by the Office of Administrative Law, those rules can be negated by the Legislature simply by deletion of funds. This cannot be the intent of the law."

The case, Local Union No. 595, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. Superior Court, San Francisco County, and California Department of Industrial Relations, initially arose from disagreement about the authority of the Department of Industrial Relations to change the method by which prevailing wages are calculated on public works projects.