- Learn about prevailing wage
- Learn about public works projects
- Frequently asked questions
- File a public works complaint
- Find a Division of Labor Standards Enforcement District Office
Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU)
What the CMU adds to DLSE’S traditional public works enforcement
DLSE traditionally has enforced prevailing wage requirements through the receipt and investigation of complaints. Complaints may be filed with any DLSE district office. The complaint will be assigned for investigation by a deputy labor commissioner within the Public Works Unit of DLSE’s Bureau of Field Enforcement. The investigation is not limited to the individual complaint, but instead will look at the pay practices and all potential violations by the subject contractor. The affected subcontractor and prime contractor, if different, receive notice of the complaint and usually have an opportunity to show that no violation occurred or to correct an alleged violation. Upon determining that a violation occurred, the DLSE issues a civil wage and penalty assessment for back wages and penalties, which the affected contractor or subcontractor can appeal. The assessment will include an order for the awarding body to retain contract payments owed to the contractor until the determination is final.
The Labor Commissioner has jurisdiction to enforce the state’s prevailing wage laws on any public works project in the state that is subject to those requirements, regardless of how the project is funded or whether there is an LCP, a project labor agreement (PLA), or other compliance monitoring system for that project.
The CMU adds a new ongoing compliance monitoring function on state-bond funded and other specific types of projects. Contractors will submit certified payroll records (CPRs )by PDF into the PWC 100 on-line system, and the DLSE will review all of these records at least on a monthly basis. On both a random and targeted basis, DLSE will do follow-up investigations to confirm the accuracy of reported information or determine whether prevailing wage requirements were violated. These follow-up investigations may include examination of other time and pay records, construction site visits, and interviews of workers or others with information about work activities and pay practices. If the DLSE becomes aware of a potential violation, DLSE will investigate, make a determination, and enforce any violations in same manner as it traditionally handles any matter initiated through a complaint.
Because the DLSE will use the CMU to actively monitor compliance while the work is ongoing, it will be able to identify and correct possible violations much more quickly than traditional complaint-driven enforcement. This will help ensure that workers are promptly paid the correct rates, that errors are corrected before contractors incur costly penalties, and that construction projects are less likely to be disrupted or delayed by underpayment of prevailing wages. The CMU can also order that contract payments be withheld from a contractor that fails to submit timely and complete CPRs, thereby ensuring greater compliance with this tool for monitoring labor compliance.
CMU monitoring and enforcement only applies to state bond-funded projects (except projects funded through Proposition 84) and certain design-build and other projects that are legally required to use the CMU. Awarding bodies will be assessed a fee for actual monitoring and enforcement work performed by DIR on a project that is subject to CMU monitoring. The maximum fee that can be charged for this work is ¼ of 1% of the total project costs or ¼ of 1% of the state bond proceeds provided for the project, whichever is less and regardless of whether DIR’s actual monitoring and enforcement costs for the project exceed this maximum. In lieu of the CMU, an awarding body may instead use a previously approved in-house LCP or have a qualified project labor agreement to provide ongoing compliance monitoring and enforcement on the project.