- Public Works
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Electronic Certified Payroll (eCPR)
As Required by SB 854
Who needs to submit electronic certified payroll (eCPR) information and when
Who is responsible for submitting payroll on eCPR?
Is the eCPR system the only option for submitting certified payroll?
Is every company responsible for submitting its own payroll for each project it is working on?
All contractors and subcontractors must furnish electronic certified payroll records directly to the Labor Commissioner (also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement).
The phase-in timetable for this requirement is as follows:
June 20, 2014: Any project that was being monitored by the CMU/Labor Commissioner prior to the adoption of SB 854 will continue to be monitored by the Labor Commissioner afterward; and the contractors on those projects must continue to furnish certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner until the project is complete.
April 1, 2015: For all new projects awarded on or after this date, the contractors and subcontractors must furnish electronic certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner.
January 1, 2016: All contractors (except those listed as Exemptions just below) must furnish electronic certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner in our eCPR data system.
Exemptions: As of April 1, 2015, and even after January 1, 2016, the following projects are exempt from the requirement to have contractors and subcontractors furnish certified payroll records (CPRs) to the Labor Commissioner:
Any projects monitored and enforced by the following legacy Labor Compliance Progams (LCPs):
- California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
- City of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- County of Sacramento
Projects covered by qualifying project labor agreements, at the Labor Commissioner’s discretion.
If a contractor has been submitting print copies of certified payroll for an ongoing project that began before the new online system, may the contractor continue to submit payroll that way or must he now use the eCPR system?
Yes. In accordance with Labor Code 1771.4, each contractor and subcontractor shall furnish the records specified in Section 1776 directly to the Labor Commissioner, in the following manner:
- At least monthly or more frequently if specified in the contract with the awarding body.
- In a format prescribed by the Labor Commissioner.
The awarding body said that because the project was awarded or started before April 1, 2015, it does not have to register the project through the PWC-100 and the contractor does not need to file CPRs online; is this correct?
According to SB 854, projects that were being monitored by CMU and submitted payrolls via PDF should submit payrolls using DIR's online eCPR iForm or xml upload. For projects that were awarded before April 1, 2015, and not required by CMU to submit certified payroll, contractors are not required to submit eCPRs until Jan 1, 2016.
If the awarding body does not fill out the PWC 100, how can a contractor submit certified payroll?
PWC-100 submission is required under Labor Code Section 1773.3 beginning June 24, 2014; as a result, the awarding body is required is to submit the PWC-100 for any public works project after June 24, 2014. However, this is separate from the contractors' requirement. A contractor awarded a project before April 1, 2015 will not have to submit eCPRs online until Jan 1, 2016.
Should a subcontractor be listed on the project when the awarding body registers the PWC-100?
It is not possible. An awarding body must submit a PWC 100 in order for you to submit your eCPR. Awarding Bodies are required to provide notice to DIR on all projects within five days of project award.
If the contractor is required to submit certified payroll records (CPRs) to a union, to the prime contractor, or to the awarding body or LCP, does the contractor still have to submit CPRs to DIR?
It is required by the LC 1773.3 that the PWC-100 report shall include the name of the contractor and any subcontractors that are listed on the successful bid. Often, the identity of all the subcontractors is still unknown when the PWC 100 is being completed. So it is not uncommon for subcontractors not to find their company listed on a project. When this happens, the online eCPR system will allow you as the subcontractor to add your information to the project and then submit your eCPRs. If an awarding agency does not list a subcontractor on the PWC 100 it makes no difference on the eCPR. They will be able to view the project information if they have the DIR project ID.
How often must the contractor submit eCPRs?
Yes. Submitting CPRs to other agencies does not put you in compliance with the state unless you submit eCPRs directly to DIR.
How do I look up a public works project?
In accordance with Labor Code 1771.4, each contractor and subcontractor shall furnish the records specified in Section 1776 directly to the Labor Commissioner, in the following manner:
- At least monthly or more frequently if specified in the contract with the awarding body.
- In a format prescribed by the Labor Commissioner.
If you do not already have the DIR project ID number, do either of the following: (1) click on the public works project search tool
on the eCPR landing page
before starting the submission, or (2) after starting the eCPR process and arriving at the “Project Information” section, click the “PWC-100 search” link to look up the DIR Project ID number. If you have received the DIR Project ID, then ignore the search fields “Project Number”, “Contract ID”, and “Awarding Body ID” and simply type the DIR Project ID into the appropriate box and then click the “enter” key on your keyboard.
Payroll information table
Is the hourly wage net or gross? In other words: Does a contractor give the pre-tax hourly wage and include the fringe benefits (vacation/holiday, health insurance, pension) into the hourly wage?
The contractor should give the pre-tax hourly wage. Regarding fringe benefits, whether you include them in the hourly wage rate depends on how you pay them to your employees. If you pay them directly to the worker, then yes, you should include them in the hourly wage; however, if you pay any fringe benefit into a fund or to a committee, then you should not include it in the hourly wage paid, but indicate it in the contribution section.
Does "Net Wages Paid for Week" refer only to wages paid for the public works project?
It may or may not, depending on whether you pay your employees for all the work they do in one check or whether you cut a separate check for the public works project and other projects.
Should the Deductions, Contributions, and Payments be reported by the hour or by the pay-period?
They should be reported by the hour.
If employer withholds for only some but not all of the listed deductions, what should I put in the boxes for which I have no withholdings, “0” or nothing at all?
It is a required field, so you must put “0.”
What should I do if I have deductions (such as Medicare) for which there is no box on the online form?
You may report this deduction amount in the “other” box and explain that the amount is allocated to Medicare in the notes section provided on the form.
What should I put for deductions if my employees filed to be exempt from income tax (W4)?
You may put “0” and explain the situation on the notes section when no amount is withheld.
Is it necessary to specify that a given eCPR is for the final week of a particular job?
It is not required however it is helpful to indicate “final eCPR” in the notes section.
If I pay my workers' benefits directly to them, then should that amount still go in the respective deductions box, or should I put a “0” in the box?
You can put "0" and reflect the direct pay in the hourly base rate.
What should I do if my payroll software does not break down the various deductions for me or if a worker does prevailing wage work for only part of the time and I don’t have separate deductions for just the prevailing wage hours?
What should I do with fringe benefits that do not go into any of the boxes on the online form, such as the kinds of things that used to go on a separate fringe benefits statement?
You will need to calculate any deductions, payments or contributions in each applicable field. If the type of deduction is not listed in the provided fields, you may input the information under “other” and explain it on the notes section.
If the worker’s weekly payment includes hours worked in private and public works, you will need to indicate the wages earned in “this project” for the public works hours worked and total gross wages earned for all projects (public and private work). You will not need to break down the tax withheld or other deductions for a specific public works project.
Input the benefit in the “other” box and give an explanation in the notes section.
Are sole proprietor contractors required by law to pay prevailing wages and submit eCPRs for work done on public works projects?
What if the company hasn’t hired any workers yet, so the owner does all the work? What if the company has employees, but the owner/partner/corporate officer does some work as well?
Sole proprietorship and general partnership companies without employees are required to pay themselves prevailing wages, in accordance with Labor Code section 1774
that states that all workers must be paid prevailing wages. If the worker is also the employer and sole proprietor for whom no payroll exists, the owner should submit eCPRs and must show that that the rate of pay is at or above the required prevailing wage. (The courts have ruled that sole owner companies cannot pay less than the prevailing wages. As such, any contract that is entered into that undercuts the labor component is unlawful.)
In the first situation, treat the business as if it were a sole proprietorship and do as explained in the following question. In the second situation, you must first determine if the work done by the owner/partner/officer falls into the category of prevailing wage work. If the work was prevailing wage work, then do as listed below assuming the worker is the owner. In the situations that the worker is the corporate officer who receive a fixed salary, you should annualize the salary to calculate the hourly rate. In the events that the hourly rate is less than the prevailing wage rate, the worker should receive the additional payment to meet the required amount
As a sole proprietor, how do I calculate my pay rate?
You should divide your profit before labor costs (i.e., the amount of contract less fixed cost and variable costs) by the total number of hours you worked on the public works site. Please note that if your labor profit goes below the prevailing wage rate, you could be subject to public works penalties for failing to pay the correct prevailing wage rate. You need to attest under penalty of perjury that you are at or above the required prevailing wage rate for the craft/classification worked.
Do I have to issue myself a paycheck?
What happens if I lose money on the job?
An individual who performs skilled or unskilled labor on a public works project is entitled to be paid the applicable prevailing wage rate for the time the work is performed, regardless of whether the individual holds a particular status such as partner, owner, owner-operator, independent contractor or sole proprietor, or holds a particular title with the employer such as president, vice-president, superintendent or foreman. In accordance with Labor Code 1774
, the contractor to whom the contract is awarded, and any subcontractor under him, shall pay not less than the specified prevailing rates of wages to all workmen employed in the execution of the contract.
The courts have held that sole proprietors cannot undercut labor costs in order to get a public works project. This would be out of compliance with public works laws and would give an unfair advantage to businesses that have no employees.
What if I do not have employees or a FEIN number?
Am I subject to payroll taxes?
No, as a sole proprietor, you are not subject to payroll taxes, but you may be subject to income taxes.
Do I have to employ apprentices?
Generally speaking, yes. However, the exemptions to employ apprentices are listed below.
- 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.
Problems uploading and/or submitting eCPR information
I upload the document and the eCPR site validates that the upload has acceptable format information, but when I click on the button that says "load the xml into the online eCPR form," nothing appears.
Will the iForm save my work for me?
No it will not. If you are unable to finish filling out the iForm in one session, and/or plan on being away from your computer for over 30 minutes, we recommend submitting what you have then submitting an amended payroll with the remaining employees.
How to delete or modify submitted eCPRs
Is there a way to transfer the payroll from one week to another? If not, how can I delete a payroll report?
There is no way to delete a payroll report once it has been submitted. If payroll was submitted for a week that no work was performed, you may submit a Statement of Non-Performance for that week ending date, and that Statement of Non-Performance will amend the previously submitted certified payroll report.
I need to correct a submittal to adjust the deductions.
If you would like to edit an eCPR, please resubmit an eCPR for the workweek to be corrected and your “amended” eCPR will replace the original payroll submission.
What do I do if I entered some information about my company (such as the address, the workers’ compensation information, etc.) incorrectly or it has since changed?
How to Obtain a copy of a submitted eCPR
Is there any way to go back and look at the payroll I submitted to DIR?
What information does “full redaction” remove from eCPRs?
Immediately before submitting an eCPR, you can view and print out your unredacted eCPR. If you are unable to view it or print it out at that time, you can access a fully redacted version of your eCPR using the eCPR search tool
Please note that the public at large can view and print fully redacted versions of all submitted eCPRs using the eCPR search tool.
Full redaction removes all personally identifiable information (name, address, phone number, SSN) as well as the FEIN, and contractor email address.
Can I view and print out all documented certified payroll records associated with a project?
All submitted eCPRs can be viewed and printed out in fully redacted form using the eCPR search tool