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Chapter 8. Office of the Director
Subchapter 3. Payment of Prevailing Wages upon Public Works
Article 2. Work Subject to Prevailing Wages
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§16001. Public Works Subject to Prevailing Wage Law.

(a) General Coverage. State prevailing wage rates apply to all public works contracts as set forth in Labor Code Sections 1720, 1720.2, 1720.3, 1720.4, and 1771.

(1) Any interested party enumerated in Section 16000 of these regulations may file with the Director of Industrial Relations or the Director's duly authorized representative, as set forth in Section 16301 of these regulations, a request to determine coverage under the prevailing wage laws regarding either a specific project or type of work to be performed which that interested party believes may be subject to or excluded from coverage as public works under the Labor Code. If such a request is filed by any party other than the awarding body, a copy of the request must be served upon the awarding body, in accordance with the filing procedures set forth in Section 16302(d) of these regulations, when it is filed with the Director.

(2) Within 15 days of receipt of a copy of the request for a coverage determination, the awarding body shall forward to the Director or his/her duly authorized representative as provided for in Section 16301 of these regulations, any documents, arguments, or authorities it wishes to have considered in the coverage determination process.

(3) All parties to the coverage determination request shall have a continuing duty to provide the Director or his/her duly authorized representative as provided for in Section 16301 of these regulations, with relevant documents in their possession or control, until a determination is made. Where any party or parties' agent has a document in their possession, but refuses to release a copy, the Department shall consider that the documents, if released, would contain information adverse to the withholding party's position and may close the record and render a decision on the basis of that inference and the information received.

(b) Federally Funded or Assisted Projects. The application of state prevailing wage rates when higher is required whenever federally funded or assisted projects are controlled or carried out by California awarding bodies of any sort.

(c) Field Surveying Projects. Field survey work traditionally covered by collective bargaining agreements is subject to prevailing wage rates when it is integral to the specific public works project in the design, preconstruction, or construction phase.

(d) Residential Projects. Residential projects consisting of single family homes and apartments up to and including four stories are subject to payment of prevailing wages when paid for in whole or in part out of public funds, including federally-funded or assisted residential projects controlled or carried out by an awarding body.

Note: Such projects may require a special determination by the Director which should be requested by the awarding body at least 45 days before the commencement of advertising of the call for bids by the awarding body.

(e) Commercial Projects. All non-residential construction projects including new work, additions, alterations, reconstruction and repairs. Includes residential projects over four stories.

(f) Maintenance. Public works contracts for maintenance are subject to prevailing wage rate payment as set forth in Section 1771 of the Labor Code.

Note: See Article 1 for definition of term “maintenance.”

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 1773.5, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 1720, 1720.2, 1720.3, 1720.4 and 1771, Labor Code.


1. Amendment of subsection (a) and NOTE and adoption of subsections (a)(1)-(3) and (e) and relettering former subsection (e) to (f) filed 2-20-92; operative 3-23-92 (Register 92, No. 13).

2. Amendment of subsection (b) and (d) and Note filed 12-27-96; operative 1-26-97 (Register 96, No. 52).

3. Change without regulatory effect repealing amendments to subsections (b) and (d) and Note filed 2-19-99 (Register 99, No. 8). Pursuant to Sacramento Superior Court Order Issued 6-4-97 in Case 97CS 00471 the amendments filed 12-27-96 and effective 1-27-97 were invalidated and the prior regulations were reinstated.

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