Prevailing Wage

What are prevailing wages? The Department of Labor and Industries requires that workers be paid prevailing wages when employed on all public work, public building service maintenance and contracted maintenance, based upon the classification of labor performed. A notable exception to this requirement is that sole proprietors, who perform the actual work on public work projects, are not required to pay themselves prevailing wage rates. All public work, including maintenance when performed by contract, shall comply with RCW 39.12.020 as it pertains to prevailing wage requirements. According to RCW 39.04.010(4) there are clearly two categories of work that must comply with prevailing wage requirements: (1) Public Work and (2) Maintenance when performed by contract. 

Statement of Intent: RCW 39.12.040 requires every contractor and subcontractor on the project to file a Statement of Intent to Pay Prevailing Wages (.doc). These statements should be filed with L&I immediately after the contract is awarded and before work begins, if possible. The statements must be approved by the L&I Industrial Statistician and may be viewed by the agency administering the contract. 

Affidavits of Wages Paid: RCW 39.12.040 also requires every contractor and subcontractor on the project to file an Affidavit of Wages Paid soon after the work has been completed. These statements also must be filed with L&I and approved by the Industrial Statistician before being submitted to the agency administering the contract. 

Combined Intent/Affidavit Forms: Agencies contracting for small public works projects may use a combined intent/affidavit statement at their discretion. These combined forms are only available for public works projects under $2,500 including tax, and limited public works projects under $50,000 including tax (RCW 39.12.040(2).

Visit the Department of Labor and Industries’ Public Works Projects - Contractors & Employers page for more information.

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