Proper Classification of Prevailing Wage Workers

Table of Contents

All workers must be classified using only those trades or occupations recognized by the department and included on the applicable prevailing wage rate determination. It is the responsibility of each employer to ensure that a prevailing wage rate is predetermined for every trade or occupation it will use on a project. The proper classification of a worker depends on the prevailing local practices, as determined by this department, and the specific duties the worker performs, not on a previously assigned occupational title.

If a worker performs the duties of more than one trade, then the worker must be paid the prevailing wage rate determined for each trade unless work other than the primary classification is incidental work. Incidental work is performed in a classification other than a worker's primary classification that is paid a lower prevailing wage rate and performed for 15% or less of the worker's time spent working on a particular project during a given work week. Incidental work must be compensated at the higher primary classification prevailing wage rate. Cross classification may be used only when the duties performed by each classification are separate and distinct.

Normally, only those workers who perform manual labor on the site of a project are covered. Truck drivers are covered only if they deliver mineral aggregate, such as sand, gravel or stone, to a job and deposit it in final place from the transporting vehicle or haul spoil or excavated material to and from a project. Administrative, clerical, supervisory and non-construction related workers are exempt from the law. A worker employed in a shop that is processing or manufacturing materials or products for a project is also exempt from the law, unless the shop has been set up to exclusively serve a particular project. The law does not provide any exemption for sole proprietors, partners, corporate, or family members.

An apprentice may work on a project at a reduced rate of pay but only if he or she is formally registered in a bona fide state or federal apprenticeship training program.

Subjourneypersons, such as learners, helpers, preapprentices and trainees may be employed on a public works project. Every employer should request the applicable prevailing wage rates from the department before beginning work on the project.
Form ERD-10880 - Request to Employ Subjourneyperson is available for this purpose.

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