What is the prevailing wage?

The prevailing wage is the minimum hourly wage for a certain classification of labor performed on public construction projects.  The Department of Labor and Workforce Development issues the rates of each project and determines which rate applies to which classification.

What laws regulate the prevailing wage?

Connecticut’s prevailing wage law is codified in Connecticut General Statutes Section 31-53 and 31-53a.  The law applies to each contract for the construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project by the State or its agents, or by any political subdivision of the State.  For more information, click here.

When is the prevailing wage law applicable?

Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-53(g) provides monetary thresholds which must be met before the law is applicable.  The prevailing wage law does not apply where the total cost of all work to be performed by all contractors and subcontractors in connection with new construction of a public works project is less than four hundred thousand ($400,000) dollars.  The prevailing wages law does not apply in connection with remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project under one hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars.  Source: CT DOL

What is a public works project?

Construction projects financed by the government for the benefit or use of the general public. Projects can be classified as building, heavy, highway or residential (under 4 stories). Note: Under current law, the state or political subdivision must award the contract and be a party to the contract and not be a mere grantor of funds for the project to be covered. Source: CT DOL

How to determine your prevailing wage rate:

The Labor Commissioner, since 1977, has adopted and used the prevailing wage rate determinations as have been made by the United States Secretary of Labor, under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended.  The rate is recalculated and updated each July 1. Source: CT DOL

The following steps will assist you with determining your rate of pay under the prevailing wage law.

  1. Go to the CT DOL Prevailing Wage Rates by Town webpage.
  2. Select the year and wage type from the dropdown menus that correspond to the year you worked on the project and project classification.
  3. Select the municipality where the project took place.
  4. Scroll through the worker classifications to find your scope of work and prevailing wage.
  5. Compare your pay records to the prevailing wage rate. You should have received your hourly rate in the form of cash or check payment. You should have received the benefits on a per hour basis for every hour you worked or the cash equivalent added into your paycheck.