- NYS Prevailing Wage Law: Understanding the Compliance Requirements
- How to Guide for Completing the Certified Payroll Report on Prevailing Wage Jobs
I have payroll form so all I need to do is fill in the blanks, right?! How hard could it be? Sounds easy, but many contractors and subcontractors do not complete the payroll correctly or fully. It matters because a failure to do so can put your entire operation at risk because if your payroll gets kicked back you run the risk of missing the current payment cycle and that means waiting another 30 days for your money. Meanwhile, you are already out-of-pocket the weekly wages and benefits you have paid to your workers.
So here is what you need to know. The certified payroll report (“CPR”) swears to the public agency and the general contractor that the right prevailing wages were paid to the listed workers for all hours worked upon the public works project. You are swearing that the CPR lists all the workers, that they actually received the listed wages and benefits (without impermissible deductions), that the hours listed were those that they actually worked on the projects in the specific trade or classification, that if there is an approved fringe benefit plan that the wages have or will be paid to that plan, that any apprentices listed are enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program and that you do not have more apprentices permitted by the journeyman to apprentice ratio.
So, what are the CPR basics:
- You are required to submit them weekly
- You must include all the specified information on whatever payroll form you are using. Generally, the specific form is not mandated to be used as long as all the required information is submitted. My recommendation would be to use the form familiar to the agency that you are working with. Here is a link to the New York City form, https://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/Certified_Payroll_Report_formfillable_2019.pdf. Here is a link to the New York State form, https://online.ogs.ny.gov/purchase/spg/pdfdocs/2060023063PW12DOLPayrollForm.pdf. Here is a link to the Federal Davis-Bacon Form, WH-347, https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/wh347.pdf.
- You must submit a signed “Statement of Compliance” indicating that the payrolls are correct and complete and that each laborer or mechanic has been paid not less than the proper prevailing wage rate for the work performed. Remember that the definition includes both the wage and fringe benefit component.
- Once you submit your first payroll, you must submit payroll every week even if you do no work in a week. A ‘no work” payroll is simply a payroll that contains the project information, the number for the weekly submission and a statement that there was “No Work.”
- CPRs are sworn statements. Some CPRs indicate the information is subject to the penalties provided by 18 U.S.C. 1001, False Statements Act, namely, a fine, possible imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both. Accordingly, the party signing this statement should have knowledge of the facts represented as true.
Here is generally how to complete the information requested on a CPR (omitting those boxes which are self-explanatory):
- Payroll No.: Beginning with the number “1”, list the payroll number for the submission.
- Name and Individual Identifying Number of Worker: Enter each worker’s full name and an individual identifying number (e.g., last four digits of worker’s social security number) on each weekly payroll submitted. If you use an employer generated number you must maintain a separate list with the worker’s name and social security number.
- Work Classifications: List classification descriptive of work actually performed by each laborer or mechanic. Consult classification and prevailing wage schedule set forth in contract specifications. If additional classifications are deemed necessary, you should contact the appropriate fiscal officer to determine if a wage rate should be established. If a classification does not appear on a schedule, you cannot simply pay what you wish. An individual may be shown as having worked in more than one classification provided an accurate breakdown or hours worked in each classification is maintained and shown on the submitted payroll by use of separate entries.
- Hours worked: List the day and date and straight time and overtime hours worked in the applicable boxes. Pay attention to the prevailing practices included in the wage schedules.
- Rate of Pay (Including Fringe Benefits): In the “straight time” box for each worker, list the actual hourly rate paid for straight time worked, plus cash paid in lieu of fringe benefits paid. When recording the straight time hourly rate, any cash paid in lieu of fringe benefits may be shown separately from the basic rate. For example, “$12.25/.40” would reflect a $12.25 base hourly rate plus $0.40 for fringe benefits. This is of assistance in correctly computing overtime. See “Fringe Benefits” below. When overtime is worked, show the overtime hourly rate paid plus any cash in lieu of fringe benefits paid in the “overtime” box for each worker; otherwise, you may skip this box. See “Fringe Benefits” below. In addition to paying no less than the predetermined rate for the classification which an individual works, the contractor must pay amounts predetermined as fringe benefits in the wage decision made part of the contract to approved fringe benefit plans, funds or programs or shall pay as cash in lieu of fringe benefits.
- Gross Amount Earned: Enter gross amount earned on this project. If part of a worker’s weekly wage was earned on projects other than the project described on this payroll, enter first the amount earned on the Federal or Federally assisted project and then the gross amount earned during the week on all projects, thus “$163.00/$420.00” would reflect the earnings of a worker who earned $163.00 on a prevailing wage construction project during a week in which $420.00 was earned on all work.
- Deductions: Show deductions made; show actual total under “Total Deductions” column; and in the attachment to the payroll describe the deduction(s) contained in the “Other” column. All deductions must be in accordance with the provisions of the Copeland Act Regulations, 29 C.F.R., Part 3. If an individual worked on other jobs in addition to this project, show actual deductions from his/her weekly gross wage, and indicate that deductions are based on his gross wages.
- Fringe Benefits: Contractors who pay all required fringe benefits: If paying all fringe benefits to approved plans, funds, or programs in amounts not less than were determined in the applicable prevailing wage schedule, show the basic cash hourly rate and overtime rate paid to each worker on the face of the payroll and be sure to complete any statements indicating that the remainder is paid to an approved fund.
If you would like to know more, kindly reach out to Lorraine D’Angelo, LDA Compliance Consulting, Inc. (914) 548-6369 or by email, email@example.com.