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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to gather some information regarding working on a prevailing wage job in northern NJ.

I haven't worked many prevailing wage jobs so was hoping I could get some answers from those who have experience and knowledge.

The company I work for was subcontracted to work at a corporation campus in northern New Jersey installing walkways/sidewalks. Long story short the crew foreman was on a bender the 1 week we worked on the project before being thrown off. The GC rejected the work.

The following week our boss informed us that we would not be paid prevailing wage since the work performed was rejected and we were thrown off the project. He said he did not have to submit payroll or anything for the job thus why we were not being paid prevailing wage. He said he was allowed to do this since it was not a state/city job but rather a private project. He ended up paying us our regular wage in cash for hours worked. He also never really gave us a definitive answer of what the prevailing wage was to begin with and eventually told us it was $19 for laborers and $24 for the foreman.

First off, are there different prevailing wages for private vs state/city jobs or do all prevailing wage jobs use the prevailing wages listed in the PDF files on the New Jersey department of labor website?

Secondly, is it true that my company did not have to file payroll for the week we worked and thus was not required to pay the prevailing wage?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. If any more information is needed or clarification just ask and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Thank you
 

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If what you are talking about is what the government says the hourly wage is, then as stated, you need to call the government to see what you are worth or what someone is supposedly worth per hour.
 

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Prevailing wage jobs are by definition jobs on government property, or contracted by the government, where all employees are paid a wage comparable to the prevailing union labor rate.

You were not on a prevailing wage work site.

Sorry

Thread Closed
 

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Of course, the main problem is that neither the state or federal "prevailing wages" actually prevail. for example, the exact same workers doing the exact same asbestos abatement work get say $15 per hour on a non-prevailing wage job and close to $50 per hour on a "prevailing wage" job. Now you know one reason schools spend so much and still often have lousy buildings.
 

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Of course, the main problem is that neither the state or federal "prevailing wages" actually prevail. for example, the exact same workers doing the exact same asbestos abatement work get say $15 per hour on a non-prevailing wage job and close to $50 per hour on a "prevailing wage" job. Now you know one reason schools spend so much and still often have lousy buildings.
School jobs I've seen current prevailing wage burden to employer is from $80-$106/hr.

Lousy buildings? With the DSA, Architect & Engineers schools are built like the proverbial brick chit house....:whistling
 

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It doesn't sound like prevailing wage was a requirement of the project, only a request by the owner. Try a search for prevailing wage. Most states post prevailing wages by county. I know in Illinois it changes monthly. Not by much. Also there is a difference in some jobs. Finishin concrete out in the open is considered "heavy highway" rate. Finishing concrete within a closed perimeter is considered "finisher rate." Which is lower than heavy highway. Also prevailing wage is different if you have to be compensated for benefits. Up to $6 per hour in some cases.
I believe Carpenter SFO is right. You were promised a certain rate for the job. Once the job was finshed you were paid a different rate. The difference is where your case it.
I am not an expert in prevailing wage. I could easily be wrong. It's happened before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses.

I have worked parks and recs jobs in NYC before and have been paid $80-100/hr. I've worked other state jobs in NJ and have been paid in the $40-60/hr. I've done a project at NSA and was paid a prevailing wage.

That's why I was asking for clarification if anyone had experience working on a private contract job where the contract called for the contractor to pay a prevailing wage.

I had thought about calling the DOL but was unsure if they would have the answers or information being it was not a state/city job and was a private job.

I just don't trust my employer in this situation. A couple of the other guys were under the impression the prevailing wage for the type of work we were doing would be the state listed wages for prevailing wage on the NJ DOL website ($44-60 depending on job title). It was not until we were booted from the job and our boss told us we would not be paid a prevailing wage that we were confused and unsure of the entire situation.

He claims he wasn't required to submit payroll whatsoever for the job even though we were there for a week. He said he was doing us a favor by paying us our regular wage vs the "prevailing wage" the project required. We were also told they tore up all the work we had performed but I later found out from an acquaintance from another company that ended up finishing the project that they didn't tear anything up and just fixed the areas that weren't completed correctly. He said the main problem was undulation and not having straight edges.

Would contacting the GC for the job site be the best way to get the answer or would I have to contact some department of the corporation we worked at to find out the information regarding wages?
 

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He wouldn't be required to submit payroll because that is a requirement of PW sensu stricto. I think you just need a new job or new boss. Contacting the GC or the Corp probably won't accomplish anything, because they have better things to do than interject themselves into a squabble among the landscapers.

Your only alternatives are:
1) Small claims court, where you will have to prove your assertions
2) Dept. of Labor, where you will have to offer some evidence
3) Give up, cause you lost

I actually see #3 as the only viable choice, because you have no way to prove what you say
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He wouldn't be required to submit payroll because that is a requirement of PW sensu stricto. I think you just need a new job or new boss. Contacting the GC or the Corp probably won't accomplish anything, because they have better things to do than interject themselves into a squabble among the landscapers.

Your only alternatives are:
1) Small claims court, where you will have to prove your assertions
2) Dept. of Labor, where you will have to offer some evidence
3) Give up, cause you lost

I actually see #3 as the only viable choice, because you have no way to prove what you say
That's pretty much what I figured.

I do have evidence since hotel, equipment, and food purchases were put on my credit card. I also have a corresponding email to payroll submitting the hours worked for everyone on the job for the week we were there.

Probably isn't worth the time and effort to continue pursuing the truth about this particular job
 

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The job wasn't done correctly, y'all were kicked off the job, so I'm sure your boss didn't get paid by the GC. Consider yourself lucky you got paid at all. If you pursue this, you'll lose you job, for sure.

Sounds like you might need to be looking for a new job anyway.
 

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^^^ thats what im seeing here. your crew screwed up. even if they didnt have to completely tear it out.....they had to fix your crews work. just to remove myself from the BS, id have done the same. but you would have been fired as well for complaining. "you screwed up, but heres some cash for trying. I now need to get someone else to finish/fix your work."

am I seeing this wrong? I wouldnt expect ANY pay if I screwed up and was kicked off a job. I would hope to god that I wouldnt be sued for the costs to fix it....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My boss was an idiot and took on this project against my advice and others. He flew in the foreman from across the country without ever meeting him previously. When I picked him up from the airport he was ****faced and the drinking didn't stop the entire week. Me and one other employee even called our boss to ask WTF situation he put us in with this joke being the foreman.

My boss had never, ever in his life done this type of work (it was a running track like walkway/sidewalk not concrete) and thought he could make a quick buck. His ineptitude has nothing to do with my work. I was only responsible for making the mix as there were 3 different positions and different payscales for each. I wasn't about to take over being the screed man and performing the duties of the drunkard he flew in.

We were also the 3rd company that had been brought in to finish the work as the original contractor was kicked off the site by the GC for missing deadlines continually (project was 6 months over the deadline) and the 2nd company that came in left after a week cause they didn't want to deal with the mess the original contractor left.

We actually had to cut out about 20% of the work that was completed and fix it before we started to finish the unfinished area.

It was my conclusion that the GC was pissed off at the original contractor because of missed deadlines and whatever else went on beforehand. Think he was at wits end and wanted to be a tough ass. Is what it is. I would have never agreed to go out of state for this project if I had known the actual specifics which is why I took the position with the least responsibility. My boss brought in a screw up so I was going to let him sleep in the bed he made. Wasn't going to try saving his ass when I was pretty much losing out on money by being there in the first place.

Also my boss wouldn't fire me. He would lose more money by doing that cause the work I do for him would cost him 100% more by subcontracting it out and I am the only person capable of doing what I do in the company at this point in time. Its a very specialized field and only a few reputable companies so they charge an arm and leg for their work.

Its either pay me $60k or end up spending about $100k to sub it out
 

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Certain gov't financing may come with a prevailing wage requirement, even if the property is privately owned. I could be wrong.

I was the roof replacement sub for a rehab project a couple years ago where the early talk was of prevailing wage. There was a lot of gov't money behind the financing. Ultimately it was not prevailing wage. But this experience is why I consider it possible.
 
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