Contractors Must Submit Certified Payroll Records on Public Works Projects Starting on August 1, 2016

The Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) recently issued a memorandum indicating that on August 1, 2016, it will resume requiring that contractors on public works construction projects submit certified payroll records (“CPRs”) via the eCPR system.  CPRs are an important enforcement tool for the state and for labor compliance groups in monitoring and enforcing the requirement to pay the prevailing wage on publicly funded construction projects. 

In 2014, the state passed Senate Bill 854 (“SB 854”) to reform prevailing wage compliance procedures.  Among other things, SB 854 requires contractors on public works projects to furnish CPRs to the Labor Commissioner electronically, so they can be accessed by the public and processed more easily by the state.  The requirement to furnish CPRs became applicable to all public works projects (except those exempted from the requirement) as of January 1, 2016. 

Prior to that date, the DIR implemented an electronic system for uploading CPRs to their website, referred to as the “eCPR” system.  However, some contractors reported problems using the eCPR system.  The DIR therefore temporarily halted its enforcement of SB 854’s CPR requirement until they could make additional improvements to the system, as indicated in a March 15, 2016 memorandum.  Contractors were encouraged to continue using the eCPR system while it was being improved (and many did), but were not required to do so.

On July 20, 2016, the DIR issued a new memorandum advising that it will resume enforcing SB 854’s requirement to submit CPRs via the eCPR system as of August 1, 2016.  After that date, contractors may face a penalty for noncompliance.  The improved system will have a simplified form and will direct users to tutorials and guides that provide detailed information and instructions.

Importantly, all other requirements of SB 854 still remain in place, including the requirement to provide CPRs in response to a valid request from the Labor Commissioner, awarding body, or other entity authorized to request such records.  Thus, LMCCs and other compliance personnel may still request CPRs from public works contractors in order to conduct oversight.  SB 854 also requires contractors to register with the DIR in advance of bidding on public works, to register individual public works projects using the PWC-100 form, and to monitor and enforce labor compliance on public works projects. 

Should you have any questions regarding SB 854 or the eCPR system, please contact your labor law counsel. 

By Jolene Kramer | July 27, 2016

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