Provided by the California State Senate
Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) is pleased to announce that SB 776, strengthening existing workplace and labor protections for workers throughout California, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today.
SB 776 protects the wages and fringe benefits of workers on public works projects by clarifying the requirements for bona fide fringe benefits. Specifically, this important bill closes loopholes in prevailing wage law by clarifying that contractor payments for monitoring and enforcing laws related to public works cannot count as a credit towards a contractor’s obligation to pay prevailing wages, if payments are inconsistent with federal law.
Federal and state prevailing wage laws ensure competent workers for public works by preventing public works contractors from importing low cost unskilled or low skilled labor from other areas to undercut the local skilled labor market.
Some employers use “contract compliance committees” and claim that those groups meet prevailing wage requirements. Unfortunately, only management participates in these committees while excluding workers; these employer committees appear more focused on attempting to repeal prevailing wage laws instead of complying with existing prevailing wage regulations.
“I thank Governor Brown for signing SB 776, since it closes two loopholes in state law that allow certain employers to dodge the actual intent of prevailing wage laws—to protect trained and qualified workers and their public works projects,” Senator Corbett said. “This critical bill stops unscrupulous contractors from paying their workers less than prevailing wage and ensures that we codify these much needed worker protections in state law.”
SB 776 is sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and supported by the California Labor Federation/AFL-CIO, California State Association of Electrical Workers, California State Pipe Trades Council and Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers.