Virginia Prevailing Wage Law (state)
The Virginia Prevailing Wage Law, which takes effect May 1, 2021, provides that construction workers on certain state projects are entitled to the locally prevailing wage, which is comprised of a basic hourly rate and fringe benefits rate. Examples of covered projects include government facilities and public roads.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Virginia Prevailing Wage Law?
The Virginia Prevailing Wage Law was signed into law on April 22, 2020, and will take effect on May 1, 2021. The law was designed for the benefit of blue-collar construction workers. The law prevents cut-throat bidding in public procurement from eroding local area wages and benefits. The law protects wages and benefits by requiring that contractors and subcontractors on certain state projects pay construction workers at least the locally going rate, known as the prevailing wage.
Which projects does the law cover?
The Virginia Prevailing Wage Law applies to state construction projects valued at over $250,000. Examples of covered projects include government facilities and public roads.
Source: HB 833 (to be codified at VA Code § 2.2-4321.3)
Which workers are entitled to the prevailing wage?
Construction workers (e.g., plumbers, carpenters, painters, operating engineers, insulators, sheet metal workers, ironworkers, electricians, laborers, etc.).
What is the prevailing wage?
Unlike Maryland’s prevailing wage law which requires the state department of labor to determine the pay rates for each job classification, Virginia’s law relies on the prevailing wage rates produced by the U.S. Department of Labor under the federal Davis-Bacon Act. Such rates are available at beta.sam.gov. Contractors must post the rates in a prominent and easily accessible place or at any place used by the contractor or subcontractor to pay workers their wages.
What should I do if my employer is not paying me the proper prevailing wage rate?
The Virginia Prevailing Wage Law will take effect on May 1, 2021.
The Virginia Prevailing Wage Law gives workers two options: (1) You may file a complaint for backpay with the Commissioner of Labor, or (2) you can take your complaint straight to court and request backpay, treble damages, and attorney’s fees. Moreover, in certain circumstances, if your employer is unable to pay, you may hold the general contractor on the project accountable.
Sources: HB 833 (to be codified at VA Code § 2.2-4321.3); HB 123 (to be codified at VA Code § 40.1-29); S. 838 (to be codified at VA Code § 11-4.6)
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