Assembly Bill 219 - Seeking to Expand Definition of "Public Work" to Include Delivery of Ready-Mix Concrete

Newly introduced AB 219 seeks to amend Labor Code section 1720.3, relating to the definition of "public works."  Existing law defines "public works," for purposes of requirements regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects, to include, among other things, the hauling of refuse from a public works site to an outside disposal location with respect to contracts involving any state agency or any political subdivision of the state. Current law makes a willful violation of law relating to payment of prevailing wages on public works a misdemeanor.

If passed, AB 219 would expand the definition of "public works" to include the delivery of ready-mixed concrete with respect to contracts involving any state agency or any political subdivision of the state.  Accordingly, if AB 219 passes, ready-mix drivers who deliver materials to a jobsite would warrant the payment of prevailing wages.

While the ultimate responsibility for payment of prevailing wages falls on a contractor, if AB 219 passes, it will add an additional issue public entities will need to aware of and keep in mind in light of the public agency's obligation to take cognizance of any apparent violations of the prevailing wage law.  (See Labor Code section 1726.)  While this does not mandate specific actions to seek out violations, knowledge of a failure to pay wages in accordance with this new provision, or generally under the prevailing wage law would trigger the duty to take cognizance and to report the violation to the Department of Industrial Relations.

AB 219 has been referred to the California Assembly's Labor and Employment committee.  The first hearing on the proposed bill was set, but subsequently cancelled at the request of the author. To date, AB 219 remains in the committee process.  AALRR will continue to monitor the status of AB 219 and keep you informed.


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