California Department of Industrial Relations Announces Public Works Enforcement Task Force

On May 18, 2010, the California Department of Industrial Relations issued a press release announcing it filed this week proposed regulations to establish a "Compliance Monitoring Unit" or "CMU," the stated purpose of which is "ensuring compliance with the State's prevailing wage laws on public works projects in California." According to the the press release, "[t]he CMU will review certified payroll records, verify that workers on the projects are paid the correct rate of pay for the work performed, and will enforce compliance with pay, overtime, record keeping and hours limitation requirements." The press release states the CMU is expected to be operational this August after the proposed regulations are approved.

In light of this development, employers working on construction projects funded in whole or in part by public funds should consider taking steps to ensure they are complying with applicable public works law and regulations. Penalties for non-compliance can be substantial and can include a contractor being barred from working on public works projects in the future.

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