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All workers employed on public works projects must be paid the prevailing wage determined by the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, according to the type of work and location of the project. 

Public works in general means:

  • Construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid in whole or in part out of public funds.
  • It can include preconstruction and post-construction activities related to a public works project.
  • For a full definition of public works refer to Labor Code section 1720.

Anyone working on a public works project must be paid prevailing wages as determined by DIR. Projects of $30,000 or more must meet DIR's apprenticeship requirements. Failure to comply with public works requirements can result in civil penalties, criminal prosecution, or both.

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For more information and to find exact legal definitions and language please see the Public Works Chapter of the California Labor Code