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After a nearly two-year wait, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) recently announced an update to the prevailing wage rates.  The new rates are effective for work performed on public works projects on or after June 5, 2017.

The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (“Wage Act”) requires IDOL to investigate and ascertain the prevailing rate of wages for each county in the State on an annual basis in June of each year.  In addition to this annual determination, IDOL may also, in its discretion, revise the prevailing rate of wages from time to time. Both the annual determination and any subsequent revisions are typically posted on the IDOL website, and in years past the most recently ascertained rates have been posted (whether updated or not) on a monthly basis.  However, before this recent announcement, the prevailing wage rates had remained unchanged since July 2015.

In June of each year, public bodies must determine the prevailing wage rates paid to laborers, mechanics and other workers employed on public works projects in the county in which work on behalf of the public body may be performed.  If you have already adopted a prevailing wage ordinance using the July 2015 rates, no further action is required at this time.  However, it is imperative that you include language in your bid specifications, contracts and purchase orders notifying bidders, contractors and subcontractors of the possibility of periodic revisions to the prevailing wage rates and notifying them of their responsibility for determining the applicable wage rate both at the time of bid submission and during the performance of any of the work in question.

If you have not yet passed your annual prevailing wage ordinance for 2017 and you plan to adopt the determination made by IDOL, you should utilize the newly revised rates. The new rates can be accessed here: https://www.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/CONMED/Pages/Rates.aspx

As a final reminder, please remember that once adopted, a certified copy of your prevailing wage ordinance must be filed with IDOL no later than July 15, 2017; you must publicly post or keep available for inspection a copy of the ordinance in your main office; and you must publish notice of your determination in a newspaper of general circulation within 30 days of filing the certified copy of your ordinance with IDOL.

Please note that H.B. 3120, which passed both houses and was sent to the Governor on May 25, 2017, would eliminate the newspaper publication requirement if a public body posts a notice of its determination on the public body’s website with a hyperlink to the prevailing wage schedule for that locality that is posted on IDOL’s official website.  Governor Rauner has 60 days to sign or return H.B. 3120.  If the bill is not signed or returned within 60 days, it will become law.  We will provide further updates on the status of H.B. 3120 as information becomes available.  But remember that until such time as H.B. 3120 becomes law, the newspaper publication requirement referenced above remains in effect.