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The Prevailing Wage Act, 820 ILCS 130 et seq., requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers, workers, and mechanics employed on public works projects “no less than the general prevailing hourly rate as paid for work of a similar character in the locality in which the work is performed.”  Last week, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 3120 into law which changed Section 9 of the Prevailing Wage Act.  The change is effective immediately.

Section 9 requires each public body to investigate and ascertain the prevailing rates of wages each June and publicly post or keep them available for inspection by any interested party in the main office of such body. A public body ostensibly may independently investigate and determine the prevailing rates of wages, but that is rarely done for reasons beyond the scope of this discussion.  More frequently, public bodies merely adopt the prevailing wage rates as determined by the Illinois Department of Labor after it conducts an investigation.  Regardless, after the prevailing wage rates have been determined or adopted by a public body, the public body must publish notice of the same in a newspaper of general circulation and promptly mail a copy of the determination to any employer, any association of employers, any employee or any association of employees who have filed their names requesting copies of any determination.

HB 3120 amends the above newspaper publication requirements by providing that if “the Department of Labor ascertains the prevailing rate of wages for a public body, the public body may satisfy the newspaper publication requirement . . . by posting on the public body’s website a notice of its determination with a hyperlink to the prevailing wage schedule that is published on the official website of the Department of Labor.”  Note, HB 3120 does not allow a public body to forego its obligation to mail a copy of the determination to any employer, any association of employers, any employee or any association of employees who have filed their names requesting copies of any determination; therefore, public bodies should continue this practice.

This amendment will allow every local government that has a website to save money by avoiding the costly expense of newspaper publication.

The Department of Labor’s Prevailing Wage Rate Schedule is here for all Illinois counties: https://www.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/CONMED/Pages/Rates.aspx

 

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