Does Ohio’s Prevailing Wage Law Apply to Off-Site Fabrication? Stay Tuned.

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

In a case that could have significant implications on construction in Ohio, the Supreme Court of Ohio recently accepted jurisdiction in a case that presents two critical questions:

  1. To what extent does Ohio's Prevailing Wage Law apply to off-site fabrication?
  2. To what extent does a union have standing to bring a prevailing wage complaint over the entire project when the union has received authorization from only select employees?

The case is Sheet Metal Workers' Internatl. Assn., Local Union 33 v. Gene's Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc and arose from the Ninth District Court of Appeals in Medina County. In Gene's Refrigeration, the Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio's Prevailing Wage Law applies to off-site fabrication labor for material "to be used" on a project subject to prevailing wage. Furthermore, the Court of Appeals granted the union standing to file a prevailing wage complaint with respect to the entire project and for violations for all of the contractor’s employees based upon the authorization of a single employee.

Not surprisingly, the case has attracted the attention of various trade organizations, based upon the numerous amicus briefs filed. The roster of those arguing in favor of at least a partial reversal with respect to the off-site fabrication issue includes the Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders & Contractors, and the Ohio Contractors Association.

Going forward, a decision will probably not be rendered for at least a year as the oral argument has not been scheduled yet. In the meantime, if you are doing off-site fabrication work for a prevailing wage job, you will want to keep this case in mind.