Prevailing Wage Expanded

Kegler Brown Construction Alert

Governor Strickland and the Ohio Department of Commerce have announced changes to Ohio’s prevailing wage law, which becomes effective October 15. The new guidelines provide that when a public entity provides funding – no matter how limited – prevailing wages are triggered for the entire project, even if it is largely privately financed. The guidelines also provide that if public funds are used to support infrastructure improvements on private land within six (6) months of privately funded construction, the entire project is subject to prevailing wage. Loans, grants and bonds are considered “public funds” for triggering prevailing wage, but tax abatements are not.

Contractors and subcontractors are encouraged to inquire further as to whether a project is indeed subject to prevailing wages or not, rather than make presumptions based upon how these matters were normally handled in the past. Owners and developers are cautioned to consider the cost/benefit results of receiving any public funds, and to seek a determination from the Department of Commerce (in advance) as to whether prevailing wages are required in the event of a close call.