By: Brittany Flaherty Theis
The Prevailing Wage Act governs the rights and responsibilities of the Illinois Department of Labor, public bodies, and contractors as it relates to the wages paid to any workers employed in performing any public works by any public body. (820 ILCS 130/1 et seq.) Recent amendments to the Prevailing Wage Act became effective June 1, 2019. A few of those amendments are highlighted below.
As of June 1, public bodies are no longer required to approve an annual prevailing wage resolution. This is a change for public bodies that are used to approving resolutions or ordinances each summer to “investigate and ascertain” the prevailing rate of wages for workers employed in construction projects on behalf of public bodies. Many such public bodies would incorporate prevailing wage rates published by the Illinois Department of Labor into their annual resolutions or ordinances. Previously, public bodies were also required to file their resolutions or ordinances with the Illinois Department of Labor, as well as provide public notice through publication in a local newspaper. In recent years, that public notice requirement could be satisfied by publication on a public bodies’ website.
Under the amended Prevailing Wage Act, however, the Illinois Department of Labor will ascertain, and publish on its website, the prevailing wage rates for each county by July 15 of each year. Public bodies do not need to adopt resolutions or pass ordinances ascertaining the prevailing rates for wages in their locality. They also do not need to publish notice because the Illinois Department of Labor will be ascertaining and publishing the prevailing wage rates for each locality.
That said, public bodies awarding any contract for public work must still specify in the call for bids, the bid specifications, and the contract that not less than the prevailing rate of wages must be paid to all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing work under the contract ultimately awarded.
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