|Posted:||February 17, 2022 04:54 PM|
|From:||Representative Nick Pisciottano|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing the Prevailing Wage Co-Enforcement Program|
|Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act ensures workers on public projects receive fair compensation and and prevents a race to the bottom on publicly-funded contracts. Prevailing wage also produces good value for taxpayers so that Pennsylvanians can trust that that their schools, government buildings, and other public institutions are built and staffed by a well-trained, qualified, and well-paid workforce. However, all of these benefits are only realized if employers follow the law.
The Department of Labor and Industry enforces all 13 of the Commonwealth’s labor and employment laws, including the Prevailing Wage Act. In 2021, the Department’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance determined more than 8,500 prevailing rate violations and returned more than $1 million to workers who were not paid what they earned under the law. However, the Bureau is limited to reviewing only a small percentage of the total auditable projects throughout the state every year. In many cases, the bad actors who are violating labor laws are known in the communities in which they operate, but they can sometimes violate the law for many years before the Department can perform a full investigation.
In order to enhance the Department’s ability to catch and hold bad actors accountable, I am proposing legislation to create the Prevailing Wage Co-Enforcement Program. This program will train qualified volunteers to inspect public work project sites and provide reports back to the Bureau for further investigation. Similar programs have been successfully operated in other states. This program will provide the Bureau with additional resources to identify violations of the Prevailing Wage Act in a more efficient and effective manner at very little cost to the taxpayer.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this cost-efficient initiative to prevent wage theft, curtail violations of labor law, and create better oversight that protects Pennsylvania workers and taxpayers.
Introduced as HB2364