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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2024 04:24 PM
From: Representative Jason Dawkins and Rep. Eric Davanzo, Rep. Joe Webster
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Split Rates & Providing for Custom Fabrication on Public Works Projects
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation aimed at restoring the integrity of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act by addressing two major issues: split rates and custom fabrication.

The prevailing wage law was enacted to level the playing field for contractors bidding on public works construction projects. The law requires that the local prevailing wages for each construction craft be paid on such projects. Nearly all public construction projects are awarded on a low bid basis. The prevailing wage requirement is intended to prevent low bid contractors from gaining a competitive advantage by paying workers less.

The Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act requires the Secretary of Labor and Industry to determine the prevailing wage rate for all jobs on a construction project. Some contractors circumvent the law by paying "split rates". A split rate occurs when the same worker is paid two different rates (one higher, one lower) for the same job on the same day. Our legislation simply prohibits this practice. Enactment of this legislation will serve to restore the intent of the law as well as to ensure that workers are paid appropriately on publicly funded projects.

Additionally, our legislation ensures that custom fabrication work done away from a main job site will receive the prevailing wage rate on a public works project. This will update the Prevailing Wage Act, closing a loophole that that currently results in many high-skill tradespeople receiving below-prevailing wages. When custom fabrication of electrical, mechanical, ornamental iron work, plumbing and HVAC components must be done off-site we must assure that these workers are paid the prevailing wage like their on-site counterparts.

Please join us in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2153