The DOL recently recovered $787,000 in back wages for 124 workers who were working on a federally funded project at the Nissan plant in Smyrna. The DOL found those five contractors violated provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts as well as the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. The violation resulted in workers being underpaid and not receiving fringe benefits. Quoted from Nancy J. Leppink, Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division said, “The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is unacceptable, and something we see all too often in industries that employ vulnerable workers and in which we’ve historically found significant wage violations. “To read the full article: click here
Is your company prepared for an audit?
LCPtracker is a system where all subcontractors submit the certified payrolls electronically, where LCPtracker then cross-checks the payroll accuracy of all subcontractors and helps to reduce human error. It will then create a PDF file of all reports to submit electronically to the awarding agency. With this solution, there are numerous reports and proven ways of cross-checking the payroll information to prevent the risk of audit compliance issues.
The Missouri senate has passed legislation that is changing how the minimum wage required for public construction projects is calculated for rural counties. Currently their projects are being calculated based on volunteer surveys collected and submitted by contractors on public work projects. With this bill passing it allows the wage survey to be split between union and non-union wages. Therefore the wages would be set by either Union or Non Union, and more hours of work will be reported. If there were no reports for a current year, the wage would be set by an average of reports from the last six years. For more information on this Associated Press Article: click here Below is a study of projects with prevailing wage vs. projects with out prevailing wage costs.
Studies show that non-prevailing wage states have many additional costs, see below:
- An increase in change orders on construction projects
- Higher maintenance and long-term costs of the project
- Workers’ compensation insurance premiums go unpaid
Increased medical/insurance costs due to higher injury and death rates Overwhelmingly, objective research has demonstrated that states with prevailing wage laws are:
- reducing occupational injury
- increasing the pool of skilled workers
- building better facilities
- reducing long-term maintenance costs
- increasing state revenues with a better-employed and more highly skilled workforce
This new prevailing wage law HB34 will allow the requirement that prevailing wages, (or the average locally-paid trade/craft wages and benefits,) be paid to persons employed on public works projects. This Act will promote fair wages to employees and dissuaded migratory hiring. These benefits are still seen today.
Benefits of Direct Payroll Interface
Written by: Minendra Patel
A Direct Payroll Interface Model is a beneficial tool for uploading employee records with speed and ease. It is an instrument that is custom fit to any given certified payroll, which allows a contractor to upload an unlimited amount of employee records in a matter of minutes. The alternative can be to input hundreds of records, which can take to five minutes per record.This process starts with a certified payroll. With that, we create a custom model that extracts all the necessary information that is required by LCPtracker automatically. It creates a simple, succinct
way to enter information without wasting time for other tasks. The model is beneficial for those contractors that have many employees on their payroll and would like to expedite the process for a small annual fee. It provides a fast, reliable service that could lead to more efficient use of time.
Prevailing wage laws have been instrumental in promoting local economies and creating higher standards of living and a better quality of life for millions of American workers. The study written by Steve Cooper from “Wepartypatriots.com” shows the importance of these laws:
In a recent study, when comparing Kansas with 15 other Plains States, injury rose by 21% after the repeal of the prevailing wage law. After the repeal of the prevailing wage law, Kansas injury rate rose by 11%, apprenticeship- training fell by 38%, and minorities in construction apprenticeship fell by 19%. The facts stated above prove that prevailing wage is a necessity in construction. Prevailing wage helps promote safety, workforce development neglect, and protection against abusive wage practices. As well as help to organize construction-bidding competition around quality, productivity and efficiency without worrying about wages.
In order to maintain the correct prevailing wage rates and monitor all employees to verify if prevailing wages are being paid and enforced, there are electronic labor compliance software systems such as LCPtracker. LCPtracker works to help reduce the risk of audit by checking all wage rates and labor requirements on every construction project
The Importance of an Electronic Signature
By: Benjamin Quirarte
When working with LCPtracker most of our information is electronic and web based. For this reason having an electronic signature is necessary. This avoids having to waste paper and time in printing documents and physically signing those documents. This would totally defeat the purpose of the whole paperless trend and movement that is currently in effect. Instead a series of key entries such as a password would be created to replace this procedure; hence the name electronic signature which in essence is a date stamp along with the code allowing a specific person to submit payroll. Another instance when the electronic signature is used is when submitting documents. Before the system authorizes something to be placed on our system it asks for that validation, again in order to have a stamp and information on who has done these changes to the actual document.
In essence an electronic signature is like a fingerprint because it is something only one person can use and also is unique to that particular person. The similarities between an electronic signature and a fingerprint are that both are nontransferable. Only the person that creates the electronic signature can recall what that signature is, there is no way for the user or the support team to retrieve that electronic signature. Much like a fingerprint, the electronic signature is not something to share.
In technical terms the electronic signature is something the user sets up individually and is never asked by the support team at LCPtracker. When the user either misplaces or forgets that electronic signature, the individual can create a new one. The process is very basic: first start off by logging into LCPtracker then going to the tab SETUP; once in that menu the option to edit an electronic signature will be on the bottom left. Once in that screen the instructions are fairly easy to follow, simply type in a password that is at least eight characters with a capital letter and a lower case letter. Type in that electronic signature twice, to make sure that the characters are the same and hit save on the button at the bottom. That is how an electronic signature is created and/or modified.
Companies like LCPtracker offer an electronic monitoring system to process Davis-Bacon certified payrolls and has the function of Electronic Signature. The software is kept up-to-date with prevailing wage rates, and will notify all parties involved of any violation. These combined tools will help reduce the risk of a DOL audit.
For more information click here:
The Energy department has offered $15 Million for innovations in U.S Solar Manufacturing. This large investment will confirm the future standardization of solar systems in the United States. Two projects recently announced are creating an infrastructure for a new generation of clean energy and providing research opportunities for minority students on DOE projects. To learn more read the full article:
As energy programs gain government funding to improve the nation’s sources of renewable resources, more opportunities for energy-related construction are made available. LCPtracker provides a total prevailing wage labor compliance software tool to monitor and check certified payrolls and prevailing wage requirements. The software can reduce administrative hours by 50 to 80 percent, depending on how many reports are utilized, as well as eliminate storage costs of certified payrolls. Thus, with LCPtracker you can dramatically reduce the risk of audit failure or potential employee payroll restitutions.
Customer Service – How LCPtracker Support Can Help You
by Stacey Doll
Did you know LCPtracker has several tools available to assist you besides calling or emailing our support staff? We have videos you can watch 24/7 when you log in with your user id as well as training documents that can walk you through issues you may be having. All free and available to you as a user of LCPtracker; just log in and click on the eTraining link at the top of your screen. We can even do personalized trainings (small fee).
Besides the eTraining 24/7 videos or the training documents, LCPtracker currently offers webinars for Contractors, Administrators, and Prime Approvers. NOTE: The Prime Approvers class is a special class designed for accounts that have had that feature turned on. If you do not know if you have this feature, please ask one of our Support Staff.
For Contractors, we currently offer a repeated webinar training class three times a week – Tuesdays at 9:00am and Thursdays at 7:30am and 11:00am all times Pacific Standard Time, if not on the West Coast be sure to adjust to your time zones. Here is a conversion site: http://www.onlineconversion.com/timezone.php . Our trainers will lead you through the use of LCPtracker from entering your employees into the system, to uploading any required edocuments, to entering payroll records and how to certify through the system so that your project administrator can see them.
For Administrators, we currently offer an Administrative Overview (Mondays); Project Owner/Administrator Overview of Standard Reports (Wednesday) and Project Owner Prevailing Wage Class (Wednesday). For exact dates please log into your account and see the schedule.
Administrators receive an in-depth training upon start-up of their agency account. These webinars are meant as refreshers or for new users that just need a little understanding on how to use LCPtracker.
After you have done any of the above training options and if you still have an issue, you need assistance from Support Staff who is available M-F from 5am to 5pm PST. To better serve you each and every time you contact support either by phone or email, please always have ready:
- Your name
- Your call back phone number
- Your User ID, and if you have several agencies you are working for, please be sure to state which agency it is that you need assistance with
- What the issue is
A recent Procurement Instruction Letter (PIL) sent to all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) organizations, encouraged the use of an electronic, commercially available system to process and submit Davis-Bacon certified payrolls to the government. The Davis-Bacon Act requires contractors performing on federally funded and federally assisted construction contracts to submit weekly payroll statements to the Contracting Officer. Use of electronic software to process the weekly Davis-Bacon Act requirements creates greater accuracy and efficiencies in reporting for both the contractor and the government. This applies to all solicitations and subsequent contracts subject to Davis-Bacon Act requirements with a value greater than $5 million, or a period of performance greater than 1 year.
The President’s Budget for the 2013 fiscal year includes $4.731 billion in funding for the Civil Works program of the USACE. Under this funding, the construction program will receive $1.57 billion to use towards the highest performing economic, environmental and public safety investment projects. The Budget will fund about 100 construction projects, consisting of 11 dam safety and correction projects, 59 other continuing projects, and various other maintenance projects.
For more information on the complete breakdown of the President’s Budget, see full article.
Companies like LCPtracker offer an electronic monitoring system to process Davis-Bacon certified payrolls. This helps to create more accurate reports for the contractor and government. LCPtracker flags any errors or discrepancies that may be on the contractor’s report, thus giving the contractor immediate feedback of any violations. The software is kept up-to-date with prevailing wage rates, and will notify all parties involved of any violation.
Over 50 standard reports come with the system, including workforce analysis, certified payroll, summary of contractor’s activity, site audits, and apprentice utilization. In addition, reports can be tailored and exported for your own use.
LCPtracker will be implementing a new blog series this year, “The Staff Corner.” Each month one staff member will submit an article highlighting relevant industry news or their expertise within the labor compliance industry. Check back each month for new articles!
When Change is Good
by Carson McDougald
Certified Payrolls have traditionally been completed by hand with the hope that all requirements and laws will be accurately recorded once submitted. With a hand-written report, there can be multiple errors or other problems that only an auditor will catch on close inspection. If the person filling out the report is not up-to-date on all laws, both mathematical and legal problems can slip through unnoticed.
To eliminate the possibility of having these problems go too long unnoticed, it is best to use an electronic method. Using LCPtracker to input your payroll information is a tool to help streamline the reporting process thus speeding up accuracy, meaning you will get paid sooner. The advantage of using the tracker is immediacy; you will know if you are paying correctly or not, which can eliminate the issue of not getting payment if issues arise. LCPtracker goes through various validation checks when you enter your data incorrectly or need to make restitution. This means that you will know immediately if something is incorrect, instead of finding out weeks later.
Another big advantage is to quantify all the data to be able to run reports. Why submit data if you are unable to qualify the data because it is all on paper, resulting in other issues of inaccuracy due to poor handwriting? When filling out the payroll, each field can be used to help cross check with other reports. For example, the system can tell you the ratio between Journeymen and Apprentices or all hours worked by Apprentices broken down by crafts. LCPtracker is a great tool to make sure everyone is following prevailing wage rules.
Why do we need to use this software instead of the old way of submitting paper certified payrolls? This is a common question when it comes to change. Change can be scary at first because it is new and the traditional way is comfortable. It is best to embrace change, however. Where were you before the internet or the cell phone? I cannot imagine going without a cell phone for more than a day; so change can be good.
California Prevailing Wage Law: Wages Established By Geographic Region
In California, prevailing wage rates are also established by geographic region. California has statewide rates, rates for large geographic regions, (i.e. Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego) and wage rates determined by counties. Generally there are about a dozen craft classifications established on a statewide basis. Ironworker is the most common classification used here. However, in the last few years the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has placed wage determinations for Metal Roofing and for Dump Truck and Concrete Trucks in the statewide determination category. However, once you select that classification on the DIR website, you still need to select the county in which the contractor is working to get the correct rate.
If a classification is not found in the statewide rate section on the website, then most likely the major trades are found under the regional headings. Major trades include Laborer, Cement Mason, Carpenters, Teamster, etc. Even when California establishes a “statewide” or “regional” rate, the rates are still broken down by count Finally, specialty trades are issued on a county by county basis. Crafts such as Bricklayer, Roofer, Electrician, Sheet Metal Workers, etc. can be found in the county determination.Knowing how to identify the correct prevailing wage rate is an important factor. Many contractors wrongly assume that the wage rate they are paying for work performed on one project is the same wage rate they are to pay on a neighboring project.
The information above is brought to you by: Deborah Wilder’s “What Every Contractor Should Know About Prevailing Wages”