Oakland, CA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) today launched an online application for public works contractors to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 854. SB 854, which became effective June 20, establishes a new public works program to replace the Compliance Monitoring Unit and Labor Compliance Program requirements for bond-funded and other public works projects.
The new program will cover all public works in the state rather than just selected categories of projects. The Labor Commissioner's Office will continue to monitor and enforce prevailing wage requirements.
"DIR always looks for ways we can improve our services. This new online system for public works contractors and agencies makes it easier and faster to meet their legal requirements," said DIR Director Christine Baker. The Labor Commissioner's Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), is a division of DIR.
Contractors must register and meet requirements using the new online application before bidding on public works contracts in California. The application also provides agencies that administer public works programs with a searchable database of qualified contractors.
"The new system levels the playing field for the public works community. We want California taxpayers to know that we are committed to ensuring only responsible and qualified contractors are competing for public works contracts," said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.
Contractors' requirements include that they maintain workers' compensation coverage for all employees and only hire subcontractors who are registered public works contractors. They must also hold a Contractors State License Board license, if required for their trade.
In addition, contractors must not be debarred from working on public works by the state or federal government and have no delinquent wage or penalty assessments due to any enforcement agency or employee. Once registration becomes mandatory early next year, contractors will also be subject to penalties for bidding or working on public works without being registered with DIR.
Using any internet-connected computer, public works contractors can create an account, pay the fee and complete the application securely, at their convenience. Application and renewal is completed entirely online with a non-refundable fee of $300.
Agencies that administer public works projects may select from a pool of qualified contractors. They will no longer be charged fees for prevailing wage compliance monitoring and enforcement. Additional information on SB 854 and the new public works program is available on DIR's website.
Among its wide-ranging enforcement responsibilities, the Labor Commissioner's office inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.
The most recent information related to California labor law is available on the Labor Commissioner's website as well as on Facebook and Twitter pages. "Wage Theft is a Crime", a multilingual campaign initiated statewide earlier this year, provides detail on how to identify and report wage theft, retaliation and other labor law violations.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may also call the toll-free California Workers' Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish.
SOURCE: Department of Industrial Relations, California Labor CommissionerCopyright 2014 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved