Oregon Prevailing Wages laws & HR compliance analysis

Oregon Prevailing Wages: What you need to know

A prevailing wage is a rate of pay determined by government authorities to be the norm in a particular geographic area for a given class of labor and type of project. Prevailing wage determinations are made using local data and are equivalent to union rates in most areas. Prevailing minimum wages, on the other hand, tend to track statutory minimum wages in a geographic area.
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To give organized labor a fair chance when bidding for government contracts, federal law requires all employers performing federal contracts to pay prevailing wages to their workers. This ensures that nonunion employers cannot gain an unfair bidding advantage by paying wages far below the union rate and passing the savings on to the government in the form of lower bids.
Virtually all federal expenditures in the private sector are covered by prevailing wage provisions. The main statutes in this area are the Davis-Bacon Act, governing federal construction contracts; the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, governing contracts to provide services to the federal government; and the Walsh-Healey Act, governing the manufacturing of goods for the government. There is additional information on federal prevailing wage law.
Oregon does have a prevailing wage law for covered public works contracts for more than $50,000, including those for roads, highways, buildings, structures, and improvements of all types—the construction, reconstruction, major renovation, or painting of which is carried on or contracted for by a public agency to serve the public interest. Other covered project types are enumerated in the state law and regulations (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 279C.800(6)(a) and OR Admin. Regs. Sec. ...

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