Dawkins prevailing wage legislation passes Pa. House

HARRISBURG, June 24 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today passed a bill (H.B. 2153) sponsored by state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., that would update the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act to address the issues of split rates and custom fabrication.

This legislation would prohibit the practice of paying “split rates” on publicly funded construction projects and ensure that custom fabrication work done by tradespeople away from the main job site is paid to the prevailing wage.

“This is as simple as ensuring that companies awarded public construction project contracts are paying their workers fairly and to the prevailing wage standard set by the secretary of Labor and Industry,” said Dawkins, chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee.

Since off-site work is not currently covered by the Prevailing Wage Act, many contractors use this loophole to pay their employees a sub-standard “shop” rate when they do this work and only pay the prevailing wage when the workers are on the jobsite installing these assemblies, which cheats the intent of the law and undercuts honest contractors in the bidding process, while exploiting their labor force for increased profits, Dawkins said. And the use of modular construction is expected to increase in the future, which will lead to further exploitation of this loophole if it’s not closed now.

Similar legislation has been passed in neighboring states like New Jersey and Delaware and it has bipartisan and bicameral support in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.