The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) establishes a prevailing wage level for workers engaged in public works in order to safeguard the worker’s efficiency and general well-being, and to protect them as well as their employers from the effects of serious and unfair competition.
Public works projects subject to the Act are those funded in whole or in part with the funds of a public body. Contracts awarded directly by municipal government must be valued at $16,263 or more to be covered by the Act. For all other public entities, including municipal utility authorities and boards of education, the threshold is $2,000.
The Act requires the payment of minimum rates of pay to laborers, craftsmen, and apprentices employed on public works projects. Covered workers must receive the appropriate craft prevailing wage rate as determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. Prevailing wage rates are based on the collective bargaining agreements established for a particular craft or trade in the locality in which the public work is performed. In New Jersey, these rates vary by county and by the type of work performed.
All contractors and subcontractors who bid on or engage in the performance of any construction-related public works projects in New Jersey must register with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
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