It’s that time again, and every contractor in Oregon is required to take part. If you received your BOLI Construction Industry Occupational Wage Survey in July, the September deadline for submission is quickly drawing near. Thankfully, there’s a free workshop that’s designed to help.
Although the survey is a public service, and one that keeps wages fair for all construction workers in the state, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, many contractors agree that takes a lot of time and effort. That’s why it’s a good idea to register for a workshop and get your civic duty out of the way until next year.
Why Prevailing Wage Rate Law Exists
The prevailing wage rate law (PWR) has been around since 1959. The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was its precursor. In short, Davis-Bacon established a requirement that all construction workers who worked on public works projects must be paid the local wages.
Before that time, local workers were at risk of both losing jobs to migrant workers, and being paid steadily decreasing rates of pay because of the competition. In 1959, PWR laws were passed, which guaranteed a minimum wage that any worker on a public works project must receive for performing the job. But that minimum wage isn’t set randomly.
How the BOLI Survey Helps
Prevailing wage rates could be based on federal wage averages. But that wouldn’t be a true representation for the prevailing wages in each geographic location in Oregon. So every year, BOLI and the Oregon Employment Department send out postcards to determine which construction contractors are employers. After those cards are returned, contractors who have employees receive a survey which must be completed.
Contractors are required to provide extensive wage information, but none of that is made public in a way that could identify the contractor. BOLI uses this information to determine the prevailing wage rates for each location. And that helps everyone comply with prevailing wage rate law.
What You Need to Do
Completing the survey takes time, and many contractors agree that it’s difficult. But it’s the law, so it has to be done. Surveys are mailed out in July, but you only have until September to fill yours out and return it.
You’ll be asked to provide information about the locations where work has been performed, the types of workers that you employ, occupations of those employees, their skill levels, and the volume of hours they worked during the periods being surveyed. You’ll also be asked wage and fringe benefit information.
How A Free Workshop Can Help
The survey is a comprehensive set of paperwork that takes a lot of time to complete. Not only that, it’s challenging to get it right. A lot of people depend on your responses, so it’s important to take the survey seriously.
That’s why BOLI and the Oregon Employment Department jointly offer free workshops for any contractor who wants to attend. These workshops explain your responsibilities, why the survey is so important, and how the survey has recently changed. If needed, you’ll receive help with reporting the information that’s required, and filling out the paperwork.
You can register for a workshop in either Portland or Salem by contacting Rachelle Herbert at 971-673-0838, and by fax at 971-673-2372. If you prefer to mail in your registration, you can find the form and mailing address here.
In Portland, two seminars will be held on August 10. Seminar #1 runs from 10 a.m. until noon. Seminar #2 runs from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Portland State Office Building
800 NE Oregon Street
Portland, OR 97232
In Salem, Seminar #3 will be held on August 17. It runs from 10 a.m. until noon.
Oregon Employment Dept. Building
875 Union Street NE
Salem, OR 97311
Surveys are rarely fun, but this one affects your whole industry. Prevailing wage rate laws are what keep competition and wages fair for all Oregonian construction workers. Your input is required because it’s really that important.
Another thing that’s important is keeping up with your continuing education credits. But you’re not on your own there, either. PDH Contractors Academy can help. Click here and start your course today.