Prevailing wage opinion letters

Legal opinions about prevailing wage for public construction projects and other kinds of public work.

Prevailing wage letters

2016 prevailing wage opinion letters

2015 prevailing wage opinion letters

2014 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 5, 2014  Requesting the classification of downloading and installing software on HVAC systems was covered under prevailing wage law and was comparable to work performed by pipefitters or HVAC mechanics. Post-installation writing of computer code to integrate HVAC systems with servers and computers, however, was not covered.
  • March 13, 2014  Regarding the proper occupational classification for tree trimming, tree removal and other associated tree work.
  • May 19, 2014  Construction management at risk contract anniversary date.
  • October 22, 2014  Job classifications for pool services.
  • June 05, 2014  **Currently under reconsideration drawbridge operator.
  • September 2, 2014  Job classification for concrete pavement cutting.
  • September 30, 2014 Prevailing wage obligation for the relocation of utilities under M.G.L. c. 6C § 44.

2013 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • March 1, 2013  **Currently under reconsideration.
  • May 8, 2013  Prevailing wage application to owner operators.
  • August 2, 2013  Clarification: setting of trash/recycle collection wage rates pursuant to Section 27F (non-construction).
  • September 30, 2013  Construction by private, non-profit organization lessee of a public building.
  • November 12, 2013  Cash fringe payments and permissibility of certain deductions.

2012 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 22, 2012  Drivers of vehicles on construction projects: definitions of “site”, “gravel”, and “fill” under the prevailing wage law.
  • February 22, 2012-2  Construction of leasehold space in private buildings by charter schools.
  • August 31, 2012  High school tennis court resurfacing project performed by private organization.

2011 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 6, 2011  Duration of wage rates for multiyear school bus contracts.
  • February 4, 2011  Application of prevailing wage law to a Department of Conservation and Recreation ice skating rink.
  • March 14, 2011  Application of prevailing wage law to contracts for the commissioning of a fire alarm system on a public works project.
  • June 24, 2011  Classification of pipe bursting work.
  • August 15, 2011  Field engineer prevailing wage classification clarification.

2010 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 4, 2010  Municipalities subject to prevailing wage rates for maintenance.
  • January 11, 2010  Clarification of health and welfare plan deductions from prevailing wage rate.
  • March 18, 2010  Calculation of prevailing wage rates for apprentices.
  • February 22, 2010  Confirmation of wage requirements for apprentices.
  • March 31, 2010  Classification of catch basin cleaning work.
  • April 30, 2010  Classification of manhole rehabilitation and repair / re-lining of sewer pipes.
  • June 25, 2010  Permissibility of deduction.
  • June 30, 2010  Apprentices requirement of Chapter 30 of the Acts of 2009, Section 33.
  • July 20, 2010  Source capture vehicle exhaust systems classification.
  • August 24, 2010  Classifications for certain tasks related to bridge work.

2009 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 5, 2009  Classification: work relating to highway construction.
  • April 9, 2009  Classification: rebar installation work.
  • July 15, 2009  **Annual updates. (Rescinded)*
  • August 6, 2009  **Prevailing wage rates in project bids  (Rescinded)*
  • August 18, 2009  Application of prevailing wages to computer programming of equipment.
  • October 6, 2009  Application of prevailing wages to maintenance work.
  • October 9, 2009  Payroll records - required information.
  • October 16, 2009  Water meter installation: incidental on-site work.
  • November 25, 2009  Holiday/vacation/sick pay as deductions from prevailing wage rates.
  • December 1, 2009  Notice to awarding authorities regarding rate sheets for trash hauling rates.
  • December 8, 2009  Application of prevailing wages to computer programming of equipment.
  • December 15, 2009  Classification of work relating to underground cable laying.

2008 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 12, 2008  Classification: fire alarm installation.
  • April 3, 2008 Classification of roofing work.
  • May 8, 2008  Masonry work.
  • May 28, 2008  Any motor vehicle used for the transportation of school pupils...to and from school...but not including...a motor vehicle having permanent seating accommodations for and carrying not more than eight persons in addition to the operator. If the RMV would still consider such a modified vehicle to be a "school bus", such vehicles to be covered by the prevailing wage law.
  • June 11, 2008-02  Classification: technician work.
  • July 24, 2008  Classification: soil testing on site.
  • June 11, 2008  Construction work at the Medford high school HVAC and other work included in the "controls technician's" job description.
  • August 13, 2008  Classification: water meter installation.
  • August 26, 2008  Health care deductions.
  • October 9, 2008  Asbestos abatement work.

2007 prevailing wage opinion letters

2006 prevailing wage opinion letters

2005 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 2, 2005  Prevailing wage questions.
  • February 2, 2005-02  Landscaping activities.
  • February 8, 2005  Determination of the appropriate prevailing wage rate for change orders on a city construction project.
  • March 2, 2005  Classification: deleading and asbestos.
  • May 17, 2005  Questions concerning electrical and HVAC services.
  • May 20, 2005  Playground installation.
  • August 25, 2005  Classification: controls technician work.
  • May 13, 2005  Whether the testing of fire sprinkler systems is subject to the state prevailing wage law.
  • August 24, 2005  Prevailing wage law does not apply to building automation service (BAS) technicians employed by Trane Company (Trane). Prevailing wages are not required for routine testing not associated with installation, alteration, or repair work.
  • November 7, 2005  Prevailing wage law questions.
  • December 4, 2005  Moving and installation of furniture.

2004 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • September 2, 2004  Classification: gas main installation. (See September 2, 2014 prevailing wage letter for clarification.)
  • May 12, 2004  Classification: brick and block cutting work.
  • May 12, 2004-v2  Municipal landfill and residential drop-off recycling center.
  • December 10, 2004  Water meter installation.

2003 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 9, 2003 Determination of occupational classification for waterproofing/dampproofing.
  • January 9, 2003-v2 Outside electric work.
  • February 24, 2003 Applicability of prevailing wages for truck drivers at the Sabbatia Lake sewer extension in Taunton, MA.
  • March 10, 2003  Prevailing wage applicability; Hamilton Estates subdivision-town of Holbrook.
  • March 12, 2003 Prevailing wages do not apply based on the fact that DET is using its own labor to move office furniture. Section 27G of the prevailing wage law is only for employees of moving contractors.
  • August 7, 2003  Projects for subdivisions of the Commonwealth.
  • August 8, 2003  Determination of classification for replacement of water-cooled refrigeration equipment.
  • August 8, 2003 Determination of occupational classifications for installing conduit.
  • September 8, 2003  Day rate method of compensation.
  • September 8, 2003-v2  Use of "hour banks" for benefit payments.
  • October 6, 2003  Prevailing wage law applies to only state entities, the Boston Public Health Commission would not need to seek prevailing wages prior to bidding office cleaning contracts.
  • October 14, 2003  Classification: sewer pipe re-alignment work.
  • October 21, 2003  Applicability of prevailing wage to plant operator.
  • November 18, 2003  Certified payroll reports.
  • December 10, 2003  Supervisor performing carpentry work

2002 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 2, 2002  Classification between telecommunications technician and electrician.
  • January 29, 2002  Prevailing wage rates; street lights on power utility poles.
  • February 4, 2002  Applicability of the prevailing wage law to the Installation of wire and cable.
  • February 25, 2002  Cambridge public health commission: applicability of the Massachusetts prevailing wage law.
  • April 10, 2002  Benefit deductions.
  • April 19, 2002  Street light repair and maintenance; prevailing wage rates.
  • April 25, 2002   Applicability of prevailing wages regarding Newton Street demolition project.
  • May 20, 2002  Applicability of prevailing wages regarding restoration and renovation of historic six-story office building.
  • June 4, 2002  Determination of classification: laborers' classification or pipefitters' classification.
  • June 4, 2002-02  Applicability determination for concrete and soil-density testing.
  • June 21, 2002  Determination of classification: laborers’ classification or deleaders’ classification.
  • August 15, 2002  Determination of classification: laborers' classification or glaziers' classification.
  • September 24, 2002  Classification: athletic locker installation.
  • October 2, 2002  Trash hauling.
  • October 2, 2002-02  Gate attendant; transfer station operation; prevailing wage applicability.
  • October 21, 2002  Classification: concrete dump truck driver and underground pipe work.
  • November 15, 2002  Prevailing wage applicability; heating system repairs; maintenance contracts.
  • November 15, 2002-02  Classification: pipelayer and pipefitter.
  • November 15, 2002-03  Maintenance work.
  • December 5, 2002  Field engineer v. carpenter occupational classifications.
  • December 6, 2002  Outside electric work.

2001 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 29, 2001  Determination of the applicability of prevailing wage  to a contract for "wreck removals Gloucester harbor" by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (the "contract"). Prevailing wage law applies to this contract because it falls under public construction.
  • February 9, 2001  Massachusetts prevailing wage law does not apply to work performed by the Archdiocese. Any requirement the Archdiocese places on contractors to follow the hourly wage rates contained on prevailing wage schedules is purely a requirement of your contractual arrangement and not enforceable under the prevailing wage law.
  • March 22, 2001  Prevailing wage law, applies to construction and renovation work performed by contractors at the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation. The prevailing wage law, requires workers engaged in the construction of public works undertaken "by the Commonwealth, or by a county, town, authority, or district" to be paid prevailing wage rates.
  • April 10, 2001  Prevailing wage rates; school bus drivers.
  • April 12, 2001  Wage schedules for housing authority employees.
  • May 24, 2001  Request for a determination of the applicability of the "sheetmetal worker" occupational classification, as contained on prevailing wage schedules, to the handling and assembly of duct work.
  • June 27, 2001  Applicability of the prevailing wage law to activities associated with trucking.
  • July 3, 2001  Prevailing wage rates; Manet Community Health Center, Inc. building renovation project at Hull, MA.
  • September 17, 2001  Prevailing wage rates: excavation work by utility companies.
  • August 7, 2001  Prevailing wage. applicability; leased office space, Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • August 21, 2001  Wage determination appeal Palmer Paving of Palmer, Massachusetts.
  • September 5, 2001  Prevailing wage rates; Chester municipal electric light department. Use of municipal employees building and upgrading power lines for school district projects in the towns of Chester and Russell and the use of municipal employees for relocating poles on state highway.
  • September 17, 2001  Applicability of prevailing wages for installation, service, maintenance, repairs, overhauls, and testing of emergency electrical generators.
  • November 29, 2001  Housing authorities health and welfare plans
  • November 27, 2001  MW 2001-014 blended wage overtime calculation.

2000 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • March 10, 2000  Town of Franklin requesting clarification of the applicability of prevailing wage law to work performed by owner-operators. Legitimate owner-operators or independent contractors, unless they are transporting gravel or fill to a public works site or removing it from such site, are not subject to the prevailing wage law.
  • April 5, 2000 Tekon-Technical Consultants, Inc. inquired about the applicability of prevailing wage rates to the testing and balancing of HVAC – Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning – systems. Persons who test and balance HVAC systems as part of a public construction or alteration project involving the installation of a new system or the repair of an existing system must be paid prevailing wage rates.
  • April 6, 2000  Rural Development, Inc. a non-profit entity is constructing private residences with some public support through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, requested a determination of prevailing wage applicability. DOS determined the payment of prevailing wage for public works construction, does not apply to publicly-funded construction of private residences.
  • April 26, 2000 Craft jurisdiction for ironwork and associated work activities on prevailing wage work sites.
  • May 17, 2000 Wayne J. Griffin Electric, Inc. requesting a formal determination regarding the appropriate occupational classification for installers of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) work. "electrician" is the proper prevailing wage occupational classification.
  • May 19, 2000  "sheet metal worker" is the proper prevailing wage occupational classification for testing and balancing of air-based HVAC systems and "pipefitter" is the appropriate classification for testing and balancing of hot water-based heating systems.
  • June 13, 2000 The new collective bargaining agreement between the Labor Relations Division of Construction Industries of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Laborers District Council explicitly covers "Highway lane striping and pavement arrows and markings." As a result, the Division of Occupational Safety has amended its prevailing wage schedules to reflect the The occupational classification "painter (traffic markings)".
  • November 13, 2000  All pier and dock construction, which includes the underpinning (such as piles) and all components up to and including the deck, falls within the "pile driver" occupational classification on prevailing wage schedules. Work above the deck would properly fall within the various occupational classifications utilized on construction projects, generally. A new occupational classification will be added to prevailing wage schedules: "pier and dock constructor (underpinning and deck)".

1990-1999 Opinion letters

1999 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • March 26, 1999 The city of Worcester requested clarification of a certain occupational classification appearing on a prevailing wage schedule. issued for the construction of the Norrback Magnet School, regarding the roofing sub-trade.
  • March 26, 1999 Requesting clarification regarding Wood-Frame Carpenter classification in relation to prevailing wage law.
  • April 5, 1999  Town of Adams, Westchester Modular Homes/CDBG Grant Project which is construction of the residential units cannot be construed as "public works construction", Therefore, the provisions of prevailing wage law, will not apply to this project.
  • April 22, 1999  Project Coordinator of the Living Wage Ordinance Office of Jobs and Community Services asked what kinds of contracts and  whether contracts subject to the state purchasing law are covered by the prevailing wage law. Because the state purchasing laws apply to purchases of supplies and equipment, such purchases would generally not be covered by the prevailing wage law except for those cases in which the purchase contract involves the vendor's provision of a type of labor covered by the prevailing wage law.
  • May 12, 1999  The Foundation For Fair Contracting asked for clarification regrading services commonly performed by field engineers during a typical building construction project, including establishing bench marks for foundations, right of way clearances, grades and elevations, are specifically mentioned in the agreement and are subject to the prevailing wage law.
  • May 18, 1999 This letter answered the city of Everett regarding the fact prevailing wage law does not apply to public employees unless (1) they are involved in the "construction, addition to or alteration of public buildings" and (2) the project has been funded by a "special appropriation of more than one thousand dollars."
  • May 21, 1999  The Attorney General-of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seeks a declaratory judgement determining that the town of Burlington's contract awarded to Vining Disposal Service, Inc., (Vining Disposal Service uses trucks to collect and haul trash to a sanitary landfill,) involves the performance of "public works" which requires the payment of "prevailing wage rates" to its employees. The court went on to hold that the sweeping of public ways by motorized equipment was a function commonly performed under the direction of departments of Public Works in cities and towns, so that prevailing wage was applicable even though no physical construction of public facilities was involved.
  • May 27, 1999  Simplex Time Recorded, Inc.'s contract with Massport, some work under the contract is "parts replacement", an action tantamount to a repair. Consequently, a person employed by Simplex who performs fire alarm repairs at Massport-owned facilities is subject to the prevailing wage law under the classification of Fire Alarm (repair/maintenance). The remaining work, i.e. system testing and shut down. is not subject to the prevailing wage law.
  • August 3, 1999  Trash collectors who were employed by independent contractor which provided refuse collection and disposal services to town were entitled to prevailing wage rates, pursuant to statute governing wages of operators of rented equipment engaged in public works. M.G.L.A. c. 149, § 27F.
  • August 12, 1999  The specifications included in the Invitation for Bids issued by Barnstable County state that the county is soliciting bids for "a service contract to perform electrical work". Prevailing wage law applies to work done by electricians in the County's Invitation for Bids.
  • September 1, 1999  The prevailing wage law applies to "construction" of public works. Prevailing wage law defines "construction" to include "additions to and alterations of public works". Therefore, activities related to fire alarms and fire alarm systems installed by Data Fire Systems, Inc.
  • September 7, 1999  The town of Templeton will be hiring a contractor to perform the work with private funds acquired from an escrow account made available when the developer defaulted on his obligation to complete the work. After the work is complete, the town of Templeton will take possession of the road and other appurtenant structures. Since the subdivision is still privately-owned, and the construction work to complete the project will be funded with private funds, this project cannot be considered "public works construction" under the prevailing wage law.
  • September 10, 1999 The contract is for the replacement, on an as-needed basis of glass panes in the Suffolk county jail. The contract is for the repair of a public work, so prevailing wage applies.
  • September 29, 1999  Defendants allege, that the defendants, Roads Corporation have shortchanged them on the wages and benefits they were due as employees of the defendants on public works construction projects.
  • October 4, 1999  Modular work stations are akin to furniture, and designed to provide flexible interior office space are not part of the buildings that house them. The installation, repair, or disassembly of modular work stations cannot be considered a construction project.
  • October 15, 1999  Massachusetts Municipal Association requested a determnation on the question of whether the Massachusetts prevailing wage law, applying to contracts or arrangements for "snow removal" by awarding authorities in the Commonwealth. prevailing wage rates must be paid for snow removal.
  • November 1, 1999  Asplundh Tree Expert Co. asked for clarification of prevailing wage law. 
  • November 1, 1999-v2  "Materialmen" are not covered by the prevailing wage law unless they participate in the installation of materials at the work site.
  • November 4, 1999  DOS amended the occupational classifications for field engineers to include heavy construction in addition to building and site work.
  • November 10, 1999  Massachusetts Highway department requested clarification of the proper classification to be applied to the operators of the barrier transport vehicle.
  • November 12, 1999  The testing and balancing of HVAC systems, when conducted as part of a construction or alteration project,would require payment of prevailing wage rates.
  • November 12, 1999 v2  More detailed occupational classifications for painters on public works projects who mark lines and apply paint to roads, highways, parking lots, playgrounds, and other similar surfaces: painter (traffic markings, new) painter (traffic markings, repaint) painter/taper (brush, new) painter/taper (brush, repaint) painter (spray or sandblast, new) painter (spray or sandblast, repaint) painter (bridge).

1998 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 4, 1998  The prevailing wage law applies Felix A. Marino Co., Inc, performs maintaining and repairing ways pursuant to contracts with Massachusetts municipalities; the Employee Retirement Inc Security Act (ERISA) does not preempt the prevailing wage law.
  • February 4, 1998  Work performed at the site of a public work, namely the installation/disassembly of the temporary boiler and construction of a shed to house it  by Acme Boiler Rental Inc, requires the payment of prevailing wage rates.
  • April 3, 1998  Ready-mix drivers who have a "significant nexus" to a work site were subject to the prevailing wage law.
  • November 22, 1998  Regarding construction-related work on property which the town of Hamilton (Hamilton) intends to sell to a private developer. Commercial facility will be constructed for private concerns and gain, it cannot be considered construction of "public works." The only issue is whether  improvements to the parking area owned by Hamilton can be considered construction of "public works."
  • June 13, 1998  Discussed is prevailing wage rates for the cleaning of public building or space rented by the Commonwealth.The agency argued that because the three signatory contractors pay part-time employees at the higher full-time rate on current state contracts, they are at a competitive disadvantage when bidding on future public contracts which allow the part-time rate to be paid. The full-time and part-time rates established in the S.E.I.U. (union) agreement are reflected on the prevailing wage schedules issued by our office.
  • September 29, 1998  Septic system repair work under the betterment program is not covered by the Massachusetts prevailing wage requirements.
  • October 4, 1998 An appeal was received by the Department of Labor and Industries on September 12, 1988 from five members of Local 3, International Brotherhood of Firemen, Oilers and Maintenance Helpers regarding a project for Boston Public Library. It was found maintenance/Repair are included under the law. Therefore, The appeal was denied.
  • December 24, 1998 The city of Worcester requested clarification of a certain occupational classification appearing on a prevailing wage schedule. All employees who are directly engaged in the application of either waterproofing or caulking material should be paid in accordance with the "bricklayer/mason", waterproofing/plasterer" classification. Other employees who perform semi-skilled labor, such as delivering materials to other craftsmen or debris cleanup, should be paid the "laborer" rate.

1997 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 10, 1997  The construction of the Aliens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary septic system on property owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in South Dartmouth. It will be constructed with federal money for the benefit of a private property owner on privately-owned land, the project is not "public works" construction and prevailing wage law does not apply.
  • February 11, 1997  The towns of Pepperell and Groton under which Pepperell would, using its regular employees, to install and maintain a lateral sewer system in Groton. Regular employees of a municipality are not subject to the prevailing wage provisions unless they are involved in the "construction, addition to or alteration of public buildings" and the project has been funded by a "special appropriation of more than one thousand dollars."
  • March 3, 1997  City of Springfield and Sabis International will engage the work of "mechanics and apprentices, teamsters, chauffeurs and laborers". The construction of modular buildings and other on-site work by a charter school is a "public works construction project" and is subject to the requirements of the prevailing wage law.
  • April 18, 1997  Clarification of permissible work under the "telecommunication technician" job classification on prevailing wage projects. Installation of fire alarm systems must be performed by a journeyman electrician on all public works construction projects.
  • April 19, 1997  The occupational classification of "pump operator (grout, concrete, etc.)", as appearing on a 1995 rate sheet, would be applicable to operators of waste water pumps in the Boston area.
  • May 20, 1997  The emergency response services section of the Department of Environmental Protection's proposal includes emergency oil spill cleanup and containment; hazardous materials emergency response; and asbestos containment and removal. Each of these categories of work involves the "construction of public works" thus require payment of prevailing wage rates.
  • June 14, 1997  W. Barrington Company, Inc., a contractor which supplied motorized street sweepers with operators for such sweepers under contract with city The Appeals Court held that the sweeping of public ways is a "public works" and prevailing wage applies.
  • September 9, 1997  Construction related work at Massapoag Estates, a private development, located in the Town of Mansfield cannot be construed as "public works construction" therefore prevailing wage does not apply.
  • October 17, 1997  Prevailing wage law does not apply to Topsfield Sanitary Landfill contractor operators of trucks, vehicles or other equipment. In this case Eirco Environmental, LLC.
  • October 29, 1997  The balancing work done following the installation of a new HVAC system in the Oak Hill project in Attleboro is subject to prevailing wage.
  • December 3, 1997  The operators of the drawbridge over the Fore River in Quincy (the "drawbridge") during the upcoming rehabilitation project (Massachusetts Highway Department project # 110651. It will be an integral part of the project and the prevailing wage rates will apply.
  • December 3, 1997  Construction-related work of the private warehouse and shipping facility at the Summit Lock Industrial Park in the City of Westfield can not be 'construed as "public works construction" for the purpose of the prevailing wage law.
  • December 19, 1997  An employer is entitled to deduct the employer's contributions to a bone-fide plan. As long as the combined total of an employee's base wage and allowable fringe benefit contributions equals or exceeds the prevailing wage for the proper occupational classification, an employer is in compliance with the prevailing wage law.
  • December 19, 1997-02  The field engineers and surveyors engaged in construction layout activities of the Secondary Treatment Facility, Battery C, for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Contract #6159, are engaged in "public works construction" for the purpose of the prevailing wage law.

1996 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • January 19, 1996  The Department of Labor and Industries has determined that prevailing wage rates do not apply to the operation of a landfill owned by the town of Greenfield.
  • January 19, 1996-02  The department of Labor and Industries has determined that prevailing wage rates do not apply to the operation of a landfill (contract # 1996-21) owned by the town of Needham.
  • January 25, 1996  The Department of Labor and Industries determined prevailing wage does not apply to the rehabilitation of the Bassett House in Chatham, MA, since this portion of the work will involve no public money and the contractors will be donating as much material and labor as possible.
  • February 28, 1996  Electrostatic painting of any public building, including stairways, doors, casings, hand railings and lockers, would require that all persons working on the project be paid the prevailing wage. The painting of furniture, would not he covered by the prevailing wage law because furniture is not considered a "public building or a public work".
  • February 28, 1996-02  Questions regarding the Massachusetts prevailing wage law.
  • March 26, 1996  Chapter 149 that all projects undertaken by "the commonwealth, or by a county, town, or district" require payment of prevailing wage rates.
  • April 8, 1996  Prevailing wage law do not apply to contracts for metal disposal services or demolition disposal services in Williamstown, Massachusetts case
  • April 12, 1996  Prevailing wage rates apply to South Shore Regional Refuse Disposal Planning Board grinding services contract 
  • April 14, 1995  Peabody municipal light plant seeks a declaration that neither the competitive bidding nor prevailing wage laws applies to four contracts it let in connection with the alteration, repair, and upgrading of its utility lines.
  • April 16, 1996  Concerning the proper job classification for persons performing insulation work on the Weymouth police station project. Department of Labor and Industries amended the job category of "insulator" on all future wage schedules to more accurately reflect the proper trade jurisdiction.
  • April 17, 1996  Prevailing wage law does not apply to the delivery of diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline to the Deer Island Project, along with the removal of waste oil. The work involved is not "construction" and a significant nexus does not exist between the work of this contract and the public works project.
  • July 8, 1996  Prevailing wage law does not apply to contracts of the town of Williamstown metal disposal services and demolition disposal services.
  • July 19, 1996  Inquiring whether prevailing wage law applies to persons employed as field engineers on public works projects,including MWRA's Boston Harbor Project. Field engineers hired to provide pre-construction survey data for design and engineering purposes are not subject to the prevailing wage law. Field engineers employed on all construction projects utilizing a wage schedule issued prior to November 16, 1995 are required to be paid prevailing wage rates.
  • August 30, 1996  Inquiry regarding the establishment of a new job classification for oil/gas burner technician on prevailing wage schedules. The trade description for plumbers and pipefitters in the collective bargaining agreement covers most of the work done on heating systems. The appropriate wage rate for the Scituate heating system contract is the rate for plumbers and pipefitters.
  • September 9, 1996  Bioengineering and Riverbank Erosion Control for the Connecticut River. WMECO and NUSC are private companies, that the work will be performed on private land, and that the only public money to be used on this project will be EPA money allocated through the Mass. DEP,  Massachusetts prevailing wage law do not apply.
  • October 11, 1996  Since moving of school furniture (i.e, student desks, chairs, etc.) is not part of an office within a school, the contract at issue is not subject to the prevailing wage requirements.
  • March 26, 1996  Chapter 149 that all projects undertaken by "the commonwealth, or by a county, town, or district" require payment of prevailing wage rates.

1995 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • April 6, 1995  Prevailing wage rate for pneumatic compactor operators.
  • February 24, 1995  Prevailing wage determination regarding sidewalk construction and repair public works project to be performed in Plymouth.
  • March 21, 1995  Massachusetts's prevailing wage laws apply to operations when performed in connection with public works construction projects, which include architectural and design firms which prepare contract specifications which include soil exploration and boring operations.
  • April 10, 1995  West Tisbury elementary school: carpenter wage rates.
  • May 31, 1995  Whether prevailing wage requirements are applicable to the Cathedral Development/Phase II modernization project which is currently being undertaken as a public housing project by the Boston Housing Authority. Partially state-funded projects on which federal funds were also being used and the federal prevailing wage rates were required, the higher of the two rates had to be paid.
  • July 7, 1995  The M025V Engineering Field Survey Contract is not subject to the prevailing wage law. The work encompassed by the M025V engineering field survey contract, is not work done "preliminary to the construction of public works".
  • January 25, 1995  Answers to questions regarding prevailing wage.
  • June 20, 1995  Prevailing wage; trash hauling.
  • July 11, 1995  Wage determination appeal; central artery/tunnel project; engineering field survey services contract (M025V).
  • January 17, 1995  The Martha's Vineyard Commission is an agency of the Commonwealth for purposes of the prevailing wage law and, therefore, any construction, alteration, or repair of its facilities which it undertakes will be subject to the statute's wage requirements.
  • July 25, 1995 Wage determination appeal; town of Framingham; contract for landscape maintenance services at the former Cushing Hospital. Landscape maintenance is not mentioned among the list of activities in § 27D which the legislature delineated as constituting public works construction. The initial determination made by DLI that the work in question is subject to the Commonwealth's prevailing wage requirements is hereby reversed.
  • September 27, 1995  Wage determination and job classification appeal; town of Falmouth, Dept. of Public Works, contractor for bituminous concrete repair of utility trenches. Original determination of wage rates and job classifications provided are upheld.
  • August 31, 1995  Barrington case concludes that the transportation and disposal of sludge does not adhere to prevailing wage rates.
  • September 29, 1995  Cities and towns have been operating under the erroneous assumption that if a significant portion of the funds used to finance these projects are provided by the utility company or other private funding source, then prevailing wage requirements are necessarily inapplicable. Depending on the contract, the prevailing wage requirements may apply.
  • September 29, 1995-v2  Request that determine whether prevailing wage laws apply to repair and replacement work which will be performed on residential septic systems as part of a financial assistance program administered by the Commonwealth's Department of Environmental Protection. Because the homeowners are responsible for hiring the contractors themselves, the construction work to be performed on the septic systems is not subject prevailing wage.
  • October 10, 1995  The replacement of light fixtures in various public school buildings under Massachusetts electric's energy conservation program, DLI has determined that prevailing wage rates do not apply.
  • October 16, 1995   The operation of a barrier-transport vehicle (BTV) for the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, which is to be performed under a Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) contract, is subject to prevailing wage.
  • October 16, 1995  Tow truck operators working under Massachusetts Highway Department Contract are not subject to prevailing wage rates.

1994 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • February 15, 1994  The Town of Yarmouth and the Dennis-Yarmouth regional school district contested certain wage determinations for two public projects, whether the minimum wage determinations rendered by The predetermined wage must be paid to teamsters, who participate in the installation of the materials.
  • April 13, 1994  Duxbury High school sustained fire damages and was requesting  assistance to expedite repairs and avoid the length of a public bidding process.
  • April 25, 1994  Prevailing wage rate for a chain saw operator.
  • May 4, 1994  Whether the wage requirements and public bidding requirements of chapter 149 apply to certain proposed construction work on a Duxbury school to be performed pursuant to an insurance contract.
  • July 21, 1994  The "warranty work" to be completed on the Lynn city hall roof is not subject to the prevailing wage requirements.
  • August 29, 1994 The issue whether firms which repair roadways following the installation of cable underneath such roadways for non-public companies must pay their employees prevailing wage. The determination of the Department of Labor and Industries that the work described is not public construction and is therefore not subject to the prevailing wage requirements.
  • August 30, 1994  The Department has determined that the work in question is part of the Deer Island public works project and, therefore, all employees working on the erection of the chemical storage tanks at the East Boston location are required to be paid wages as prescribed by this Department for the Deer Island project.
  • September 21, 1994  Prevailing wage classifications.

1993 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • June 26, 1993  The predetermined wage must be paid to teamsters, who participate in the on-site installation of the materials being delivered, including but not limited to teamsters who are hauling and applying bituminous concrete or ready-mix concrete and teamsters who are hauling and installing jersey barriers, on highway, road, and other construction projects in the Commonwealth, excluding teamsters who only haul to and from the site.

1990 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • March 13, 1990  MBTA and Fairview Company, Inc. executed a contract to furnish janitorial services at MBTA commuter facilities. The plaintiff, Service Employees International Union, Local 254 (Union), filed this suit claiming the contract violated both G. L. c. 149, § 27H and a letter agreement between the MBTA and the Union. The motion is based upon the following Prevailing wage law does not apply to the MBTA.

  • May 16, 1990  Upholds predetermined wage rate for workers who engage in tree trimming for the various municipal electric and gas companies throughout the state.

1980-1989 Opinion letters

1989 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • October 11, 1989  Construction of public buildings more than $1000 is not entitled prevailing wage.
  • November 22, 1989  Prevailing wage rates apply for the drivers of trucks hauling bituminous concrete to public works projects and thereafter aiding in the installation of that concrete.

1988 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • May 23, 1988  Prevailing wage applies to a contract by the company operating Pepperell town's landfills.
  • July 8, 1988  Payment of prevailing wage in disaster recovery reimbursement.
  • October 6, 1988  Decision on appeal of Local 3 of wage rates and classifications for maintenance/repair contract #8895 Boston public library.

1985 prevailing wage opinion letters

  • October 7, 1985  Housing authorities challenged wage rate set by Commissioner of Labor and Industries for housing maintenance workers.

1960-1979 opinion letters

  • August 31, 1979  Appeal to recover back pay from Worcester Housing Authority for discharged Comprehensive Employment and Training Act workers who had been employed by city housing authority as maintenance aids.
  • March 6, 1970  Regarding prevailing wage and workers who had been employed by city housing authority as maintenance aids.
  • February 6, 1963  Boston Housing Authority must pay its employees the rates of prevailing wages determined by the commissioner.

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