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«City and County of Denver 201 West Colfax Ave., Dept. 705 • Denver, Colorado 80202 • 720-913-5000 • FAX 720-913-5247 ...»

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City and County of Denver

201 West Colfax Ave., Dept. 705 • Denver, Colorado 80202 • 720-913-5000 • FAX 720-913-5247


Dennis J. Gallagher


Prevailing Wage/Certified Payroll Overview

What is the basis for Prevailing Wage?

It's the Law: Prevailing Wage is covered under Section 20-76 of the Revised Municipal Code of the

City and County of Denver. The law declares that any contractor or subcontractor at any tier who

performs construction, alteration, improvements, repairs, maintenance or demolition of any public building or work in the amount of $2,000 or more, must pay their employees working on those city projects nothing less than the appropriate rate as determined by the Career Service Board for the various classifications of workers employed on those city projects by those contractors or subcontractors. Work performed in these various classifications at Denver International Airport, Four Mile Park, South West YMCA, Denver Mtn Parks, and the Denver Zoo to name a few locations is also subject to prevailing wage payment and reporting requirements.

Who Determines Prevailing Wage Rates?

The Career Service Authority (CSA) issues four groups of wages: Building, Heavy, Highway and CSA rates.

Building covers everything inside the footprint (foundation) of the building.

Highway covers the construction, alteration, or repair of roads, streets, highways, runways, taxiways, alleys, parking areas, and other similar projects that are not incidental to "building," or "heavy" construction.

Heavy covers everything outside the footprint of the building. It is used for structures that are not habitable. Toll booths, outhouses, kiosks and parking garages are not “buildings”. It is the catch all rate for projects which are neither “building” nor “highway”.

Heavy rates are used for building demolition. Gutting a building for a remodel is done with the Building rates. A common laborer may do the demo in a building remodel. If fixtures are to be salvaged and reused in the remodel (retrofitting), the proper classification - for example, plumber - must be used to salvage the equipment.

CSA rates are determinations by the Career Service Authority that have been issued for special classifications not covered by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. For example, finishers, floor grinders and base grinders use CSA rates, along with specialized trades at DIA such as transit mechanics or baggage system technicians. CSA publishes custodian rates which are applicable for those subcontractors cleaning on-site construction trailers.

What types of work are covered by Prevailing Wage?

All work performed on site is covered by prevailing wage. Initial site delivery is not covered, nor is material fabricated offsite. However, all materials trucked offsite are covered. All materials removed from the common delivery pile belong to the craft installing the product (i.e, lumbercarpenters, pipe- plumbers)-- NOT common laborers). The initial unloading of material from the truck to the job site does not fall under prevailing wage. Professional services, such as surveying, engineering, or clerical support staff are not covered by Prevailing Wage.

The Auditor’s Office is the independent steward of the City’s financial information and resources.

We are committed to providing quality service and full accountability.

1-2-08 What are Certified Payrolls?

Certified Payrolls are the payroll reports you will submit on a weekly basis online through www.lcptracker.net. When a contractor is awarded a City & County of Denver project, the Prevailing Wage investigator assigned to the project will set up the project in the LCPTracker system, and provide the prime contractor with a log-in and password. The prime contractor will then input the various subcontractors and assign them log-ins and passwords.

This paperless submittal change is not optional: all companies will be using the new system. Those contractors who submit paper payrolls will have them returned, and will enter them into the online system.

The LCPTracker system is a paperless, online system of entering certified payrolls. Rather than submitting the familiar paper Prevailing Wage forms (Affidavits of Prime Contractor, Statements of Compliance, Weekly Payroll Spreadsheets), contractors will enter all payrolls and related information online. All project-specific wage rates & classifications will be online, and the contractor will choose specific rates and jobs from a menu. The contractor will need a computer and an internet connection.

For those contractors who do not have this ability, the prime contractor of each project will provide the computer and equipment necessary to submit the payrolls electronically. (Public computers are available at most public libraries, and the City & County of Denver has computers available in the Small Business Opportunity office on the first floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building).

Training is available through self-guided online tutorials available when a contractor logs in to the system: www.LCPtracker.net. For an overview of the LCPTracker system, please go to www.lcptracker.com.

What about Fringe Benefits?

Fringe benefits must be paid for all hours worked on the project and must be approved by the Auditor’s Office. Approval is valid for one year from the date of issue.

Basic guidelines:

Health & Welfare – provide a copy of the company policy regarding:

• Medical Plan – bill/recent invoice from the insurance company and proof of payment from the company that policy is in force.

• What portion does the company pay versus what the employee pays?

Dental – same as above.

Life Insurance – same as above.

Long or short term disability – same as above.

Pension Plans

• IRS qualification letter

• Copy of the plan, including name of third-party administrator..

• Portion of the contribution paid by the company.

Vacation – Copy of company policy.

Holiday – Copy of company policy.

Sick Pay – Copy of company policy.

To compute vacation, holiday and sick time, the Auditors Office will provide your company with a Fringe Benefit Spreadsheet to be completed by your staff. On the spreadsheet the company needs to provide the following: hire date of each employee, The Auditor’s Office is the independent steward of the City’s financial information and resources.

We are committed to providing quality service and full accountability.

1-2-08 social security number, number of paid vacation/holiday hours, employee non-prevailing wage rate. The Auditor’s Office uses 2080 hours for annualized benefits and 173 hours for monthly benefits to calculate the value of fringe benefits.

In order for sick, vacation and holiday time to count as a fringe, the company may not have a use it or lose it policy. If hours earned do not carry over to the next year the company must pay for the hours not taken. If an employee leaves the employment of the company they must be paid their accrued time earned regardless of the reason of the separation. If the employee must work the day before or after a holiday in order to qualify for holiday pay that does not qualify as a benefit.

Pensions, 401(k), Simple IRAs or other programs must be funded at least quarterly to count as a fringe benefit.

Apprentices are paid full benefits.

What about Apprentices?

Apprenticeship Certification Requirements:

If an employee is listed as an apprentice, include their craft and appropriate percent on the payroll.

Example: Operating Engineer, group three, 80%. Apprentices shall be permitted only if they are employed pursuant to, and individually enrolled in a bona fide apprenticeship program registered with the U. S. Department of Labor. The employer and the individual apprentice must be registered in a program, which has received prior approval by the U. S. Department of Labor. Any employer found to be in violation of this provision shall be required to pay that apprentice the full journeyman scale. Contractors may not use more than an l to l ratio of journeyman to apprentice.

How do we pay employees?

Payment of Employees:

By Ordinance, all employees working on a City and County of Denver project are required to be paid on a weekly basis for the hours worked. Only janitorial and window washing contracts with the city are exempted from this requirement.

Cash payments are not allowed. If cash payments are made, the contractor will be required to issue a check to each employee.

Salaried employees doing hands-on work, not just supervising or scheduling, must record their days and hours on the weekly certified payroll reports. Their hourly salary is calculated by dividing their annual gross wage by 2,080 hours. If their salary does not equal the prevailing wage for their particular job classification, they must be paid an additional amount to make up the difference.

Should they accrue overtime on a Denver project by working more than 40 hours per week, they must be properly compensated for those hours. If their regular, hourly salary exceeds the prevailing wage rate, overtime is calculated on that salary and not a lower rate.

How Do We Determine Classification of Employees?

Workers are classified according to the work performed in each craft. In other words, like pay for like work. Employees may have their time split into different classifications and be paid accordingly.

Daily time cards are recommended, detailing the work performed. We recommend that the workers sign them at the end of each shift.

Employees found working out of their classification will have their pay rate adjusted accordingly.

The Auditor’s Office makes the final decision on craft classification jurisdiction, following local area practices. If you have a question regarding how to classify an employee, your investigator welcomes your call.

Some Guidelines for Common Laborers:

The Auditor’s Office is the independent steward of the City’s financial information and resources.

We are committed to providing quality service and full accountability.

1-2-08 Common laborers may unload truck to a common or central pile. Once the material is in the pile, it belongs to the particular craft. For example, laborers do not pack studs, sheetrock, pipe, tools or other materials to craftsmen. They do not move materials on the job site found to be in the way or in the wrong location. Common laborers have limited job duties on building projects. They are allowed to clean up an interior building site. This includes picking up trash, construction debris and sweeping.

Common laborers can hand shovel and backfill with a shovel, the trenches used by tradesman inside of a building foundation. Common laborers are not helpers or apprentices. They do not assist in laying out, fetching tools or material, holding lifting or muscling materials into place. They do not observe workers for safety reasons. They do not set scaffolding. They do not operate heavy equipment (e.g.

bobcat, forklift, man lift or loaders).

What if a Contractor performs work personally?

Owner Operator Requirements:

Use Form 73, Affidavit Contractor Performed Work Personally.

The owner must operate his or her own equipment and provide documentation to prove sole proprietor status or partnership of the business. Firms may provide Trade Name Registration, Articles of Incorporation, or Form 1040 Schedule C.

Trucking firms must provide Vehicle Registration and Certificate of Insurance.

If owners meet the above requirements, they are exempt from paying themselves prevailing wages, but they must submit the weekly certified payroll forms reporting their hours worked on the project.

However, if they have employees on the project, those employees must be reported and paid prevailing wages. This form, with appropriate documentation, must be submitted with the company’s first weekly payroll.

How Does Overtime work with Prevailing Wage?

Overtime Requirements: Employees have to be paid time and one-half for all hours worked over 40 hours in a seven-day period, whether worked on or off city projects. If overtime is worked on a city project, the overtime rate is based on the published prevailing wage rate. Cash in lieu of fringe is paid for each hour worked, but is not multiplied by the overtime rate of 1.5.

If a contractor has overtime requirements greater than the basic requirement of overtime after 40 hours, they are required to pay the higher amount on the city project. An employee who normally receives a higher rate per hour than the published prevailing wage rate must be paid their off city rate while working on a city project.

What if there is an issue with our certified payrolls?

Notification Process: The prime contractor receives a copy of any violation letter sent to a subcontractor. Phone calls are noted in the file and referenced on the recap sheet. Emails are copied into the project file.

How does a contractor correct payroll errors?

Amended Payrolls: When underpayments have occurred, contractors are required to submit amended payrolls. Amended payrolls are designated by using the original payroll number and the letter “A”.

For example, “1A” or if multiple payrolls “1A-11A”. When the contractor and the investigator have agreed on the underpayment amount, the contractor then submits a weekly payroll report showing the employees’ names, addresses, Social Security number; total hours affected with the underpayment, and the amount of the underpayments.

Attach a copy of the spreadsheet showing the underpayments to the weekly payroll and then fill out the gross amount earned, payroll deductions and check number.

The Auditor’s Office is the independent steward of the City’s financial information and resources.

We are committed to providing quality service and full accountability.

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