2017 ORS 279C.840¹
Payment of prevailing rate of wage
  • posting of rates and fringe benefit plan provisions

(1) The hourly rate of wage that a contractor or subcontractor must pay to workers upon all public works may not be less than the prevailing rate of wage for an hour’s work in the same trade or occupation in the locality where the labor is performed. A contractor or subcontractor may discharge the obligation to pay the prevailing rate of wage by making the payments in cash, by making contributions of a type described in ORS 279C.800 (Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870) (1)(a), or by assuming an enforceable commitment to bear the costs of fringe benefits of a type described in ORS 279C.800 (Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870) (1)(b), or any combination of payments, contributions and assumption of costs, where the aggregate of any such payments, contributions and assumption of costs is not less than the prevailing rate of wage. The contractor or subcontractor shall pay all wages due and owing to the contractor’s or subcontractor’s workers upon public works on the regular payday established and maintained under ORS 652.120 (Establishing regular payday).

(2) After a contract for public works is executed with any contractor or work is commenced upon any public works, a contractor or subcontractor may not subject the amount of the prevailing rate of wage to attack in any legal proceeding in connection with that contract.

(3) It is not a defense in any legal proceeding that the prevailing rate of wage is less than the amount required to be in the specifications of a contract for public works, or that the employee agreed with the employer to work at less than the wage rates required to be paid under this section.

(4) Every contractor or subcontractor engaged on a project for which there is a contract for a public works shall keep the prevailing rates of wage for that project posted in a conspicuous and accessible place in or about the project. The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries shall furnish without charge copies of the prevailing rates of wage to contractors and subcontractors.

(5) Every contractor or subcontractor engaged on a project for which there is a contract for a public works to which the prevailing wage requirements apply that also provides or contributes to a health and welfare plan or a pension plan, or both, for the contractor or subcontractor’s employees on the project shall post a notice describing the plan in a conspicuous and accessible place in or about the project. The notice preferably shall be posted in the same place as the notice required under subsection (4) of this section. In addition to the description of the plan, the notice shall contain information on how and where to make claims and where to obtain further information.

(6)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this subsection, a person other than the contractor or subcontractor may not pay or contribute any portion of the prevailing rate of wage paid by the contractor or subcontractor to workers employed in the performance of a public works contract.

(b) A contractor or subcontractor violates paragraph (a) of this subsection if a person other than the contractor or subcontractor pays or contributes any portion of the prevailing rate of wage that the contractor or subcontractor owes or pays to workers who perform labor on a public works project or the person assumes an enforceable commitment to bear the costs of fringe benefits of a type described in ORS 279C.800 (Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870) (1)(b) that the contractor or subcontractor provides.

(c) For the purpose of this subsection, the prevailing rate of wage is the prevailing rate of wage specified in the contract.

(d) This subsection does not prohibit:

(A) Payments to a worker who is enrolled in any government-subsidized training or retraining program; or

(B) A surety or public agency from paying the prevailing rate of wage.

(7) A person may not take any action that circumvents the payment of the prevailing rate of wage to workers employed on a public works contract, including, but not limited to, reducing an employee’s regular rate of pay on any project that is not subject to ORS 279C.800 (Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870) to 279C.870 (Civil action to enforce payment of prevailing rates of wage) in a manner that has the effect of offsetting the prevailing rate of wage on a public works project. [2003 c.794 §167; 2009 c.161 §4; 2017 c.334 §4]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 279.350)

Oregon’s Little Davis-Bacon Act is different from federal act on which it was patterned and agency did not “carry on” construc­tion of “public work” as defined in [former] ORS 279.348. Columbia-Pacific v. OPB, 102 Or App 212, 794 P2d 438 (1990)

Post-contract collateral attack is barred as attack on prevailing wage rate regardless of whether attack is styled as rate challenge or classifica­tion challenge. Northwest Permastore Systems, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, 172 Or App 427, 18 P3d 496 (2001)

Require­ment to keep prevailing wage posted in conspicuous and accessible place at project must be fulfilled by each contractor and subcontractor on individual basis. Labor Ready Northwest, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, 188 Or App 346, 71 P3d 559 (2003), Sup Ct review denied

Where public agency sells prop­erty to private party for develop­ment consistent with agency objectives, but agency is not party to construc­tion contract and makes no sub­se­quent use of prop­erty, construc­tion is not “public work.” Portland Develop­ment Commission v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, 216 Or App 72, 171 P3d 1012 (2007)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 279.350)

Prevailing wage law applica­tion to employes of contractor crushing and stockpiling mineral aggregate for county road project, (1978) Vol 39, p 446

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 279C—Public Improvements and Related Contracts, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors279C.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 279C, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano279C.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.