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""Each year, many people help pave state highways, renovate public buildings, and complete various public works projects across the Commonwealth.

The Prevailing Wage Program in Massachusetts helps ensure that professionals doing public work are paid properly. The Department of Labor Standards (DLS), within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD), and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), provide information on what the program does, who it applies to, how to find out required wages, and how to report wage violations. The AGO enforces the Prevailing Wage laws.

What’s the Prevailing Wage Program?

The Prevailing Wage Program determines the minimum hourly wage rates that workers must be paid for work on public jobs.

Who Is Covered by the Prevailing Wage Program?

The program applies to various types of public work for cities, towns, counties, districts, authorities, and agencies in Massachusetts, including:

  • Construction Work — Construction workers who make additions and alterations to public buildings, soil exploration workers, test boring workers, and demolition workers
  • Vehicle Operation — Truck drivers, solid waste and recycling vehicle drivers, and some school bus drivers
  • Office Moving and Cleaning Services — Movers and janitorial staff in buildings owned or leased by the state
  • Housing Authority Work — Maintenance workers, laborers, and mechanics

The outline of prevailing wage law gives more in-depth information on the types of work covered by the program.

What Prevailing Wage Rate Applies to My Job?

A copy of the required wages for your project must be posted at your work site. If you would like a copy for yourself, contact the municipality or agency that has hired your contractor, also called the awarding authority. You may also contact the Prevailing Wage Program at DLS to obtain wage information for your project.

The prevailing wage rate depends on the job and its type.

What Can I Do if I’m Not Being Paid Properly?

If you believe that your employer is underpaying you, you should file a wage complaint online by filling out the Prevailing Wage Complaint Form. If the problem is urgent or if you need help filling out the form, call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division Hotline at (617) 727-3465. Under most circumstances, complaints are considered public records and may be shared with your employer. Once the complaint is received, the AGO will let you know whether they are able to open an investigation.

By staying informed about the prevailing wage requirements, you can make sure that you receive proper payment for your labor on public works projects.

Share this post with friends and coworkers to spread the word about the Prevailing Wage Program. Tweet @MassGov or comment below with questions.

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