Prevailing Wage Law

Law Changes Effective January 1, 2017

THE 2015-17 BUDGET BILL MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO WISCONSIN'S PREVAILING WAGE LAWS. HOWEVER, THOSE CHANGES DO NOT GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2017.

During calendar years 2015 and 2016, DWD will continue to enforce prevailing wage laws for local governmental unit and state agency public works projects under current prevailing wage laws (§§ 66.0903 and 103.49, Wis. Stats.).

2015 Wisconsin Act 55 (the budget bill) repeals the state prevailing wage law for local governmental units such as villages, towns, cities, school districts, or sewerage districts effective January 1, 2017. However, if a local governmental unit:

then those public works projects are subject to the current prevailing wage law (§66.0903, Wis. Stats.).

Contractors working on public works projects with prevailing wage rate determinations must continue to pay employees the appropriate prevailing wage and maintain required prevailing wage payroll records.

For new public works projects starting on January 1, 2017, state prevailing wage law will only apply to state agency and state highway projects. Prevailing wage rates applicable to state agencies will be those issued by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. 3142. The Wisconsin Department of Administration will enforce the new state agency prevailing wage law (§16.856, Wis. Stats.) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will continue to enforce prevailing wage on state highway projects (under a law renumbered as §84.062, Wis. Stats.).

As a result of these changes, 2015 will be the last year in which the annual Wisconsin Prevailing Wage Survey will be conducted.

References (projects begun prior to 2017)

For more information