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"Public Works" Defined (CA Public Works Manual 2.4 - 2.4.4)

Updated: Apr 21

"Public Works" Defined (CA Public Works Manual 2.4 - 2.4.4)

California "Public Works" Defined: CA Labor Code 1720 defines public works as construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of public funds. Maintenance work is also mentioned as applicable in CA Labor Code 1771.

CA Labor Codes 1720.2-1720.6 further extend the definition to include:

Private Contracts with Public Ties: Even private construction can be "public works" if over 50% of it is leased to the state or a local government, especially if the lease was in place before construction started or completed.

Hauling Refuse: Moving waste from a public works site to a disposal location counts too, unless the material is being recycled or reused.

Renewable Energy and Efficiency Projects: Projects under private contracts that involve constructing or improving renewable energy or efficiency, especially if they serve state or local government properties or needs.

As a brief overview of this section, please visit the official Department of Industrial Relations website at for the full CA Public Works Manual language.

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