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Unraveling the Manual: January's Guide to Clarity 2.2

Updated: Apr 21

Unraveling the Manual: January's Guide to Clarity 2.2

Relevant Statutes: CA Labor Code Sections 1771 and 1772 focus on workers employed by contractors or subcontractors in public work contracts.

Broad Interpretation of "Employed": Historical court rulings (like Johnston v. Farmers Mutual Exchange of Calhoun, Inc. and United States v. Morris) have interpreted "employed" broadly. This includes those whose services are utilized for business purposes, even without a formal employer-employee relationship, and those engaged under contract or orders.

Application of Prevailing Wage Requirements: These interpretations support the stance that prevailing wage laws apply beyond just employees of contractors or subcontractors.

Prohibition Against Dismissing Wage Laws: Public works contractors cannot bypass prevailing wage requirements by subcontracting work. O. G. Sansone v. Department of Transportation clarified that prevailing wage laws cover all workers on public projects, and subcontracting cannot be used to sidestep these laws.

The essence is that the laws and court rulings expand the scope of who is covered by prevailing wage requirements on public works, preventing contractors from avoiding these obligations through technicalities or subcontracting.

As a simple overview of this section, for more detailed information visit the official Department of Industrial Relations website at Here you can access the CA Public Works Manual in full.

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