Protecting Skilled Construction Workers

Prevailing Wage Laws require construction contractors who work on public projects to pay construction workers at least the prevailing wages and benefits in the area in which they are working. The Prevailing Wages are the actual hourly wages, benefits and overtime to be paid to workers, calculated by the U.S. and Ohio Departments of Labor for construction trades.

Ohio has had a Prevailing Wage Law in place since 1931 to protect its construction trades workers.

Research has consistently shown that Prevailing Wage Laws do not result in significant cost variations on construction projects and, in fact, can produce cost savings as the result of better investment in the workforce and the resulting higher-quality and on-time construction.

School Construction Falters without Prevailing Wage

When the State of Ohio lifted the Prevailing Wage Law for State-Funded School Construction in 2001, there was a documented surge in the poor and substandard quality of work being done on numerous schools across the state, leading to costly overruns and repairs.

The Benefits of Prevailing Wage Laws

For Workers
  • Prevailing Wages protect construction workers’ wages because contractors are not able to undercut the set wages.
  • Prevailing Wages protect construction workers’ benefits because contractors are more likely to provide benefits to the skilled workforce that results when prevailing wages are paid.
For Contractors
  • Prevailing Wages produce a better-skilled workforce and higher-quality construction because contractors will invest in worker training and safety programs.
For Project Owners
  • Prevailing Wages protect customers by keeping overrun costs low and quality high by utilizing a workforce that is paid properly to do the job right the first time.
  • Prevailing Wages result in fewer workplace accidents because contractors are more likely to employ workers who are well-trained.