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Wisconsin Approves Changes to Prevailing Wage Law

July 30, 2015

On July 8th, Wisconsin legislation amended the state’s prevailing wage law so that it no longer applies to local projects. The newly amended law removed several existing requirements and changed the manner in which the prevailing wage is calculated and who has oversight.

As a result of the approved changes, the prevailing wage law will now apply only to state projects and will no longer pertain to county, municipal, or school projects. Local governments are prohibited from enacting or administering their own prevailing wage laws or similar ordinances.

The repeal also specifies that the formula for calculating the prevailing wage will come from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and will not be determined by the State’s Department of Workforce Development as it has been previously. State projects will now use prevailing wage rate data determined by the USDOL under the federal Davis-Bacon Act.

Provisions of the legislation also establish that the Department of Administration (DOA) will now have full oversight and rule-making authority to enforce and administer the law with the exception of  state highway projects, which are administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The provisions take effect  January 1, 2017, and will be applied to any request for bids issued on or after that date.