Prevailing Wage


Prevailing wage is a wage rate set by a government agency that must be paid for certain kinds of construction work performed on government-funded projects.  In New York, the prevailing wage rates are established by the New York State Department of Labor and the New York City Office of the Comptroller.

Prevailing wage rates consists of a "base" wage, which is often set in accordance with union rates for similar work, and a significant "supplement" intended to cover retirement, healthcare and other employee benefit programs.  Prevailing wage rates also include daily overtime, shift differentials and double-time for work performed on certain holidays.

The New York State Department of Labor’s schedules are available here and the New York City Comptroller’s Office’s schedules may be obtained here.


Prevailing wages are required for a variety of work on government-funded projects or locations. The most common is construction work and covers a wide range of physical or manual work performed on government-funded construction projects, which include new construction, maintenance, and installations.  

Employees performing work on federal, state and municipally funded construction jobs are typically entitled to compensation at no less than the “prevailing wage” rates that are deemed to be prevailing in the locality where the work is performed. New York State’s Department of Labor and New York City’s Office of the Comptroller established and regularly update prevailing wage rates based on category of employment within various counties.


The attorneys at Pelton Graham LLC have successfully resolved numerous unpaid prevailing wage lawsuits, on behalf of both individuals and larger classes of employees who were all paid less than the prevailing wage. Contractors are incentivized to resolve unpaid prevailing wage claims quickly because government regulators can prohibit contractors from performing further public works projects if they are found guilty of prevailing wage violations. In fact, contractors and other employers who win public works projects but do not pay their employees the legally-required prevailing wages may be prosecuted criminally.

If you believe you are owed unpaid prevailing wages, or if you are required to “kickback” a portion of your pay to receive prevailing wages, contact Pelton Graham LLC to discuss your potential claim and determine how to gather information regarding the important facts of your situation, including whether a job is a government-funded or "public works" project, your hours of work, your wages paid, any discussions you've had about prevailing wages, and any fraudulent statement or document you've been required to make to government inspectors regarding your wages.



The attorneys at Pelton Graham LLC are admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois and Iowa, and may work with a network of other attorneys throughout the country.


Disclaimer - Lawyer Advertising. The material contained in this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. A lawyer-client relationship is not created by visiting this website. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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