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Virginia’s New Prevailing Wage Law In Effect

July 8, 2021

The Virginia Prevailing Wage law became effective May 1, 2021, requiring contractors and subcontractors working with any Virginia State agency or localities under any public contract over $250,000 to pay prevailing wages and benefits to all workers performing services on that contract. Contractors need to be aware that the law also has certification and record-keeping requirements for which there are hefty penalties for non-compliance.

The law applies to any existing public contract over $250,000 that has adopted the new prevailing wage requirements. Any solicitations issued by Virginia agencies or localities on or after May 1, 2021, are expected to have the prevailing wage requirements incorporated into the bid solicitation or contract itself.

Contractors and subcontractors doing work for Virginia should be aware that:

  • Upon awarding a public contract subject to the new law, they must certify to the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) Commissioner the pay scale for each craft or trade employed under the public contract.
  • They are required to preserve wage payment records for which the DOLI may request an audit.
  • They are required to prominently post the prevailing wage rate for each craft and classification on the project in easily accessible places.

Those who do not comply are responsible for repaying the prevailing wage due, plus an annual rate of eight percent accruing from the date the wages were unpaid and disqualification from bidding on public contracts until the contractor pays all its workers in full. Additionally, contractors who willfully violate the law will be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which involves up to twelve months of jail confinement, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.