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The Baltimore County Prevailing Wage and Local Hiring Law requires the prevailing wage be paid to workers on County-financed construction contracts that are valued at more than $300,000 and County-subsidized capital projects receiving assistance over $5,000,000, per Baltimore County Code Sections 10-2-506 and 10-2-507, as applicable. The County law is effective for contracts signed on or after July 1, 2021.

Prevailing wage is the wage rate paid by employers that is determined by a governmental authority, based upon a particular geographic area, for a given class of labor and type of project. A County-financed construction contract is a contract for construction work that is awarded by the County or where County funds are used to finance all or part of the cost of the contract.

The County law is modeled after the federal Davis-Bacon Act and is designed to ensure that construction workers employed under public works contracts are paid the going rate for their services.  Bill 102-20 also prohibits the misclassification of workers into lower paying job categories; gives the County the ability to withhold payments if a violation of the law is found; and imposes reporting requirements to track compliance. 

Prevailing Wage Rates

The prevailing wage rate is the rate paid for comparable work in the private sector within the County. If a project is deemed to fall under the prevailing wage law, the prevailing wage rates apply to employees of the prime contractor and any and all subcontractors.

The County’s wage determinations are subject to the State of Maryland wage determination rates specified for Baltimore County for highway construction and/or building construction. For job classifications not listed, vendors will be required to request a rate determination with the Request for Additional Wage Rates from the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry. In the event of a conflict between the County prevailing wage and local hiring statutes, the statute shall control.

Federal, State and Local Requirements

In the event the state or federal prevailing wage law applies, the requirements of Maryland state law or federal law shall apply, provided however that local hiring requirements may still also concurrently apply.

If the state prevailing wage applies, additional requirements as set forth in COMAR and state statute will be applicable including, but not limited to, notices to independent contractor and withholding of last payments for contracts until a certification and attestation is received by the County evidencing that all employees and contractors have been paid in accordance with state prevailing wage requirements.

Contractor and Subcontractor Compliance

If there is a preconstruction conference held before the start of construction, the County's vendor charged with ensuring compliance will fully explain what is required to comply with the prevailing wage law. For other construction contracts subject to the prevailing wage law that do not require such conferences, please email the Prevailing Wage Program Administrator at prevailingwage@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Affidavit

It is the responsibility of each contractor and bidder submitting a quote or solicitation to Baltimore County to read, certify and attest to the County that they have read and agree to be bound by the prevailing wage and local hiring requirements of the County, including these guidelines. An affidavit must be provided attesting to the same in such form and substance as required by the County upon demand as an incorporated requirement to any contract or agreement.

Certified Payroll Records

Contractors and subcontractors must submit certified payroll records with the required information within 14 days after the end of each payroll period. If payroll records are submitted late the County will assess liquated damages of $10 per calendar day that the records are late.

Complaints and Violations

The Director of Economic and Workforce Development or a designee may perform random or regular audits and investigate any complaint of a violation of the prevailing wage law.

Complaints can be made against contractors and subcontractors for the following alleged violations:

  • Incorrect amount or no payment received for:
    • Straight time
    • Overtime
    • Sunday or holiday
  • Improper classification
    • If a contractor or subcontractor underpays a worker, this is known as a misclassification. The contractor or subcontractor must pay the affected employee the full amount of wages due under the prevailing wage law. If a contractor or subcontractor misclassifies a worker, the County will assess liquidated damages of $20 per day for each day the worker is not paid the proper prevailing wage for his or her work classification.
  • Retaliation
    • An employer cannot terminate a worker for filing a complaint. The law specifically states that a contractor or subcontractor must not discharge or otherwise retaliate against an employee for asserting any right under the law or for filing a complaint of a violation. In the event that a contractor discharges or otherwise retaliates against an employee for asserting any rights under the law or for filing a complaint of a violation, the aggrieved employee may file a complaint.
  • Local hiring requirement violation

File a Complaint

To file a complaint, complete the Prevailing Wage Law Complaint Form. The complaint form must be completed, signed and emailed to the Prevailing Wage Administrator at prevailingwage@baltimorecountymd.gov. The County only pursues claims that have been substantiated.

Documents and Resources

Contact

For questions or concerns, call 410-887-8000, or email us at prevailingwage@baltimorecountymd.gov.

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