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Prevailing wage is a specific wage the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations determines for each class of workers on a public works contract. Prevailing wages are based upon the specific locality in which the contract is to be performed. Employees entitled to prevailing wages are construction industry employees and even janitorial employees. Oxnard, Pt. Mugu, and Port Hueneme are hotbeds for prevailing wage disputes because there are so many military bases that employ private contractors.

The Employment Lawyers Group has represented electricians (including telecom workers) on a prevailing wage jobs, laborers, plumbers, water works contractors, demolition contractors, and was even asked to help set policies for janitors engaged in prevailing wage cleanup. With twenty years of representing employees under our belt, we are positioned to represent individual employees or groups of employees in prevailing wage lawsuits against the contractors who fail to pay prevailing wage.


In order for a job to be a prevailing wage job:
  1. The construction job must be a public works contract meaning it is work performed on the site of a government institution.
  2. The construction contract with a public entity must be $1,000 or more.
  3. The contract must be for the alteration, demolition, construction, or repair of a public building.

Government institutions in Ventura County include city, county, state, and federal worksites. Amongst others, we have handled prevailing wage jobs at schools, hospitals, courthouse buildings, and military bases.

In Ventura County there are a number of large government sites that require ongoing work by outside contractors if you are performing construction services. Here is a partial list of Ventura County jobsites that are prevailing wage job sites for private contractors and sub-contracts: Carrier Airborne Early Squadron, California National Guards 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Fleet Logistics Support, Fort Hunter Liggett supported in Ventura County, Naval Air Station, Naval Base Ventura County : Point Mugu, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station – Ventura County, Naval Construction Battalion Center,  Naval Facilities Engineering, Naval Outlying Field San Nicolas Island, Naval Satellite Operations (NAVSOC), Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme, Naval Test Wing Pacific, 31st Seabee Readiness Group.

The following state facilities are public works sites in which government contractors must pay prevailing wage: California National Guards, California State Channel Islands, Camarillo Airport, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Harbor Department Ventura County, Oxnard Airport, Oxnard School District, Simi Valley Unified School District, Ventura County court system.

If you are working on a public works contract as a construction contractor for a general contractor or sub-contractor, your employer must follow the prevailing wage per diem rate sheet. The prevailing wage for a public construction contract that an employer must pay is not merely your normal hourly rate. Prevailing wage may be two or three times higher than what you are normally paid, maybe even more. Overtime rates are based upon the set per diem, prevailing wage rates. You may also be entitled to special prevailing wage pay for holidays that is different than your normal prevailing wage per diem rate. Your per diem wages on a prevailing wage contract must include employer payments for health and welfare, pension, vacation, travel, subsistence, and apprenticeship or other training.

For exactly what you are owed for a prevailing wage per diem rate, prevailing wage overtime rate, and prevailing wage holiday pay rate you should consult with an experienced employee lawyer. However, your employer is supposed to know what the proper prevailing wage is you are to be paid on the public works contract. Pre-job conferences with the private contractor are required by prevailing rate law. In a pre-job conference, the employer is specifically made aware of federal and state labor law requirements applicable to the contract including all prevailing rate issues.

If you are being asked to sign payroll records showing that you are being paid prevailing wage, your employer is falsely submitting payroll records showing that you are being paid prevailing wage, or your employer is secreting you from payroll submissions concerning prevailing wage to make it look as though you are not working the prevailing rate job, you should consult with an experienced Oxnard prevailing wage lawyer to determine what legal action should be taken for prevailing wage violations.

Prevailing wage rates are very high. Consult with a Ventura County prevailing wage lawyer to find out how to get your back wages. 1-805-200-0100