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A Guide to Prevailing Wage Laws in Connecticut
V. Sample Prevailing Wage Rate Schedules

How is the Prevailing Wage Rate Determined?

The Commissioner of Labor is responsible for designating the prevailing wage rates. This can be done either by holding a hearing in the locality where the project will occur or by adopting rates set for Connecticut by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the federal Davis-Bacon Act. The latter method has been used since 1977, when it first became an option. Because the Connecticut Department of Labor uses federal wage schedules, it also relies on federal Davis-Bacon regulations to guide its interpretation and enforcement of most aspects of the state law. (see Federal Davis-Bacon Act - Title 29, Part V, included in Section VIII of this packet)

The Davis-Bacon Act allows the U.S. Secretary of Labor to decide what method will be used to calculate the prevailing wage payable under the law. According to materials issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, the process used to determine rates is to survey contractors and subcontractors who have completed construction work in a particular geographic area during a particular time period regarding the wages they paid on those projects. Those surveyed are asked to indicate the hourly wages paid to designated classes of employees of specific types of projects completed during a specified time period (usually six to 12 months) preceding the survey. 

Regional U.S. Department of Labor employees conduct the surveys and analyze the data. If a sufficient number of responses are received, the prevailing wage is calculated for the various job classifications in the specified area. If a majority of the workers in a classification receive the same wage, that amount will become the prevailing wage. In such cases, that rate is usually the one contained in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This is because union workers are the ones most likely to earn exactly the same hourly pay to the penny. 

If no single wage is received by a majority of the workers in the sample, then a weighted average of the rates submitted for the specific classification will be used. After the regional office completes the new rate schedule, it is sent to the Wage and Hour Division of U.S. DOL in Washington. Once that office is satisfied with the validity of the work, the new schedule is released.  

General wage determinations are set for geographic areas that have "well settled" wage patterns and are expected to have a large volume of construction work. They are published in the Federal Register and remain in effect until changed by the secretary of labor.  

General wage determinations, are used by the Connecticut Labor Commissioner for the state's prevailing wage law. Each schedule of rates is issued for a specific project, based upon the county and type of construction -- buildings, heavy, highway, or residential (with heavy and highway rates usually being the same, at least in Connecticut).  

The state prevailing wage rates are issued project specific at the time the contracting agency advertises the project for bid.  These rates are the minimum rates that are equal to the rate customary or prevailing for the same work in the same trade or occupation in the town in which such public works project is being constructed.  Since these are the minimum rates to pay, if they are below a worker’s regular contractual hourly rate, the contractor must pay the higher rate.  This may occur on residential projects where the posted prevailing wage rate is significantly lower than the worker’s regular (contractual) hourly rate.  The contractor is required to pay the higher contractual rate under the Connecticut wage payment laws 31-71 a-i.

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Footnotes as of July 1, 2009

Please Note:

  • If the "Benefits" listed on the schedule for the following occupations includes a letter(s) (+ a or + a + b for instance), refer to the information below.

  • Benefits to be paid at the appropriate prevailing wage rate for the listed occupation.

  • If the "Benefits" section for the occupation lists only a dollar amount, disregard the information below.

Bricklayers, Cement Masons, Cement Finishers, Concrete Finishers Plasters, Stone Masons
(Building Construction and Residential- Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Tolland Counties)

  1. Paid Holiday: Employees shall receive 4 hours for Christmas Eve holiday provided the employee works the regularly scheduled day before and after the holiday. Employees may schedule work on Christmas Eve and employees shall receive pay for actual hours worked in addition to holiday pay.

Bricklayer (Residential- Fairfield County)

  1. Paid Holiday: If an employee works on Christmas Eve until noon he shall be paid for 8 hours.

Fairfield County: West of the Five Mile River in Norwalk

  1. $2.00 per hour not to exceed $14.00 per day.

Elevator Constructors: Mechanics

  1. Paid Holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, plus the Friday after Thanksgiving.
  2. Vacation: Employer contributes 8% of basic hourly rate for 5 years or more of service or 6% of basic hourly rate for 6 months to 5 years of service as vacation pay credit.


  1. Paid Holidays: Labor Day and Christmas Day.

Power Equipment Operators
(Heavy and Highway Construction & Building Construction)

  1. Paid Holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, provided the employee works 3 days during the week in which the holiday falls, if scheduled, and if scheduled, the working day before and the working day after the holiday. Holidays falling on Saturday may be observed on Saturday, or if the employer so elects, on the preceding Friday.


  1. Paid Holiday: Labor Day provided employee has been on the payroll for the 5 consecutive work days prior to Labor Day.

Laborers (Tunnel Construction)

  1. Paid Holidays:  New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. No employee shall be eligible for holiday pay when he fails, without cause, to work the regular work day preceding the holiday or the regular work day following the holiday.


  1. Paid Holidays: July4th, Labor Day, and Christmas Day provided the employee is employed 15 days prior to the holiday.

 Sprinkler Fitters

  1. Paid Holidays: Memorial Day, July4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, provided the employee has been in the employment of a contractor 20 working days prior to any such paid holiday.

Truck Drivers
(Heavy and Highway Construction & Building Construction)

  1. Paid Holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Good Friday, provided the employee has at least 31 calendar days of service and works the last scheduled day before and the first scheduled day after the holiday, unless excused.

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