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Summary of Connecticut's Prevailing Wage Law

Connecticut’s prevailing wage law is codified in Connecticut General Statutes Section Section 31-53 and 31-53a.  The law applies to each contract for the construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project by the State or its agents, or by any political subdivision of the State.

Coverage: Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-53(g) provides monetary thresholds which must be met before the law is applicable.  The prevailing wage law does not apply where the total cost of all work to be performed by all contractors and subcontractors in connection with new construction of a public works project been raised to one million dollars ($1,000,000.00). The prevailing wages law does not apply in connection with  remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project under one hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars. 

Prevailing Rate: The prevailing rate consists of a base rate and a fringe benefit rate which may be paid in cash or benefits.   Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-53(d) permits the Labor Commissioner to adopt and use the prevailing wage rate determinations as have been made by the Secretary of Labor of the United States under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended.  The agent empowered to let such contract shall contact the Labor Commissioner at least ten, but not more than twenty days, prior to the date such contracts will be advertised for bid, to ascertain the proper prevailing rate.  Under Connecticut General Statutes, 31-55a the rates will be adjusted annually on or before July 1st of each year.  These new rates will be on the Department of Labor website. 


Certifications: Both the Contractor and the Contracting Agent must provide certifications to the Labor Commissioner.  Prior to the award of any contract subject to the prevailing wage law, the contracting agent shall certify in writing to the Labor Commissioner the total dollar amount of work to be done in connection with the public works project, regardless of whether such project consists of one or more contracts.  Upon the award of a contract subject to the prevailing wage law, the contractor who is awarded the contract shall also certify, under oath, to the Labor Commissioner the pay scale to be used by the contractor and any of his subcontractors for the work to be performed under the contract.  Additionally, each employer subject to the prevailing wage law must file certified payrolls with the contracting agent including information, including but not limited to, employee names; occupations; hours worked; rates paid; and the employers compliance with various provisions of law. 

Penalties: There are various civil, criminal and administrative penalties for violations of the prevailing wage law.  Failure to pay the prevailing rate is a crime which may be a felony depending upon the amount of unpaid wages.  Knowingly filing a false certified payroll or failure to file a certified payroll is a Class D felony for which an employer may be fined up to five thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.  Disregarding obligations under Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-53 may result in an administrative debarment which may preclude any firm, corporation, partnership or association in which such person or firms have an interest from receiving an award of a contract until a period of up to three years have elapsed.  Additionally, civil penalties of $300 per violation of law may also be assessed upon the employer. 

Effective October 1, 2005, Public Act 05-50: Any person performing the work of any mechanic, laborer, or worker shall be paid prevailing wages ~~

All persons who perform work on site must be paid prevailing wage for the appropriate mechanic, laborer, or worker classification;  

All certified payrolls must list the hours worked and wages paid to all persons who perform work on site regardless of their ownership, i.e.: (Owners, corporate officers, LLC members, independent contractors, et. al); 

Reporting and payment of wages is required regardless of any contractual relationship alleged to exist between the contractor and such person.

For additional information contact:
Wage and Workplace Standards Division
Public Contract Compliance


200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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