2-2 Additional “Trade” Classifications And Wage Rates

2-2 Additional “trade” Classifications and Wage Rates.

What if the work classification you need isn’t on the wage decision? If the work classification(s) that you need doesn’t appear on the wage decision, you will need to request an additional classification and wage rate. This process is usually very simple and you’ll want to start the request right away. Basically, you identify the classification you need and recommend a wage rate for DOL to approve for the project. There are a few rules about additional classifications; you’ll find these rules in the DOL regulations, Part 5, and in the labor clauses in your contract. The rules are summarized for you here:

  1. Additional classification rules. Additional classifications and wage rates can be approved if:
    1. The requested classification is used by construction contractors in the area of the project. (The area is usually defined as the county where the project is located).
    2. The work that will be performed by the requested classification is not already performed by another classification that is already on the wage decision. (In other words, if there already is an Electrician classification and wage rate on the wage decision you can’t request another Electrician classification and rate.)
    3. The proposed wage rate for the requested classification “fits” with the other wage rates already on the wage decision. (For example, the wage rate proposed for a trade classification such as Electrician must be at least as much as the lowest wage rate for other trade classifications already contained in the wage decision.) And,
    4. The workers that will be employed in the added classification (if it is known who the workers are/will be), or the workers’ representatives, must agree with the proposed wage rate.
  2. Making the request. Arequest for additional classification and wage rate must be made in writing through the contract administrator. (If the contract administrator is a local agency, the agency will send the request to the HUD Labor Relations staff.) If you are a subcontractor, your request should also go through the prime contractor. All you need to do is identify the work classification that is missing and recommend a wage rate (usually the rate that employer is already paying to the employees performing the work) for that classification. You may also need to describe the work that the new classification will perform.
  3. HUD review. The HUD Labor Relations field staff will review the requested classification and wage rate to determine whether the request meets the DOLrules outlined in paragraph 2-2(a), above. If additional information or clarification is needed, the staff will contact the prime contractor (or contract administrator for local agency projects) for more information, etc. If the Labor Relations review finds that the request meets the rules, the staff will give preliminary approval on the request and refer it to the DOL for final approval. The staff will send to you a copy of the preliminary approval/referral letter to the DOL.

    If the HUD Labor Relations staff doesn’t think the request meets the rules and if agreement can’t be reached on the proper classification or wage rate for the work described, the HUD Labor Relations staff will not approve the request. In this case, the staff will send your request to the DOLwith an explanation why HUD believes that the request shouldn’t be approved. The DOL still has final decision authority. You will receive a copy of the disapproval/referral letter to the DOL.
  4. DOL decision. The DOL will respond to HUD Labor Relations in writing about the additional classification and wage rate request. HUD Labor Relations will notify you of the DOL decision in writing. If the DOL approves the request, the prime contractor must post the approval notice on the job site with the wage decision.

If the DOL does not approve the request, you will be notified about what classification and wage rate should be used for the work in question. You will also receive instructions about how to ask for DOL reconsideration if you still want to try to get your recommendation approved.

It’s always a good idea to talk to the contract administrator before submitting an additional classification and wage rate request. The contract administrator can offer suggestions and advice that may save you time and increase the likelihood that DOLwill approve your request. Usually, the contract administrator can give you an idea about what the DOL will finally decide.

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