CA DIR Certified Payrolls Q&A

Certified Payroll Reporting
Who must submit certified payroll records?

All contractors and subcontractors working on public works projects (except for those listed below) must submit electronic certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner. The Labor Commissioner has exempted the following projects from the requirement:

(a) Projects monitored by the following legacy Labor Compliance Programs:
- California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
- City of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- County of Sacramento

(b) Projects covered by a qualifying project labor agreement.

(c) Projects covered by the small project exemption. The small project exemption applies for all public works projects that do not exceed:
- $25,000 for new construction, alteration, installation, demolition or repair
- $15,000 for maintenance

Is the electronic certified payroll reporting system the only way to submit certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner?

Yes. All contractors must submit their certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner using the DIR's online system. It offers two options for submitting certified payroll records: entering the information directly using the online form or uploading xml files.

Is every company responsible for submitting its own payroll for each project on which it is working?

Yes. Each contractor and subcontractor must submit certified payroll records directly to the Labor Commissioner using DIR's online system

When/how frequently must the certified payroll records be submitted?

Certified payroll records must be submitted at least monthly (within a month after the end of the payroll period) or more frequently if more frequent submission is required by the contract with the awarding body. The best practice is to submit the records weekly or at the conclusion of each payroll period.

I am an owner/operator, sole proprietor, or business owner, and I do not receive payroll checks or pay myself an hourly salary. How do I handle certified payroll reporting for my own work, and how do I determine how much I am being paid for that work?

Even if you are paid by salary, draw, or contract payments, you still should be able to provide the following information for any work you perform on public works projects:
(a) your name, address, and SSN (or FEIN, if you have no SSN);
(b) the work classification for your prevailing wage work;
(c) the hourly rate for that classification;
(d) the number of hours that you performed that work; and
(e) the estimated amount paid to you for your labor for that work.

To calculate how much you were paid for your own labor, subtract all your other expenses (including materials, pro rata share of business overhead, and payments to other workers or subcontractors) from the gross contract price. The net amount should be your labor cost, and it should be equal to or higher than the compensation required for your work classification (determined by multiplying your work hours by the applicable rates) in order to comply with prevailing wage requirements.

Consulting Services We Provide

  • Review public works preconstruction contracts
  • Monitor DIR contractor/subcontractor certified payrolls
  • Audit labor classification for each worker employed
  • Review DIR pre-DAS 140/142 submissions
  • Review CAC training fund contributions form CAC-2
  • Review DIR Fringe Benefits Statement PW-26
  • Monitor DIR wage determinations
  • Audit fringe benefits allowances
  • Review DIR holiday payment requirements
  • Audit DIR travel & subsistence requirements
  • Caltrans Labor Compliance
  • County of Sacramento Labor Compliance
  • City of Los Angeles Labor Compliance
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Labor Compliance
  • Federal Davis-Bacon Project Monitoring
  • Federal DBE Implementation & Review
  • Federal FAA AIP Goal Setting
  • DIR & Davis-Bacon Training
  • DIR Civil Wage Penalty Review
  • Local-Hire Review (e.g., San Francisco)
  • Skilled and Trained Workforce

Give us a call to discuss your labor compliance requirements.

This email is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice
or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances.

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