CA DIR Hiring Apprentices Q&A

Hiring Apprentices
Do I have to employ apprentices on all public works projects?

Contractors working on a public works project valued at $30,000 or more have an obligation to hire apprentices. With few exceptions, this duty applies to all contractors and subcontractors on a project, even if their part of the project is valued at less than $30,000. These exceptions include:
- General contractors whose contract is worth under $30,000.
- When the craft or trade is not appropriate for apprentices.
- When the contractor holds a sole proprietor license and personally performs all the work from start to finish, unassisted.
- In the case of a federal project when funding does not include any city, county, or state monies and that is not administered, controlled, or carried out by awarding bodies in California.

Apprentice Ratios

How many apprentices must I employ on a Public Works project?

At the end of the project, your straight time apprentice hours must equal a total of 1 hour for every 5 straight time journeyman hours for each separate craft. For example, if you have a total of 100 journeyman hours at the end of the project, you would need 20 apprentice hours in that same craft.

Can I mix and match crafts to reach the minimum ratio?

No. The minimum ratio requirement is per each individual craft and only includes straight time hours.

Do overtime hours count toward the minimum ratio?

No, only straight time hours count. Be careful not to confuse premium pay with overtime pay.

What is the maximum number of apprentices I can use on a Public Works Project?

It depends on which box you have checked on your DAS 140. If you checked box 1 or 2 and fall under the regulations set forth in a specific program's standards, then you are allowed to use the maximum ratio set forth in those Standards. If you have checked box 3 and agreed to be governed by the regulations set forth by the California Apprenticeship Council then the minimum and maximum ratio is the same: 1 apprentice hour for every 5 journeyman hours totaled at the end of the project.

I am a contractor who is approved to train by an approved program and am covered by their Standards, or I am a contractor who has agreed to be covered by a program's Standards for a single project. How do I know what the Standards allow for that program's maximum apprentice ratios?

You can ask the program for a copy of their Standards or a copy of the language in Article XV which covers ratios. Or you can call the DAS office nearest the location for that program and request the same.

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.

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or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances.

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