What is a “Public Work” Under California Law?

Monday, February 16, 2015

by Richard E. Donahoo



Often workers are unsure whether the California project where they are working is a “public work” that requires their employer to pay them a minimum “prevailing wage” rate set by the State of California.

California Labor Code section 1720 defines a public work as:

“Construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of public funds . . . For purposes of this paragraph, “construction” includes work performed during the design and preconstruction phases of construction, including, but not limited to, inspection and land surveying work. For purposes of this paragraph, “installation” includes, but is not limited to, the assembly and disassembly of freestanding and affixed modular office systems.”

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