You may have noticed, change is in the air…especially, the changes in California state law as it affects the construction industry.

While we have covered the strengthened apprenticeship requirements heralded under Assembly Bill 3018, there are other bills (now laws), AB 1768 and AB 695, that tighten prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements well beyond the previous state of the art.

AB 1768 amends Section 1720 of the Labor Code, by requiring prevailing wage for pre-construction design work, whether the project is ever constructed, or not.

This law expands the definition of public works to include work conducted during site assessment or feasibility studies. It also specifies that other preconstruction work, including design and land surveying, is deemed to be part of public projects.

The author of the bill, Assembly Member Wendy Carillo, explained the necessity for her creation by saying: “Ambiguity as to what is considered preconstruction work has led to confusion amongst stakeholders in the construction industry as to when prevailing wage requirements apply.”

In the place of “ambiguity,” this new law provides dozens of definitions and exceptions relating to what is and isn’t covered as public work, from carpet laying to mass transit demonstration projects, all neatly packaged in 3,602 words and available to you, or your lawyer at:

//leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1768

 

Doubling Down on “Skilled & Trained” Workforce

AB 695 adds requirements on contractors and subcontractors working on community college district designbuild projects to use a “skilled and trained workforce,” a topic covered at some length in AB 3018, as we reported last month.

The bill gives a bit more time to prepare, with an effective date of July 1, 2020. As the new law weaves in and out of several sections of the Education Code, the Labor Code and it prohibits a design-build construction team, on or after July 1, 2020, from being prequalified or shortlisted for such projects unless the “entity commits to using a skilled and trained workforce,” which includes at least 60 percent of apprenticeship program graduates.

These skilled and trained workforce requirements are already in effect for specified design-build projects involving school districts as well as local and state agencies delineated in AB 3018.

The apprenticeship program graduation percentages by trade are as follows:

The chart shows which trades have a 30 percent apprentice training requirement.

Other trades including electrical, plumbing and trades must have 60 percent of the skilled “journeypersons” apprenticeship program graduates.

The only workers you can employ on these projects are apprentices currently registered in a state-approved apprenticeship program and skilled “journeypersons” who are either apprenticeship program graduates or have worked enough hours in their trade to meet the on the job training requirements; however, a certain percentage of the skilled journeypersons working on these projects must be apprenticeship program graduates.

Of particular interest to signatory contractors is the provision that states: “This requirement shall not apply to projects where the community college district or the design-build entity has entered into a collective bargaining agreement that binds all of the contractors performing work on the project.”

You can read the new law at: //leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB 695

*Trades with no state-approved apprenticeship program as of 1/1/95 can meet up to ½ of their graduation requirement by employing workers who started working in that trade before an apprenticeship program was approved in the project county, i. e. Laborer.