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What is prevailing wage?

Prevailing wage is the minimum hourly wage employers must pay certain workers who work on construction projects where state dollars are used to fund the construction. The prevailing wage includes the employer's cost of benefits.

What types of construction projects require workers to be paid prevailing wage?

Any construction project funded in whole or in part by state funds. For example, state-funded projects can be projects to construct highways, roads, wastewater treatment plants, public utilities, colleges, schools, or park and recreation improvements.

Who decides the prevailing-wage rate?

Our agency, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), sets the prevailing-wage rates to be comparable to wages paid for similar work in the county where the construction project is located. These are called the "certified" prevailing-wage rates.

Where can I find the prevailing-wage rate for a particular worker?

The prevailing-wage rate will depend on the type of work the worker is performing.

Commercial construction prevailing-wage rates must be paid on state-funded building projects, including state-owned buildings, colleges and schools.

Highway/heavy prevailing-wage rates must be paid on state-funded public works projects, including highways, roads, airport runways, bridges, power plants, dams and utilities.

What happens if an employer pays less than the prevailing wage on a state-funded construction project?

If an employer pays less than the prevailing wage, DLI requires the employer to pay back-wages to the worker to make up the difference. Our agency can also require the employer to pay penalties for failure to comply with the prevailing-wage law.

How do I file a complaint about an employer I think is paying less than the prevailing wage?

To file a complaint, complete the complaint form. Our agency will review your complaint and decide whether to investigate. We will let you know whether we will investigate your complaint.

Where can I get more information?

For projects other than the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT)

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Prevailing Wage
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN  55155
Phone:  651-284-5091

For Mn/DOT projects

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Labor Compliance unit
395 John Ireland Blvd., Mail Stop 650
St. Paul, MN  55155
Phone:  651-366-4204

Prevailing-wage law