CO SB 19-196: What You Need to Know

CO SB 19-196: What You Need to Know

In the spring of 2019, Governor Polis signed the Colorado Quality Apprenticeship Training Act of 2019 (CO SB 19-196) into law. This new law modifies several procurement requirements for state contractors that work on public projects. CO SB 19-196 impacts construction bidding for public projects, apprenticeship utilization, and prevailing wage requirements. The law goes into effect July 1, 2021.

CO SB 19-196: What It Does

Under CO SB 19-196, a general contractor for a public project that does not receive federal money in the amount of $1M or more, is required to submit documentation to the contracting agency when a subcontractor is put under contract for certain services. The documentation includes:

  • Identification of the contractor and subcontractors that will be used for specific aspects of the public project; and
  • Certification that all firms identified for the project participate in apprenticeship programs registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment and training administration or state apprenticeship council recognized by the U.S. DOL and have a proven record of graduating apprentices at specified rates.

The law does include a multi-step process to request a waiver of the apprenticeship utilization requirements.

CO SB 19-196 also requires a general contractor that is awarded a contract for a public project for $500,000 or more by an agency of government to pay employees a prevailing wage at weekly intervals and requires compliance with the prevailing wage enforcement provisions. This provision extends to any subcontractors. There are exceptions for contracts that include federal money and contracts that apply to the department of transportation.

The appropriate prevailing wage for these public projects is based on the appropriate wage determinations issued by the Department of Labor, in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA).

Guidance for Employers

Employers must also be aware that the law has a notification requirement for posters to be placed at the job site. The notice must describe the current prevailing rate of wages and the rights and remedies of any employee for nonpayment of wages earned.  A separate prevailing wage will be established for apprenticeships.

Finally, CO SB 19-196 includes penalties for non-compliance, which can include the payment of back wages and fringe benefits to employees, termination of the public project contract, and in the most extreme cases, personal liability of company officials and prohibition from obtaining future contracts (debarment).

Learn more about CO SB 19-196 by clicking here.

The Davis-Bacon Act

As background, the DBA is meant to protect local communities from the economic upheaval caused by government contracts. This is accomplished by requiring that workers be paid a local prevailing wage and fringe benefits when working on contracts valued at more than $2,000. Compliance with the DBA requires that contractors:

  • Provide employees full wages, within the prevailing wage;
  • Provide the fringe amount in the form of benefits or cash; and
  • Maintain basic records of all workers during their employment and for three years after.

These records should contain basic information on each employee and the hourly rates of pay, including the rates associated with the fringe. Additionally, employers must keep a record of hours worked, deductions made and wages paid, and details on any fringe benefit plans and programs.

Your Competitive Edge

There is quite a compliance checklist for CO SB 19-196! Boon can help employers with thinking through the legal, HR, accounting, and other aspects of the legislation. Boon prides itself on having the knowledge and expertise to assist with your compliance obligations. At Boon, we’re 100% committed to this strategy, since CO SB 19-196 includes a penalty component for non-compliance!

We believe the best CO SB 19-196 construction contracts begin on the strong foundation of their workforce. Boon provides an expert, consultative approach to helping government contractors be at their very best. We offer flexible, hourly employee benefit plans for DBA contractors that keep cost down and bids competitive, while offering health coverage for the benefit of your workforce.

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