(TRENTON) – Expanding upon the “New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act” Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Joseph Egan (D-Middlesex, Somerset), Joann Downey (Monmouth) and Carol Murphy (Burlington) sponsor measures approved Monday by the Assembly Labor Committee to impose and expand the circumstances under which prevailing wage must be paid.
“Carpenters, plumbers, laborers and all trades people should be receiving prevailing wage as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Unfortunately, many do not,” said Houghtaling. “This bill will increase the breadth of prevailing wage and provide greater economic stability for many New Jersey families.”
The bill (A-1571) will ensure that the appropriate prevailing wage be met for any contract related construction work performed on public property that receives government approved tax abatement or exemption.
“Those organizations receiving tax benefits from the State will now be required to do their part and pay workers the appropriate prevailing wages,” said DeAngelo. “We want to safeguard the pay these workers deserve and ensure construction on public property is carried out effectively.”
To further ensure that construction-related contract workers receive prevailing wage, the bill (A-1576) mandates that any space leased by a public body exceeding 10,000 square feet, and all spaces leased by a public body that receives funds from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority must pay workers prevailing wage.
“Together, the bills will create a large umbrella under which many more construction and trade workers will find wage protection,” said Egan. “We want to create a standard to follow so no one is taking advantage of their laborers.”
In New Jersey, the rates at which the laborers are paid under the Prevailing Wage Act varies depending on the county and the type of work performed.
“Low wage levels effect the efficiency of projects,” said Downey. “We want to ensure the well-being of laborers and construction workers in New Jersey.”
“Often, when dealing with public construction work, there is an unfair competition when bidding on a project,” said Murphy. “Laborers should be chosen based on merit rather than how little their employer chooses to pay them.”