State law requires prevailing wages be paid to laborers, workers, and mechanics employed upon all public works and under all public building service maintenance contracts. The prevailing wage is the hourly wage, usual benefits, and overtime to the majority of workers, laborers, or mechanics in the same trade or occupation.
Under current law, the Director of the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is required, to the extent necessary to prevent curtailment of opportunities for employment, to provide for the employment of individuals with disabilities at wages lower than the applicable prevailing wage rate through the issuance of special certificates.
The L&I has implemented rules carrying out the statute, authorizing nonprofit vocational rehabilitation programs to apply for subprevailing wage certificates for workers with certain disabilities. Subprevailing wage certificates are valid for a maximum of one year and may be renewed.
The statute requiring the Director of L&I to provide for the employment of individuals with disabilities at wages lower than the applicable prevailing wage rate through the issuance of special certificates is repealed.
(In support) There are no subprevailing wage certificates currently in use, but this bill eliminates any opportunity for people with disabilities to be undervalued for their work. Paying subprevailing wages is just as harmful as paying subminimum wages to persons with disabilities.