In 1868, the first federal prevailing wage law was passed by Congress and enforced by President Ulysses Grant. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the current federal prevailing wage law known as the Davis Bacon Act. Kentucky’s first prevailing wage law was passed in 1940.
Kentucky’s prevailing wage laws and regulations have undergone a number of changes since 1940. Today, the Labor Cabinet has full authority relative to prevailing wage rate determinations and enforcement. The Labor Cabinet has designed this site to offer a wide range of prevailing wage categories that can assist you with your questions relative to the rules and regulations that govern prevailing wage and public works projects. There are a number of statutes and regulations quoted throughout this site. If you have any questions or if you need additional assistance, please contact us at the number or address listed below.
The single question the Labor Cabinet is asked the most relates to the definition of prevailing wage. For the purpose of Kentucky Revised Statutes 337.505 to 337.550, the term prevailing wage for each classification of laborers, workmen, and mechanics engaged in the construction of public works within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, means the sum of:
(1) Base rate.
The basic hourly rate paid or being paid subsequent to the commissioner's most recent wage determination to the majority of laborers, workmen and mechanics employed in each classification of construction upon reasonably comparable construction in the locality where the work is to be performed.
(2) Fringe rate.
An additional amount per hour equal to the hourly rate of contribution irrevocably made or to be made by an employer on behalf of employees within each classification of construction to a trustee or to a third person pursuant to an enforceable commitment to carry out a financially responsible plan or program, which was communicated in writing to the employees affected, for the following fringe benefits:
(a) medical or hospital care;
(b) pensions on retirement;
(c) death compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity;
(d) life insurance;
(e) defraying costs of apprenticeship or other similar programs;
(f) cash; the employer may pay an additional amount per hour to the employee in cash or partly in cash and partly by contributions.
Fringe does not include costs associated with programs or taxes required by federal state or local law such as workers' compensation or unemployment insurance tax. Accidental, disability, or sickness insurance may be considered a fringe if paid under the conditions as stated above. Fringe does not include costs associated with vacation and holiday unless paid in the form of cash as indicated by item (f) above.
For additional information, select the link below.
- Contractor's Responsibility to Pay Rates, Post Rates, Recordkeeping