New law revises requirements for apprenticeship

HB 1595 was signed into law with an effective date of July 24 2015. This change in law revises the requirements for apprenticeship by modifying the current law definition of labor hours as follows:

“(3) Labor hours means the total hours of workers receiving an hourly wage who are directly employed upon the public works project.” Labor hours includes hours performed by workers employed by the contractor and all subcontractors working on the project. Labor hours does not include hours worked by foremen superintendents owners and workers who are not subject to prevailing wage requirements.”

This change is intended to broaden the consideration for apprenticeship and will now include workers beyond the physical site of work consistent with the application of prevailing wage law. The following is an excerpt from the Bill Report which interprets the new language;

“Washingtons prevailing wage laws require that laborers upon the public works project must be paid prevailing wages. The prevailing wage law has been interpreted to extend beyond work performed directly on the site of the project.”

WSDOT announced that the department intends to enact this revision as follows:
1. WSDOT will revise the language as noted in projects advertised on or after July 24th 2015 as required by law.
- Updates to the General Special Provisions will also be made and distributed prior to this time.

2. Guidance will be provided to the project engineers who administer existing contracts advising them that they may permit and encourage prime contractors to report apprentice accomplishments consistent with the revised definition.

3. WSDOT will be providing a FAQ section on the apprenticeship webpage to help alleviate any questions.