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39.12.060  <<  39.12.065 >>   39.12.070

RCW 39.12.065

Investigation of complaints — Hearing — Remedies — Penalties.

(1) Upon complaint by an interested party, the director of labor and industries shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether there has been compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted hereunder, and if the investigation indicates that a violation may have occurred, a hearing shall be held in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW. The director shall issue a written determination including his or her findings after the hearing. A judicial appeal from the director's determination may be taken in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW, with the prevailing party entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorneys fees.

     A complaint concerning nonpayment of the prevailing rate of wage shall be filed with the department of labor and industries no later than thirty days from the acceptance date of the public works project. The failure to timely file such a complaint shall not prohibit a claimant from pursuing a private right of action against a contractor or subcontractor for unpaid prevailing wages. The remedy provided by this section is not exclusive and is concurrent with any other remedy provided by law.

     (2) To the extent that a contractor or subcontractor has not paid the prevailing rate of wage under a determination issued as provided in subsection (1) of this section, the director shall notify the agency awarding the public works contract of the amount of the violation found, and the awarding agency shall withhold, or in the case of a bond, the director shall proceed against the bond in accordance with the applicable statute to recover, such amount from the following sources in the following order of priority until the total of such amount is withheld:

     (a) The retainage or bond in lieu of retainage as provided in RCW 60.28.011;

     (b) If the claimant was employed by the contractor or subcontractor on the public works project, the bond filed by the contractor or subcontractor with the department of labor and industries as provided in RCW 18.27.040 and 19.28.041;

     (c) A surety bond, or at the contractor's or subcontractor's option an escrow account, running to the director in the amount of the violation found; and

     (d) That portion of the progress payments which is properly allocable to the contractor or subcontractor who is found to be in violation of this chapter. Under no circumstances shall any portion of the progress payments be withheld that are properly allocable to a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, that is not found to be in violation of this chapter.

     The amount withheld shall be released to the director to distribute in accordance with the director's determination.

     (3) A contractor or subcontractor that is found, in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, to have violated the requirement to pay the prevailing rate of wage shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars or an amount equal to twenty percent of the total prevailing wage violation found on the contract, whichever is greater, and shall not be permitted to bid, or have a bid considered, on any public works contract until such civil penalty has been paid in full to the director. If a contractor or subcontractor is found to have participated in a violation of the requirement to pay the prevailing rate of wage for a second time within a five-year period, the contractor or subcontractor shall be subject to the sanctions prescribed in this subsection and as an additional sanction shall not be allowed to bid on any public works contract for two years. Civil penalties shall be deposited in the public works administration account. If a previous or subsequent violation of a requirement to pay a prevailing rate of wage under federal or other state law is found against the contractor or subcontractor within five years from a violation under this section, the contractor or subcontractor shall not be allowed to bid on any public works contract for two years. A contractor or subcontractor shall not be barred from bidding on any public works contract if the contractor or subcontractor relied upon written information from the department to pay a prevailing rate of wage that is later determined to be in violation of this chapter. The civil penalty and sanctions under this subsection shall not apply to a violation determined by the director to be an inadvertent filing or reporting error. To the extent that a contractor or subcontractor has not paid the prevailing wage rate under a determination issued as provided in subsection (1) of this section, the unpaid wages shall constitute a lien against the bonds and retainage as provided herein and in RCW 18.27.040, 19.28.041, 39.08.010, and 60.28.011.

[2009 c 219 § 4; 2001 c 219 § 2; 1994 c 88 § 1; 1985 c 15 § 2.]

Notes:

     Severability -- 1985 c 15: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1985 c 15 § 4.]