What are prevailing wage fringe benefits?
The Prevailing Wage Rate has 2 parts:
- Basic Rate is the money that must be paid to the employee by the employer.
- Fringe Benefits are the combination of benefits such as Health Care, Vacation, Pension and Training provided by the employer to the employee.
For Fringe Benefits, the employer can either:
- Provide fringe benefits directly to the employee
- Pay the employee the cash equivalent of the fringe benefits
If the employer does not provide fringe benefits or the cash equivalent, the employee may have a claim for non-payment of the proper prevailing wage.
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website lists the proper basic rate and fringe benefit value for each job classification.
Fringe benefits fraud
It is common for employers to tell employees that they are receiving benefits but never actually deliver these benefits to the employee. Often pension funds are shorted or not paid, vacation is not provided, and the employer charges the employee for health care that should be provided as part of the Total Hourly compensation. If this is happening to you, you may be a victim of Fringe Benefit Fraud.
If an employer does not fully compensate workers for their fringe benefits as defined by California in the prevailing wage determinations, the employer is in violation of prevailing wage law.