News Department

Bill that modernizes contractor payroll certification signed into law

NEW JERSEY – A bipartisan bill that will streamline submissions of public work contractors’ payrolls was signed into law Wednesday.

Current law only requires those contractors submit written payroll records to the Department of Labor and the contract-awarding public body.

The bill (S1442/A5345), sponsored by Assemblymen Ned Thomson, Christopher DePhillips and Parker Space, amends that law to require them to register electronically on an online form with the state Department of Labor and upload payroll records. Those records, stored on a NJDOL-operated secured web portal, would be available for inspection by the public.

“This change in law will help make the records submission process more time efficient and transparent,” Thomson (R-Monmouth) said. “It’s also going to help ensure that contractors are paying their workers prevailing wages.”

The Prevailing Wage Act, enacted in 1964 and updated over the years, requires that construction workers on publicly funded projects be paid a prevailing wage—the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor—as set by the state Labor commissioner. In New Jersey, wages vary by job and county.

“The antiquated paper system makes it difficult for the Labor Department to ensure compliance with the law,” DePhillips (R-Bergen) said. “We’re bringing the process into the 21st century.”

The FY24 budget includes $1 million to develop that portal for contractors to submit electronic payroll records. Contractors would no longer submit paper registration applications or payroll certifications once that system is in place.

In 2014, Space introduced a 3-bill package concerning prevailing wage enforcement which included a similar bill updating certified payroll transparency but also one allowing the Department of Labor to check the identification of workers on public work projects during investigations and another creating an informational list for public work contractors of their wage requirements as well as maintaining a list of the names of contractors who have failed to pay prevailing wages and/or state payroll taxes – the latter two bills were enacted into law.

“Modernizing public works payroll procedures and transparency will protect both workers and the contractors who play by the rules,” Space (R-Sussex) said.  “This new law can be a tool to make sure contractors are paying their workers the wages they are owed as well as weed out those unscrupulous contractors who exploit illegal labor which puts trained and qualified construction workers at a disadvantage.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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