DIR Electronic Certified Payroll Reporting Update
November 16, 2015
Public works reforms (SB 854) were signed into law on June 20, 2014. The reforms made several significant changes to the administration and enforcement of prevailing wage requirements by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Among other things, SB 854 established a public works contractor registration program to replace prior Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) and Labor Compliance Program (LCP) requirements for bond-funded and other specified public works projects. The fees collected through the registration program established by SB 854 are used to fund DIR’s public works activities. All contractor registration fees go into the State Public Works Enforcement Fund and are used to fund the following items:
- Administration of contractor registration requirement;
- DIR costs for administering and enforcing public works laws;
- Labor Commissioner’s enforcement of other Labor Code violations on monitored public works projects.
An additional requirement of SB 854 stated that DIR establish an Electronic Certified Payroll Reporting (eCPR) system and that all contractors and subcontractors must furnish electronic certified payroll records directly to the Labor Commissioner (also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement).
The phase-in timetable for this requirement is as follows:
- June 20, 2014: Any project that was being monitored by the CMU/Labor Commissioner prior to the adoption of SB 854 will continue to be monitored by the Labor Commissioner afterward; and the contractors on those projects must continue to furnish certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner until the project is complete.
- April 1, 2015: For all new projects awarded on or after this date, the contractors and subcontractors must furnish electronic certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner.
- January 1, 2016: All contractors (except those listed as Exemptions just below) must furnish electronic certified payroll records to the Labor Commissioner through the eCPR data system.
Exemptions: The following projects are exempt from the requirement to have contractors and subcontractors furnish certified payroll records (CPRs) to the Labor Commissioner:
1. Any Projects monitored and enforced by the following legacy LCPs:
- California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
- City of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- County of Sacramento
2. Projects covered by qualifying project labor agreements, at the Labor Commissioner’s discretion.
SB 854 also required that awarding bodies submit a PWC-100 notice (contract award notice) for all public works projects to DIR. An awarding body must submit a PWC 100 in order for contractors to submit their eCPR. Awarding bodies are required to provide notice to DIR on all projects within five days of project award. Awarding bodies must register in the PWC-100 project registration system (https://www.dir.ca.gov/pwc100ext/) in order to notify DIR of their public works projects.
Our office has fielded numerous calls and e-mails from contractors who are frustrated with the new eCPR system. The most common complaint is that previously existing payroll systems used by contracting agencies are more user friendly than the XML format DIR chose. We have expressed these concerns to the Department and they are working on expanding the XML software interface. To this, DIR recently invited payroll software developers to have their products tested in order to join a list of vendors that public works contractors can use to submit certified payroll records electronically. A number of vendors have developed their own software and transmission methods for submitting certified payroll records in XML format, and are listed on DIR’s website (http://www.dir.ca.gov/Public-Works/eCPR_System-XML_Upload.html) under “Optional Vendor Software.”
We will continue to work with DIR to help address implantation issues of the eCPR system that harm our contractors.