Tuesday, July 10, 2012

California Supreme Court Allows Cities to Opt-out of Prevailing Wage Laws

The California Supreme Court last week issued a decision on state prevailing wage laws that has devastating implications for labor. The Court held that a charter city does not have to comply with state prevailing wage laws if it passes an ordinance prohibiting any city contracts from requiring payment of prevailing wages. Essentially, the Court held prevailing wage issues are matters of municipal concern, rather than statewide concern, and that this cannot be cured by state legislation because it's a constitutional matter. Furthermore, the Court's specious findings for the need for prevailing laws and its equally erroneous distinction between statewide concerns and municipal concerns will have frightening and broad implications. What is next? Public bidding? Pension rights?  Agency Shops? Can we expect that billionaires will soon sponsor and financially support campaigns for new city ordinances that reject prevailing wage laws?  Only time will tell.  Jump to Court Decision 

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