California Department of Industrial Relations Authorizes Electronic Reporting of Certified Payroll Records By Public Work Contractors

California Labor Code section 1776 requires public works contractors and subcontractors to maintain payroll records showing the name, address, social security number, work classification, straight-time and overtime hours worked each day and week, and the actual per diem wages paid to workmen employed on a public works project, and to verify under penalty of perjury in a written declaration the accuracy of such payroll records. These certified payroll records must be prepared on forms provided by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or may consist of printouts of payroll data that are maintained as computer records, provided the printouts contain the same information as the forms provided by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Certified payroll records must be made available for inspection and/or furnished to employees and their authorized representative, members of the public, the awarding body, Labor Compliance Programs, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards of the California Department of Industrial Relations upon request, and generally within 10 days from the date of the request.

The California Department of Industrial Relations recently amended its regulations by adopting a new rule relating to electronic reporting requirements effective January 21, 2009. See California Code of Regulations, Title 8, 16404. The new rule provides that certified payroll records may be maintained and submitted electronically, provided certain conditions are met: (a) the records must contain all of the information required by Labor Code Section 1776 and the information must be organized in a manner that is similar or identical to how the information is reported on the Department of Industrial Relations' Public Works Payroll Reporting Form A-1-131; (b) the records shall be in a format and use software that is readily accessible and available to contractors, awarding bodies, Labor Compliance Programs and the Department of Industrial Relations; (c) the records submitted to an awarding body, a Labor Compliance Program, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or Division of Apprenticeship Standards must be either (1) in the form of a non-modifiable image or record that bears an electronic signature or includes a copy of any original certification made on paper, or (2) printed out and submitted on paper with an original signature; (d) the requirements for redacting certain information shall be followed when certified payroll records are disclosed to the public pursuant to Labor Code Section 1776(e), whether the records are provided electronically or as hard copies; and (e) no contractor or subcontractor shall be mandated to submit or receive electronic reports when it otherwise lacks the resources or capacity to do so, nor required to purchase or use proprietary software that is not generally available to the public.

This new rule is intended to make it easier and more expedient for public works contractors and subcontractors to maintain, prepare and make available for inspection or submit certified payroll records when the relevant payroll data exists in an electronic or computer format that contains the information required by Labor Code section 1776(a).

This blog entry was authored by Van Goodwin.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.