Prevailing Wage

New York Labor Law Article 8: Applicable on NewYork State and local public works projects.

Contractors and subcontractors must pay the area prevailing rate of wages and supplements(fringe benefits) to all workers on a public work construction project. For more information, visit the NY Department of Labor Bureau of Public Work.  If you are a worker who thinks they were or currently are underpaid for a prevailing wage project, contact us. 

Davis-Bacon Act: Applicable on most federal construction projects $2,000 of value and greater.

Contractors and subcontractors must pay the area prevailing rate of wages and supplements (fringe benefits) to all workers on a federal public work construction project $2,000 and greater.  Exceptions apply to certain building projects. For more information, visit the USDOL.  If you are a worker who thinks they were underpaid for a prevailing wage project, contact us. 

Apprenticeship Laws

Excellent apprenticeship programs make up the backbone of a skilled workforce, training students of the program to be excellent journey workers in the future. However, there are rigorous standards that must be met not only by the apprentice, but also by the program itself and its sponsors. These extensive policies protect apprentices from being taken advantage of, and ensure that they receive the appropriate education – both in the classroom and in the field.

Please click here for a list of all active sponsors of apprenticeship programs in New York State, as maintained by the NYSDOL.

Contractor Certifications

8(a) Small Business
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains the 8(a) Business Development Program. This nine-year, educational program sees at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars annually.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also maintains the HUBZoneProgram. The federal government has an annual goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies.Companies in the HUBZone Program are able to bid in the program’s set-aside contracts, as well as receiving a ten percent price evaluation preference in full and open competition contract bidding.

Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)/Women-OwnedBusiness Enterprise (WBE)
There are two government certifications for women-owned businesses in New York State. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program, which has an annual contract award goal of five percent of all federal contracting dollars. New York State Empire State Development (NYSESD), also possesses a Women-Owned Business Enterprise program run by the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development (DMWBD).

Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE)
Similar to the WBE program mentioned above, New York State Empire State Development (NYSESD) also manages the Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) program via the Division of Minority andWomen’s Business Development (DMWBD).

Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned SmallBusiness (EDWOSB)
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s WOSB program also allows a business to certify as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). This program combines some requirements of the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program mentioned below with the WOSB program.

Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) manages all certifications for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB). The federal government has special set-aside contracts for companies with this certification – who must have at least a fifty-one percent ownership by a Veteran.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business(SDVOSB)
Similar to EDWOSB, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification builds upon the requirements of the VOSB program mentioned above, with special set-asides being provided for qualifying contractors.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)/DisadvantagedBusiness Enterprise (DBE)
As with some of the certifications mentioned above, there are both federal and state certifications for disadvantaged contractors. The Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program is the federal level certification, managed by the U.S. SBA. For this certification, the business in question must qualify as “small,” be fifty-one percent or greater owned by one or more disadvantaged persons, and the disadvantaged persons must be socially/economically disadvantaged. Separately, there is the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification in New York State – which possesses similar, but not identical requirements.

State and Local Procurement Laws

There are several laws currently in place that are important to understand when discussing responsible bidding.

General Municipal Law Section 103. Applies to political subdivisions across the state, including, but not limited to, cities, towns, counties, and villages.  GML Section 103 requires public bodies to bid out construction projects $35,000 of value and greater and award the contract to the “lowest responsible bidder.”  Responsible is not defined in the law but guidance can be found at the NYS Comptroller’s website. 

State Finance Law.  Applies to state bodies, such at the NYS Department of Transportation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.  Contractors wishing to do business with the State are also required to be “responsible.” Learn more about those rules here.

Responsible Bidding in Municipalities

Under the New York State General Municipal Law section 103, a state body has the right to award a contract to the lowest responsible bidder with a strong compliance history.Municipalities across the state have further developed responsible bidder laws to reinforce the responsible language in GML 103. 

A municipality can ensure that it awards public works contracts to responsible contractors bypassing local responsible bidder law. Such laws will specify certain criteria the contractor must follow in order to qualify for the contract. Responsible bidder laws may require contractors to submit information on its financial responsibility, and accountability. The municipality can establish standards to evaluate bids based on the stated criteria and information.

Public bodies may require bidding contractors to submit the New York State Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire, which is required by state agencies such as NYSDOT and NYS Dormitory Authority, as part of their bid process. The responsibility Questionnaire requires detailed disclosure of a contractor’s financial integrity, past performance, and past violations of certain laws. Utilizing this questionnaire is a smart way to introduce responsible bidding at a local level as many contractors are familiar with this system and have previously completed the questionnaire.

If your municipality does not currently have an individual responsible bidder law, the NYFFC will provide the support and guidance necessary to assist with the creation of a responsible bidder ordinance for your community. There is also no cost associated with the passage of a Local Responsible Bidder Laws.

Start a Campaign in your Municipality
To start a campaign in your municipality to create a responsible bidder law, please contact us.

Submit a Complaint
If you believe a company has violated the New York responsible bidding laws, please call us to submit a complaint.