New Public Works Contractor Registration Law, SB854

New Public Works Contractor Registration Law

SB854 Registration applies to all new contracts awarded after April 1, 2015.


SB 854, a CA state bill that was signed into law on June 20, 2014, and became effective immediately, made several significant changes to laws pertaining to the administration and enforcement of prevailing wage requirements by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Among other things, SB 854 established a new 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 this new program will be used to fund all of DIR’s public works activities, including compliance monitoring and enforcement, the determination of prevailing wage rates, public works coverage determinations, and hearing enforcement appeals.

Key points of the public works contractor registration program include:

* Contractors are subject to a registration and annual renewal fee that has been set initially at $300. The fee is non-refundable and applies to all contractors and subcontractors who intend to bid or perform work on public works projects (as defined under the Labor Code).

* Contractors will apply and pay the fee online and must meet minimum qualifications to be registered as eligible to bid and work on public works projects

  • Must have workers’ compensation coverage for all employees and only use subcontractors who are registered public works contractors.
  • Must have Contractors State License Board license if applicable to trade.
  • Must have no delinquent unpaid wage or penalty assessments owed to any employee or enforcement agency.
  • Must not be under federal or state debarment.
  • Must not be in prior violation of this registration requirement once it becomes effective. However, for the first violation in a 12 month period, a contractor may still qualify for registration by paying an additional penalty.
  • The registration fee is not related to any project. It is more like a license that enables the registrant to bid on and perform public works.

DIR will post a list of registered contractors and subcontractors on its website so that awarding bodies and contractors will be able to comply with requirements to only use registered contractors and subcontractors. The requirement to list only registered contractors and subcontractors on bids became effective on March 1, 2015. The requirement to only use registered contractors and subcontractors on public works projects applies to all projects awarded on or after April 1, 2015.


This requirement will be phased in as follows:

  • Applies immediately to public works projects that have already been under CMU monitoring, i.e. contractors on ongoing projects that have been submitting CPRs to the CMU will continue doing so
  • Will apply to any new projects awarded on or after April 1, 2015
  • May apply to other projects as determined by Labor Commissioner
  • Will apply to all public works projects, new or ongoing, on and after January 1, 2016


The Labor Commissioner may make exception to this requirement for

  • Projects covered by qualifying project labor agreement
  • Projects undertaken by one of four remaining awarding bodies with legacy LCPs (Caltrans, City of Los Angeles, County of Sacramento, and Los Angeles Unified School District), so long as those LCPs remain approved by DIR.


To learn more about the requirements of SB854, Click here….

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