(a) A prevailing wage rate is a wage rate that is paid to an experienced worker not disabled for the work to be performed. The Department recognizes that there may be more than one wage rate for a specific type of work in a given area. An employer must be able to demonstrate that the rate being used as prevailing for determining a commensurate wage was objectively determined according to the guidelines contained in this section.
(b) An employer whose work force primarily consists of nondisabled workers or who employs more than a token number of nondisabled workers doing similar work may use as the prevailing wage the wage rate paid to that employer's experienced nondisabled employees performing similar work. Where an agency places a worker or workers with disabilities on the premises of an employer described above, the wage paid to the employer's experienced workers may be used as prevailing.
(c) An employer whose work force primarily consists of workers disabled for the work to be performed may determine the prevailing wage by ascertaining the wage rates paid to the experienced nondisabled workers of other employers in the vicinity. Such data may be obtained by surveying comparable firms in the area that employ primarily nondisabled workers doing similar work. The firms surveyed must be representative of comparable firms in terms of wages paid to experienced workers doing similar work. The appropriate size of such a sample will depend on the number of firms doing similar work but should include no less than three firms unless there are fewer firms doing such work in the area. A comparable firm is one which is of similar size in terms of employees or which competes for or bids on contracts of a similar size or nature. Employers may contact other sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics or private or State employment services where surveys are not practical. If similar work cannot be found in the area defined by the geographic labor market, the closest comparable community may be used.
(d) The prevailing wage rate must be based upon the wage rate paid to experienced nondisabled workers as defined elsewhere in these regulations. Employment services which only provide entry level wage data are not acceptable as sources for prevailing wage information as required in these regulations.
(e) There is no prescribed method for tabulating the results of a prevailing wage survey. For example, either a weighted or unweighted average would be acceptable provided the employer is consistent in the methodology used.
(f) The prevailing wage must be based upon work utilizing similar methods and equipment. Where the employer is unable to obtain the prevailing wage for a specific job to be performed on the premises, such as collating documents, it would be acceptable to use as the prevailing wage the wage paid to experienced individuals employed in similar jobs such as file clerk or general office clerk, requiring the same general skill levels.
(g) The following information should be recorded in documenting the determination of prevailing wage rates:
(1) Date of contact with firm or other source;
(2) Name, address, and phone number of firm or other source contacted;
(3) Individual contacted within firm or source;
(4) Title of individual contacted;
(5) Wage rate information provided;
(6) Brief description of work for which wage information is provided;
(7) Basis for the conclusion that wage rate is not based upon an entry level position. (See also Sec. 525.10(c).)
(h) A prevailing wage may not be less than the minimum wage specified in section 6(a) of FLSA.