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Work schedules and overtime on prevailing wage projects

Work schedules

Contractors and subcontractors must give workers the regular work schedule (days of the week and number of hours per day) in writing, before beginning work on the project. Contractors and subcontractors may provide the schedule at the time of hire, prior to starting work on the contract, or by posting the schedule at the work site, along with the prevailing wage rate information and any fringe benefit information. If an employer fails to give written notice of the worker’s schedule, the work schedule will be presumed to be a five-day schedule. The schedule may only be changed if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade the PWR overtime requirements.

Overtime requirements

Generally, on Prevailing Wage Rate (PWR) projects, overtime is due on a daily basis, after eight hours per day, Monday through Friday. This is the case even if the employee has not worked 40 hours in the workweek.

If an employee works an established schedule of four ten-hour days on a PWR covered project, overtime may not be due until after ten hours per day. To have an established “four-ten” schedule, the four days of work must be consecutive and must fall within Monday and Friday; therefore, an employee could work a four-ten schedule of either Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday.  

An employer may change an employee’s established work schedule, but only if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade the PWR overtime requirements. For example, an employee working on a Monday-through-Thursday four-ten schedule cannot switch to a Tuesday-through-Friday schedule for one week and still maintain the four-ten schedule that week. Additionally, an employee working on a four-ten schedule on a PWR project cannot work on private projects on days outside of the four-ten schedule and still maintain the four-ten schedule that week. If an established four-ten schedule is not followed, overtime will be owed for all hours worked over eight per day that week.  

Regardless of the work schedule an employer establishes on a PWR covered project, workers must be paid overtime for all hours worked on Saturdays, Sundays, six legal holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), and for hours worked over 40 in a week. If one of the legal holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the preceding Friday or following Monday becomes the recognized holiday and all hours worked on that day on a PWR covered project must be paid at an overtime rate.  

The overtime rate is 1.5 times the hourly base rate, plus the hourly fringe rate. Although the fringe rate does not have to be paid at time and one half, it must be paid for all hours worked, including overtime hours. Overtime should be paid using the following equation:

(hourly base rate x 1.5) + hourly fringe rate

If hourly shift differential, hazard pay, or zone pay is due, that amount is added to the base rate, and the following equation should be used:

((hourly base rate + premium pay) x 1.5) + hourly fringe rate

If an employee earns more than one base rate of pay for the day/week, then the daily/weekly overtime owed, in addition to the regular straight time wages, is based on a weighted average of the hourly base rates earned.  

If work such as travel time or shop time is compensable time, and if the travel or shop time is related to a public contract, the hours of travel and/or shop time will count toward daily overtime. For example, an employee on a “five-eight” schedule works the following hours during one day:
Drive time from shop to PWR project – ½ hour
Work on PWR project – 8 hours
Drive time from PWR project to shop – ½ hour
Work in shop related to PWR project – 1 hour

This employee worked 10 hours this day, and all the work is related to the public contract for the PWR project. Therefore, the employee is due two hours of overtime at the daily weighted average rate. The drive time and shop hours can be paid at an agreed rate rather than at a prevailing wage rate, as the hours are not worked on the PWR project site. However, in this example, both drive time and shop hours count toward daily overtime.  

If a collective bargaining agreement applies and has different overtime provisions, the provisions in the bargaining agreement will govern. 

The above overtime provisions do not apply to contracts with public universities listed in ORS 352.002. Overtime on such projects is due only after 40 hours in the workweek. Public universities listed in ORS 352.002 are the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, and Eastern Oregon University. Local and community colleges are not public universities.


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