Housing Projects Funded by Public and Housing Funds are not Exempt from Prevailing Wage Law

On June 15th, 2012, in Housing Partners I Inc. v. Duncan, (California Courts of Appeal – 4th District, No. E052582), the court held that a housing project that is supported by a combination of housing and public funds does not qualify for an exemption from prevailing wage law.

In Duncan, the plaintiff, Housing Partners Inc. (HPI), owned and developed Vista Del Sol Senior Complex, a senior housing development. HPI purchased the site from the Housing Authority for the County of San Bernardino. HPI received three kinds of loans from the County, a redevelopment agency, and the Housing Authority for the construction. CANDO Contract Compliance filed a request alleging that Vista Del Sol was subject to prevailing wage law to the Director of Industrial Relations for the State of California. The Director concluded that the project required the payment of prevailing wages. HPI appealed the decision but was denied an appeal by the Director. HPI petitioned for a writ of mandate to reverse the Director's decision. The trial court denied HPI's petition.

The California Courts of Appeal affirmed the trial court's decision. The court pointed to prevailing wage law which carved out an exception from prevailing wage law for projects funded by redevelopment money and private funds. However the court pointed out that this exception does not apply when the project is funded by public and housing funds. Here, the project was being financed by public and housing funds so the exception did not apply.

If you have suffered from wage and hour claims, retaliation, or wrongful termination, please do not hesitate to contact a Orange County Employment Lawyer today.

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