Bill that modernizes contractor payroll certification passes Assembly

Bill that modernizes contractor payroll certification passes Assembly

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly on Friday passed a bill that will streamline submissions of public work contractors’ payrolls.

Current law only requires those contractors submit written payroll records to the Department of Labor and the contract-awarding public body. The bill (S1442/A5345), sponsored by Assemblymen Ned Thomson and Christopher DePhillips, amends that law to require them to register electronically on an online form with the state Department of Labor and upload payroll records. Those records, stored on a NJDOL-operated secured web portal, would be available for inspection by the public body that awarded the contract.

“The change in law will help make the records submission process more time efficient and transparent,” Thomson (R-Monmouth) said. “It’s also going to help ensure that contractors are paying their workers prevailing wages.”

The Prevailing Wage Act, enacted in 1964 and updated over the years, requires that construction workers on publicly funded projects be paid a prevailing wage—the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor—as set by the state Labor commissioner. In New Jersey, wages vary by job and county.

The FY24 budget includes $1 million to develop that portal for contractors to submit electronic payroll records. Contractors would no longer submit paper registration applications or payroll certifications once that system is in place.

“The antiquated paper system makes it difficult for the Labor Department to ensure compliance with the law,” DePhillips (R-Bergen) said. “We’re bringing the process into the 21st century.”

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for signature.