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Friday, May 17, 2013

DOL Issues FAQ on Applicability of Prevailing Wage Act to Landscape Work

Last week, the Illinois Department of Labor issued a "FAQ" to address commonly raised questions about the applicability of the Prevailing Wage Act ("Act") to landscape work.  In sum, the DOL states that "hardscape work" and landscaping work in conjunction with a public work project are covered by the Act but that most types of landscape maintenance activities are not.
The DOL provides helpful examples to break down these distinctions in the FAQ.  A few of these are listed below:
Covered by Prevailing Wage Act:
Hardscape work includes "work associated with buiding, making, forming, demolishing brick or concrete paths or walk ways, fountains, concrete or masonry planters or retaining walls".  These type of activities are considered covered work under the Act.
Landscape work in conjunction with other covered work is also covered by the Act and includes the following:
  1. original installation of landscape materials in connection with covered work involving buildings or structures.
  2. landscape work in conjunction with covered work involving any road, boulevard, street, highway, bridge project, sewer or underground project.
  3. lawn and landscape restoration performed in conjunction with covered work involving trenches and manholes, pipes, cables and conduits.
  4. preparation of and landscaping of approaches associated with covered work performed in connection with shafts, tunnels, subways, and sewers.
  5. landscaping of an old or new site in conjunction with covered work involving underpinning, lagging, bracing, propping or shoring.
  6. landscaping in connection with covered work involving earthmoving and grading.
  7. landscaping in connection with covered work performed at a park or preserve.
Not Covered by Prevailing Wage Act:
The following are examples of landscape work that is not covered by the Act, provided that the work is not being performed in conjunction with covered work unless a certificate of substantial completion has been issued or final payment been made relating to that covered work:
  1. lawn mowing or grass cutting
  2. line trimming
  3. edging
  4. weeding
  5. cultivating beds
  6. mulch application
  7. bed preparation using soil amendments
  8. core aeration
  9. sweeping and blowing of landscape materials
  10. pruning, planting, removal or replacement of shrubs, plants and flowers
  11. pruning of trees and replacement of diseased, damaged, or hazardous trees
  12. seeding
  13. application of fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, fungicide
  14. aquatic applications, raking, watering of trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, bulbs, seeds and sod
  15. grooming
  16. dividing plants
  17. dead-leafing
  18. sweeping
  19. trash pick-up and removal of landscape litter
  20. holiday light and seasonal decoration installation, excluding electrical connections
Notwithstanding this new FAQ, the DOL website still lists the following Q&A on its website:

​Is landscape work covered under the Prevailing Wage Act?



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