DIR Announces New Mandatory Registration Program for Public Works Projects

DIR logoThe California Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) has announced the launch of a new registration program for public works projects authorized by Senate Bill 854, which was signed into law on June 20, 2014, and became effective immediately.

In a press release issued by the DIR, the DIR states that the new program replaces the Compliance Monitoring Unit (“CMU”) and Labor Compliance Program requirements for bond-funded and other public works projects.  Under the new program, contractors will be required to register before bidding on and entering into contracts for state and local public works projects and awarding agencies will be required to give notice on form PWC-100 of all public works projects in the state.

For Contractors

Under the new program, contractors will be required to register before bidding and entering into pubic works contracts on state and local public works projects.

To implement the program, the DIR has established an online registration system which went live on July 1, 2014. Only contractors who have registered through the program may bid on public works projects beginning March 1, 2015 and may enter into public works contracts beginning April 1, 2015.

To register, contractors must pay an initial registration fee of $300, which will need to be renewed annually, and complete an online application showing that they:

  • Have workers compensation insurance sufficient to cover any employees, as applicable;
  • Have a valid contractor’s license from the California Contractors State License Board, as applicable;
  • Are not subject to any delinquent wage or penalty assessments owed to an employee or the state;
  • Are not currently debarred from performing work on a public works project under state or federal law; and
  • Have not bid on a public works contract, been listed in a bid proposal, or performed work on a public works project without first being registered through the program, within the preceding 12 months or since the effective date of the program requirements, whichever is earlier.

In addition, replacing the now defunct “MyLCM” certified payroll submission system, contractors will be able to electronically submit certified payroll records through the DIR’s new electronic Certified Payroll Records program (“eCPR”).  Electronic submission of certified payroll through eCPR applies:

  • Immediately for public works projects in which contractors have been submitting certified payroll to through the DIR’s CMU;
  • April 1, 2015 for public works projects awarded on or after that date;
  • January 1, 2016 for all other public works projects; and
  • Other projects as determined by the California Labor Commissioner.

Exceptions to the eCPR program may be made by the Labor Commissioner for public works projects covered by qualifying project labor agreements and projects subject to legacy labor compliance programs of certain agencies.

For State and Local Awarding Agencies

Under the new program, DIR will no longer charge awarding bodies for prevailing wage compliance monitoring and enforcement through the CMU. In addition:

  • Requirements to use CMU or specified alternatives for state bond-funded and other specified projects have been eliminated;
  • Effective immediately, awarding agencies are now required to register and electronically submit form PWC-100 for all public works projects; and
  • Awarding agencies will need to include information on the contractor registration requirements in their solicitation of bids.

Further information on the new program can be found on the DIR’s website.

20 Responses to “DIR Announces New Mandatory Registration Program for Public Works Projects”

  1. Willie Tarley

    Hi Garret, any update on the question asked by William Johns March 8, 2018 below?
    Are Consulting Professional Engineers considered Contractors for Public Works and require registration. Are they subject to certified payroll and other CA Labor law related submittals?

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Willie. Wow, this is an old post. I think it’s fair to say that a consulting professional engineer does not need to register. The DIR’s FAQ on public works registration states:

      Q: Who is a public works contractor?

      A: A public works contractor is anyone who bids on or enters into a contract to perform work that requires the payment of prevailing wages. It includes subcontractors who have entered into a contract with another contractor to perform a portion of the work on a public works project. It includes sole proprietors and brokers who are responsible for performing work on a public works project, even if they do not have employees or will not use their own employees to perform the work.

      Q: Who needs to register as a public works contractor?

      A: Anyone who fits within the definition of public works contractor (above) is required to register with the DIR.

      • Willie Tarley

        Hi Garret. I really appreciate your prompt response. I am working on drafting a subcontract for a design company and despite my best efforts, I could not find a definitive answer to certified payroll requirements of a design firm on a CA project subject to prevailing wage and other CA labor laws. If I find any further info, I will post it here. Thanks again.

    • Garret Murai

      I haven’t seen it William. And my gut tells me no, but the DIR in a not so helpful Q&A on this issue as said:

      Q – Are awarding bodies required to use registered contractors or submit a PWC-100 for any of the following?
      Professional service contracts
      Mechanics who service vehicles at the local dealership or auto shop
      Engineering firms or construction managers hired to manage public works projects
      Design consultants, architects, and engineers performing professional design services
      Material or product suppliers
      BIM (Building Information Modeling) or CAD (Computer-Aided Design) consultants
      Consultants providing Division of State Architect inspection services;
      Trucking companies and truck drivers
      Furniture dealers who deliver and install furniture
      Community Conservation Corps certified by the California Conservation Corps

      A – Awarding bodies are required to use registered contractors and register the project for any work subject to prevailing wage requirements. California’s public works prevailing wage requirements extend broadly to workers employed “in the execution of the public works contract” (Labor Code, section 1774). Coverage is not necessarily limited to work performed at the construction site by those in traditional construction trades. Awarding bodies and other interested parties can ask DIR’s Director to make a formal determination on whether a particular work or project is subject to public works requirements. public works coverage determinations issued by the Director since 2002 are available online.

  2. Rusty

    I am a sole proprietor no employee’s. Is there and exemption for me or do I need to register anyway?

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Rusty. There is no exemption for sole proprietors with no employees. Even sole proprietors need to register.

  3. Jesus Lugo

    I have an opportunity to bid on a city project but never had to deal with with DIR, comments of data software problems aren’t taking care of for 3 years now since some comments are from 2014 can someone from DIR send me guidelines in order to properly comply and not to get penalize for wrong doings.. keeping DRI data software problems in mind.

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Jesus. I don’t quite understand your question, but I’m not the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) either. The DIR might be able to help you though.

  4. Thomas Irwin


    If I am in an LLC, where I am one of 2 members managing the LLC, and we are the only 2 employees, can I get a exemption for workers comp? We do general contracting, we are not roofers. I would prefer not to risk getting into trouble with the state

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Thomas. Working members of an LLC who receive wages, irrespective of whether they also receive profits, must be covered by workers compensation insurance. However, if the working members are also managers of the LLC they can elect whether to be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

  5. Stephenie

    I agree this is by far the worst program I have ever used! Not user friendly at all you can not uploadad, Zero tech support, I get to the end and it will NOT finalize the reports!!

  6. antonioboy101@gmail.com

    I agree this is a horrible software system to upload payroll. I enjoyed the previous CMU. If you made a mistake you can delete the uploaded pdf, revised it uploaded the corrected pdf. Whoever created this program doesn’t have it all planned out or they should have done a test drive. Wait they are, on us dummies doing all the work and dealing with the headaches.

  7. John Dietz

    This is the worst “improvement” for submitting certified payroll that I have ever used. Not user friendly; The directions are inadequate and non specific. If you are unable to use XML uploads to submit payroll you are required to do data entry. The system does not save any data entry therefore every payroll you have to re-enter all employees again. This is absolutely ridiculous in this day and age of databases and websites. If you are trying to enforce regulation, the tool developed to help enforcement should actually work for the people you are trying to regulate. Lastly, offering a third party tool to parse data into your specified format is also not helping the cause. Who approved the design of this system any? Shameful.

    • Joe Rodriguez

      They haven’t stated so straight out, but it looks like LCP Tracker created the website and XML form for the State, knowing that no payroll package in existence supported XML. The website was intentionally made un-user-friendly to encourage contractors to pay LCP Tracker $10 per report to create the XML file.

    • taanoir

      I agree, this is the worst program I have ever used. In addition to not remembering anything, and having no ability to recall previously submitted records, it’s glitchy. I work for a general contractor some weeks we have 20 guys on site, I get to the end of entering all this and it won’t finalize. The fix … close the window and enter it all again. I’m fine with submitting records but this is asinine. Joe Rodriguez, good to know, it actually doesn’t surprise me. LCP, wasn’t a very good program, but comparatively it’s golden.

    • taanoir

      I agree this is the worst program I have ever used. Besides not remembering employees, calculating fringes or possessing the ability to access past reports, it’s glitchy. I work for a general contractor, many weeks we have over 20 employees on site. After entering all that information, printing each page individually and triggering the “signing ceremony”, it errors out on final submission. The only fix … close it out and re-enter everything again. It takes a couple hours to enter everything, with out the ability to save and come back to it my availability to work on this is limited. There is also zero tech support, it’s only available by e-mail, which they never respond to (likely because they realize how unstable their product is). We have four projects that require entry, I support submitting records, but this is asinine. Joe Rodriguez, thank you for the information. It actually doesn’t surprise me, this program seemed like a punishment (or a bad joke).

  8. Michael V. Evans

    Hi, The system will not except our information. Is there a paper application we can fill out and submit to DIR along with payment or a phone number we can get support on getting into the system. Thank You. Michael V. Evans

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Michael. I don’t know if the system is/was down when you tried to register and I don’t know if you can submit paper registration forms. I would contact the public works unit of the DIR.


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