Allegheny County, PA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Allegheny County 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 7-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
CHARTER REFERENCES
For additional information regarding County procurement, see Art. VIII.
ADMINISTRATIVE CODE REFERENCES
For additional information regarding County procurement, see Part 9.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Contractors — See Ch. 223.
Minority Business Enterprise Program — See Ch. 435.

§ 280-1 Applicability to County service contracts.

A. 
Every County service contract, as defined within this chapter, shall comply with County of Allegheny and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania laws, ordinances, and regulations pertaining to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act of August 15, 1961; P.L. 987, No. 442, as amended August 9, 1963, P.L. 653, No. 342, 43 P.S. § 165-1 et seq. (West 1992 & Supp. 2004), and with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Every County service contract shall contain a provision stating the contractor and all of its subcontractors shall pay at least the applicable prevailing wages required by the terms of this chapter, the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act approved August 15, 1961, P.L. 987, No. 442, as amended August 9, 1963, P.L. 653, No. 342, 43 P.S. § 165-1 et seq. (West 1992 & Supp. 2004), and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. Every County service contract shall contain a provision stating that the County may, upon a finding of noncompliance as provided within this chapter, withhold from any sums due to the contractor or to any subcontractor under that contract any amount necessary to allow for the payment of workers employed in the performance of any County service contract in accordance with the terms of this chapter, or for public work subject to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act approved August 15, 1961, P.L. 987, No. 442, as amended August 9, 1963, P.L. 653, No. 342, 43 P.S. § 165-1 et seq. (West 1992 & Supp. 2004), and the regulations issued pursuant thereto the difference between the wages required by the contract to be paid and the wages actually paid to such employees, and the County Controller may make such payments directly to the appropriate workers.
C. 
The prevailing wages for each craft classification of workers needed to perform all County service contracts, subject to the terms of this chapter and, to the extent applicable, the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act approved August 15, 1961, P.L. 987, No. 442, as amended August 9, 1963, P.L. 653, No. 342, 43 P.S. § 165-1 et seq. (West 1992 & Supp. 2004), and the regulations issued pursuant thereto shall be incorporated into and made a part of the contract.
D. 
Every County service contract shall contain a provision stating the contractor shall require all subcontractors to comply with and be bound by all provisions of this section as if they, themselves, were contractors.

§ 280-2 Prevailing wages required.

A. 
Building service and food service employees shall be paid at least the prevailing wage according to their job classification for all work performed pursuant to a County service contract.
B. 
Building service, food service, hotel, and grocery employees shall be paid at least the prevailing wage according to their job classification for all work performed on or related to projects that will receive a County subsidy approved after this chapter takes effect, provided such employees work on the project at least 50 hours per year. With respect to building service and food service employees, developers, owners, managers, and contractors shall be obligated to ensure that such employees are paid a prevailing wage.

§ 280-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING SERVICE EMPLOYEE
A person performing work in connection with the care and maintenance of property, including but not limited to a watchman, security officer, concierge, doorperson, cleaner, janitor, custodian, superintendent, porter, engineer, maintenance person, handyperson, elevator operator, elevator starter, window cleaner, and groundskeeper.
BUILDING SERVICE WORK
For purposes of the definition of "County service project" shall mean work in connection with the care and maintenance of (1) commercial office and institutional buildings of at least 100,000 square feet; (2) commercial office and institutional complexes totaling at least 100,000 square feet; and (3) residential buildings of at least 50 units or more. The determination of the minimum square footage and minimum number of units shall be made at the time the contract is put out for bid.
COMPLEX
Two or more buildings that are commonly owned managed or operated and either (a) in close physical proximity; or (b) developed pursuant to a common development plan or financed pursuant to a common plan of financing. All affiliates, controlled entities, controlling entities, agents, successors, and assigns shall be considered to be a single entity for the purposes of determining common ownership, management, or operation.
COUNTY
Allegheny County and any related County agency, department, or authority.
COUNTY SERVICE CONTRACT
Any contract for the performance of building service or food service work entered into by the County with any contractor, and any contract to perform building service or food service work for the County. "County service contract" shall also mean any subcontract for building service or food service work, regardless of whether the primary contract is for such work.
COUNTY SUBSIDY
Any grant, loan that is forgiven or discounted below the market rate over the life of the loan, bond financing, infrastructure improvements related to a project, below-market sale or lease of property, or other form of financial assistance related to a project with an aggregate value of at least $100,000, but shall not include an educational or training grant. For purposes of determining whether the assistance threshold is met, all affiliates, controlled organizations, controlling organizations, and/or organizations having an identity of interest with the assistance recipient shall be treated as a single entity. Market value shall be determined by a third party that shall not include the County or the County subsidy recipient.
COVERED EMPLOYER
Any employer obligated to pay employees a prevailing wage pursuant to the Allegheny County Code of Ordinances.
FOOD SERVICE EMPLOYEE
A person performing work in connection with the preparation and service of food and beverages, including but not limited to a cafeteria attendant, line attendant, cook, preparatory cook, butcher, baker, server, cashier, catering worker, dining attendant, dishwasher, food or merchandise vendor, pantry worker, waiter, and waitress, but shall exclude employees directly employed by independently owned restaurants other than cafeterias.
FOOD SERVICE WORK
For purposes of the definition of "County service project" shall mean work in connection with the preparation and service of food and beverages in cafeterias in (1) commercial office and institutional buildings of at least 100,000 square feet; and (2) commercial office and institutional complexes totaling at least 100,000 square feet. Food service work shall not include direct employment in independently owned restaurants other than cafeterias. The determination of the minimum square footage shall be made at the time the contract is put out for bid.
GROCERY EMPLOYEE
A person performing work in connection with the preparation and selling of merchandise in grocery stores, including but not limited to a chief meat cutter, assistant chief meat cutter, meat cutter, apprentice meat cutter, wrapper, manager, assistant manager, lead, front-end coordinator, clerk, chef, cook, baker, cake decorator, and receiver.
HOTEL EMPLOYEE
A person performing work in connection with the care and maintenance of hotels and servicing of hotel guests, including but not limited to a housekeeper, kitchen employee, laundry employee, room attendant, house attendant, public area attendant, turndown attendant, bell attendant, door attendant, driver, telephone operator, server, bus attendant, bartender, cashier, host, concierge, reservation attendant, and front desk attendant.
INSTITUTION
A group of buildings or structures that are under common or related ownership; that are located in a contiguous area, notwithstanding rights-of-way; that contain two or more different uses as integral parts of the functions of the organization, such that different structures contain different primary uses; and that contain a combined minimum of 100,000 total square feet of gross floor area.
PREVAILING WAGE
Shall mean:
A. 
For building service and food service employees, (a) the aggregate of (i) the higher of either the wage paid to the median number of employees in the job classification at similar locations in the County, or the wages determined by the Secretary of Labor for the job classification under the service contract Act, 41 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.; and (ii) the higher of either the additional benefits given to the median number of employees in the job classification at similar locations in the County, which shall be converted to an hourly wage supplement, or the additional benefits determined by the Secretary of Labor for the job classification under the service contract Act, 41 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.; and (b) the greater amount of either (i) the paid leave provided to the median number of employees in the job classification at similar locations in the County, which shall not be converted to an hourly wage supplement, or (ii) the paid leave determined by the Secretary of Labor for the job classification under the service contractor Act, 41 U.S.C. § 351 et seq. "Similar locations" for (a) building service workers in commercial or institutional buildings, shopping malls, and sports stadiums shall mean commercial office buildings of at least 100,000 square feet; (b) building service workers in residential buildings shall mean residential buildings of at least 50 units; and (c) for food service workers shall mean cafeterias in commercial office or institutional buildings of at least 100,000 square feet.
B. 
For hotel employees, (a) the aggregate of (i) the wage paid to the median number of employees in the job classification in hotels of at least 100,000 square feet in the County; and (ii) the additional benefits given to the median number of employees in the job classification in hotels of at least 100,000 square feet in the County, which shall be converted to an hourly wage supplement; and (b) the paid leave provided to the median number of employees in the job classification in hotels of at least 100,000 square feet in the County, which shall not be converted to an hourly wage supplement.
C. 
For grocery employees, the (a) aggregate of (i) the wage paid to the median number of employees in the job classification in grocery stores in the County having grocery space of at least 30,000 square feet; and (ii) the additional benefits given to the median number of workers in the job classification at grocery stores in the County having grocery space of at least 30,000 square feet, which shall be converted to an hourly wage supplement; and (b) the paid leave provided to the median number of employees in the job classification in grocery stores in the County having retail space of at least 30,000 square feet, which shall not be converted to an hourly wage supplement.
D. 
For all classifications of employees described above in Subsections A through C, the prevailing wage shall mean the higher of either the prevailing wage determined pursuant to Subsections A through C, or the wage required by any other provision in the Allegheny County Code of Ordinances for such classification.
PROJECT
For purposes of § 280-2B shall mean any of the following: (1) a commercial office building of at least 100,000 square feet, or a commercial office complex totaling at least 100,000 square feet; (2) a residential building of at least 50 units; (3) a building of at least 100,000 square feet containing commercial office space and residential units; (4) a hotel or motel of at least 100,000 square feet; (5) a building of at least 100,000 square feet containing hotel or motel units and residential units; (6) a building of at least 100,000 square feet containing hotel or motel units and commercial office space; (7) a store having grocery sales floor area (selling items which are commonly found in a grocery store) space of at least 25,000 square feet; (8) a shopping mall of at least 100,000 square feet; and (9) a sports stadium, performance hall or amphitheater larger than 100,000 square feet. The determination of the minimum square footage and minimum units shall be updated to reflect any expansion of the project, including any additional phase in a multi-phase project. "Complex" shall mean two or more buildings that are commonly owned managed or operated and either (a) in close physical proximity; or (b) developed pursuant to a common development plan or financed pursuant to a common plan of financing. All affiliates, controlled entities, controlling entities, agents, successors, and assigns shall be considered to be a single entity for the purposes of determining common ownership, management, or operation.

§ 280-4 Periodic wage determinations.

The Allegheny County Controller shall issue prevailing wage determinations at least once every 12 months, and as frequently as necessary to reflect any increases in the prevailing wage, and shall post such determinations on the official County website. Wage rates of employees shall be increased accordingly, and in the case of County service contracts, the contractor's billable rate under the County service contract shall be increased accordingly.

§ 280-5 Required recordkeeping; confidentiality.

A. 
Every covered employer shall keep an accurate record showing the name, address, job classification, wages and benefits paid or provided, and number of hours worked for each employee. The record shall be preserved for two years from date of final payment. The records shall be available for inspection by the Controller or the Controller's authorized agent at all reasonable hours, and the covered employer shall permit the agents to interview employees during hours on the job.
B. 
Every covered employer shall file yearly Federal Form WH-347 or its equivalent which shall specify for each employee the employee's name, address, social security number, job classification, hourly wage rate paid, the number of hours worked each day, the number of hours worked each week, all deductions made from gross pay, and net weekly pay, with the Controller or the Controller's authorized agent. Every covered employer shall file a statement yearly with the Controller or the Controller's authorized agent certifying that all workers have been paid no less than the wage required by their contact or, if any wages remain unpaid, set forth the amount of wages due and owing to each worker respectively, and certify that the job classification for each employee conforms with the work performed. Social security numbers shall be kept confidential by the Controller, unless otherwise required by law.
C. 
The Controller must notify in writing all covered employers at least once every 12 months of their obligation to file annually the Federal Form WH-347. The notification must include a copy of Federal Form WH-347 with instructions for completing the form, the dates that the completed form is due throughout the preceding 12 months, contact information for an employee within the Office of the Controller where questions can be referred, a notice of the penalties that can be assessed if the covered employer becomes noncompliant, and a poster no smaller than standard letter size that includes the name, address and telephone number of the Controller, the applicable prevailing wages for the job classifications at the covered employer, and a statement advising workers that if they have been paid less than the prevailing wage rate they may notify the Controller and request an investigation. The Controller's failure to provide the previously described written notification to covered employers does not relieve covered employers of their obligation under this chapter.
D. 
Every covered employer shall post at the job site in an area easily accessible by all employees the name, address and telephone number of the Controller, the applicable prevailing wages for the job classification, and a statement advising workers that if they have been paid less than the prevailing wage rate they may notify the Controller and request an investigation.

§ 280-6 Enforcement.

A. 
Complaint procedure. Any individual or organization may file a complaint with the Controller for any violation of this chapter.
B. 
Review and investigation. The Controller shall review and investigate the complaint and shall make a finding of compliance or noncompliance within 60 days of the complaint being filed, including a determination of whether an employer is covered by this chapter. The covered employer shall permit authorized agents of the Controller to observe work being performed upon the work site, to interview employees, and examine the books and records relating to the payrolls being investigated to determine whether or not the covered employer is in compliance with this chapter. Failure of the Controller to issue a finding of compliance or noncompliance does not relieve the covered employer of its obligations under this chapter.
C. 
Finding of noncompliance. If at any time the Controller, upon investigation of a complaint or upon independent investigation, finds that a violation of this chapter has occurred, he shall issue a finding of noncompliance and notice of corrective action to the covered employer. The finding of noncompliance shall specify the areas of noncompliance, indicate such corrective action as may be necessary to achieve compliance, and impose deadlines for achieving compliance.
D. 
Dispute of finding of noncompliance. A covered employer may dispute a finding of noncompliance and notice of corrective action by requesting a hearing within 30 days of the date of the finding. The Controller shall appoint a hearing officer, who shall affirm or reverse the finding of noncompliance based upon evidence presented by the applicable department and the covered employer. Where the finding of noncompliance and notice of corrective action requires wage restitution, the covered employer must, as a precondition to a request for a hearing, provide evidence that such wages have either been paid or placed into an escrow account for the satisfaction of the judgment of the hearing officer. A covered employer who does not request a hearing, or who fails to pay or escrow wages as provided herein, waives the right to dispute a finding of noncompliance. A finding of noncompliance and notice of corrective action shall become final if either the covered employer fails to request a hearing within 30 days as provided in this subsection, or the hearing officer affirms such finding after a hearing.
E. 
Referral for criminal investigation. If at any time the applicable department or Controller determines that a criminal violation may have occurred, including but not limited to a violation of the prohibition against unsworn falsification of statements to authorities, the applicable department or Controller shall refer the matter to the district attorney for criminal investigation.
F. 
Subpoena powers. If necessary for the enforcement of this section, the Controller may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of books, papers, records and documents relating to payroll records necessary for hearing, investigations, and proceedings. In case of disobedience of a subpoena, the Controller shall apply to a court of appropriate jurisdiction for an order requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records and documents, and other relief as the court deems appropriate.
G. 
Retaliation barred. A covered employer shall not discharge, reduce the compensation of or otherwise retaliate against any employee for making a complaint to the covered employer, its agents, the applicable department, or the Controller, to enforce his or her rights under this chapter. The Controller shall investigate allegations of retaliation or discrimination. If, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the allegations are found to be true, the Controller shall order appropriate relief, including reinstatement of a discharged employee with back pay. A covered employer may dispute a finding of retaliation or discrimination by requesting a hearing as provided in Subsection D above.
H. 
Violation by a subcontractor of a covered employer shall also be deemed a violation by the covered employer.

§ 280-7 Sanctions.

A. 
In the event the Controller or hearing officer determines that a covered employer has failed to comply for more than 60 days after a notice of corrective action has become final, or in the event the hearing officer determines that any portion of a covered employer's dispute of a finding of noncompliance is frivolous or was brought for the purpose of delaying compliance, the Controller or hearing officer shall order the following penalties and relief:
(1) 
Wage restitution for the affected employee(s);
(2) 
Liquidated damages in the amount of three times the wages owed;
(3) 
A directive to the applicable department to withhold any payments due the covered employer, and to apply such payments to the payment of fines or the restitution of wages;
(4) 
Attorneys fees; and
(5) 
Rescission of any County service contract.
B. 
In the event that the Controller or hearing officer determines that a covered employer has willfully or more than twice in a three-year period failed to comply with this chapter, the Controller or hearing officer, in addition to the sanctions that may be imposed pursuant to Subsection A, shall:
(1) 
In the case of a County service contract, order debarment of the contractor pursuant to applicable law; and
(2) 
In the case of a project receiving a County subsidy, order the payment of a fine in the amount of no less than $30,000.

§ 280-8 Regulations.

The Controller may issue regulations to implement the provisions of this chapter.