FAQ

 

NYFFC FAQs

What does the New York Foundation for Fair Contracting do? What do you mean by “fair contracting?”

Fair contracting organizations serve workers, fair contractors and the taxpayer by “leveling the playing field” for all contractors who choose to competitively bid public works projects.

The New York Foundation for Fair Contracting (NYFFC) is a non-profit labor-management organization which monitors public construction projects, particularly those that fall under New York State Labor Law § 220 (covering public work) and federally-funded Davis- Bacon work. Under the Freedom of Information Law (NYS) and the Freedom of Information Act (federal), we review bid documents, contracts and certified payroll records to ensure that contracting companies are following the laws and regulations which govern the industry. Our compliance efforts serve to curb the corrupt act of underbidding and disenfranchising, not only the workers on a project, but also the tax payers who are expecting a timely, safe and high quality product. NYFFC is not a private investigative service. We help workers prepare complaints to bring to the attention of a state or regulatory agency where the complaint can be investigated fully.

What territory does the New York Foundation for Fair Contracting cover?

The New York Foundation for Fair Contracting is headquartered in Hamburg, NY. It is committed to monitoring prevailing wage work, and the competitive bidding process in western, central, and northern New York. To find a Fair Contracting organization outside this area, click here.

CONTRACTOR FAQs

How We Help Contractors
The NYFFC is dedicated to ensuring the fair enforcement of Federal and State prevailing wage laws. Fair enforcement of the law levels the playing field and ensures that all responsible contractors have a fair shot at obtaining public construction work.

Services for Contractors:
NYFFC’s goal is to provide a “level playing field” for all contractors who choose to bid public works projects. Our work provides firms with a fair competitive opportunity to compete on the basis of skill and efficiency, rather than losing bids to disreputable and unfair contractors who underbid the specifications in the contract. We offer the following complimentary services to contractors:

  • Accurate and up-to-date wage rate and worker classification information.
  • Explanations of contractor rights and responsibilities under the law.

All services are confidential!
No matter what kind of assistance you need from the NYFFC, you can count on the strictest confidentiality.
Call 716-627-4383 or email us at info@nyfaircontracting.

WORKER FAQs

How do I know if I am being paid the right wage?

Workers should be paid a pre-determined “prevailing wage” for all hours worked on a public work job.  The wage rate is dependent on worker classification (e.g. laborer, operator, carpenter) and county.  Workers should also receive time and a half for all hours worked over forty hours in a week.  Construction workers in New York State should also receive an overtime rate for all hours or portion of an hour worked over eight hours in a single twenty-four hour period.

I operated machinery at the job site but I was hired as a laborer. Should I be paid a laborer’s rate or an operator’s rate?

If you are hired as one classification, but perform the work of a distinct classification, you should be paid the wage rate for the classification of the work you actually performed.

What is a “fringe” rate?

Fringe Benefits are monies paid over and above the basic trade wage rate for a given area. Fringe benefits can include apprenticeship and training, health and welfare, insurance, vacations, and pensions paid generally, in the locality in which the work is being performed, to employees engaged in work of a similar character on public works projects. The Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets standards for administering certain fringe benefit plans. This law requires employers or plan administrators to:

  1. Set up an account in each worker’s name.
  2. Make promised contributions.
  3. Provide a Summary Annual Report.
  4. Provide copies of plan documents that tell workers how to file a claim for benefits, the requirements to qualify for participation and the worker’s rights under the law.

Like the prevailing wage, the fringe benefit credit varies by classification and county.

I am working a prevailing wage job, should I receive benefits?

If you work a prevailing wage job, your employer must either (1) pay your fringe benefits, or (2) pay you a wage amount equal to the fringe benefit amount.  In other words, if the fringe amount for a job classification and area is $20.00/hr, your employer must either pay $20.00/hr worth of fringe benefits, or must pay you an additional $20.00 an hour in addition to your wage rate.

I think my work place is unsafe / my employer has not provided me with safety equipment / I am told not to report injuries, can you help?

An unsafe workplace may be a sign of an OSHA violation. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – a federal agency responsible for setting, maintaining, and enforcing work place safety standards for all work places in the United States. If you think an OSHA violation exists at your workplace you can contact OSHA directly at 716-551-3053 (Buffalo office), 518-464-4338 (Albany office), or 315-451-0808 (Syracuse office). The NYFFC can assist you in filing an OSHA complaint.

PUBLIC BODY FAQs

How does the NYFFC help public bodies?

The FFC’s compliance and monitoring work is done for the benefit of public bodies, and the taxpaying public.  By monitoring the bid process, and submitting bid protests when necessary, the FFC acts as a proactive watchdog.  When necessary, we will alert a public body that an apparent low bidder is currently on the New York State “debarred” list.  When a contractor is on the “debarred” list, that contractor is restricting from bidding for public works jobs.

What about responsible bidding laws?

Under New York State General Municipal Law section 103, a state body has the right to award a contract to the lowest responsible bidder.  Municipalities across the state have enacted responsible bidder laws that reinforce the legal obligation to award a contract to the company with both a low bid and a responsible compliance history.

The NYFFC provides support and guidance to municipalities wishing to enact a responsible bidder ordinance. Contact us for more information.