Employers Should Know What a Prevailing Wage Is About

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Employers Should Know What a Prevailing Wage Is About

New York State Prevailing Wage Overview

“Prevailing wages” are established and updated annually by the State Departments of Labor, based on the findings of the semi-annual Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of employers.  The New York State Department of Labor conducts the OES survey in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The connection between the prevailing wage and unemployment insurance is in the area of job refusals.  As a general matter, a claimant can be disqualified from receipt of benefits if that claimant refuses a job offer for which the claimant is suited by training and experience. However, in New York State, if a claimant refuses an assignment that is 10% or more below the prevailing wage, the refusal would be for “good cause” and the claimant would be deemed eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  Therefore, before making a job offer to a person who is collecting unemployment insurance benefits, the employer must assure that the job pays at least 90% of the New York State prevailing wage if the employer intends to protest unemployment eligibility if the claimant refuses that offer.

The New York State Prevailing Wage for Unemployment Insurance is available here: https://www.labor.state.ny.us/stats/uiwages.shtm

Note that these prevailing wages are geared to specific job classifications and vary by county so an employer should check carefully before making an offer.  Also, the state provides summary job responsibilities for each job classification, so an employer should also make sure that the duties being assigned are consistent with the duties as described on the website for that job classification.

To make better sense of the New York State prevailing wage or any prevailing wages and their relationship to UI benefits, you should seek advice from trusted, ui experts. Industrial U.I. has spent years helping employers manage their UI process and we’ll be glad to be of service. Contact us today for more information on prevailing wages.

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