Prevailing wage law in Oregon includes regulations for certified payroll reports that contractors must follow. This includes capturing and submitting pieces of payroll information on a predetermined schedule. It also includes instructions that must be followed for a submission to be accepted. If any single piece of the puzzle is missing, your submission may be discarded, leaving you out of compliance.

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Contractors new to doing government work in Oregon may find it difficult to add certified payroll into their normal payroll workflow. Companies that work on both federal and state government contracts may find some of the differences between them problematic.

Today we’re going to look at the reporting deadlines for certified payroll in Oregon, how it differs from federal reporting, and why you can’t use the same format for both.

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Timeline for Certified Payroll Reporting in Oregon

Public works contracts starting at $50,000 typically fall under prevailing wage law within Oregon. One of the requirements for this type of government contract is the submission of certified payroll statements. These are reports created for each employee, each week, and submitted to the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), Wage and Hour Division.

Certified payroll statements are intended to document that workers on eligible projects are being paid the correct prevailing hourly and fringe rates. These statements capture information such as each worker’s name and address, the project(s) they worked on, their work classification, and pay information.

The deadline for submitting certified payroll statements

  • Certified payroll statements must be submitted once a month, no later than the fifth business day of the following month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries simplifies this a bit by stating that certified reports are due no later than 35 days after starting a contract.
  • Certified payroll statements must be continuously submitted for the duration of the project in successive 35-day intervals. If a qualifying public works contract lasts over 70 days, reports would be due by day 35, day 70, day 105, and so on until the contract is closed.
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Certified payroll statements must follow these additional guidelines

  • Certified payroll statements must be completed for each worker, each week.
  • Certified payroll reports must include all payrolls a contractor has paid out at the time of the report. This helps to ensure that all wages get captured in the reporting cycle and submitted to the state.
  • The wages paid to a corporation’s officers can be omitted from the report. If an owner, manager, or supervisor earned any prevailing wages during a week, however, that must be reported. This must be done in the same manner as required for other workers, but deductions and net amount paid can be omitted.
  • Certified payroll reports have to be signed by the employer or authorized company official to satisfy reporting requirements. Anything submitted without being signed will not count toward compliance.
  • False or incomplete information submitted on certified reports can lead to civil penalties or debarment.

Federal Versus State Certified Payroll Reporting

Government contractors that work on federal projects are used to submitting certified payroll information on form WH-347. It may be tempting to use this form, or your version of it, to submit prevailing wages to the state of Oregon. Although both the federal and Oregon prevailing wage laws require contractors to record and report payroll information, the requirements are not identical.

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Submitting the information from form WH-38 will NOT satisfy Oregon’s prevailing wage laws or BOLI’s filing requirements. The easiest path to compliance is to use form WH-38 as supplied by the state of Oregon. Although the form is optional, it does ensure that you report everything you’re supposed to. If you want to use your format you can, just make sure it captures the same information.

The Key to Success with Certified Payroll Reporting in Oregon

Prevailing wage reporting requirements can be complicated and difficult to comply with, but don’t let that discourage you. The key is to have a solid process in place that your team follows each week and every week. And just because you have 35 days to submit certified payroll statements doesn’t mean you shouldn’t collect, verify, and format weekly. This will help prevent the stress and errors that come with trying to get everything done last minute.

Visit the following links for additional information on prevailing wage laws in Oregon:

How to report prevailing wages in Oregon

Oregon certified payroll form WH-38

Oregon’s official prevailing wage handbook

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The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.