Most everyone is aware of the minimum wage but that is not the only minimum wage out there. There are different wages for a variety of jobs, including small employers, waitresses and workers who work on public works projects. Public works projects mean jobs contracted out by the government to accomplish public works like bridges and roads. That special wage rate is referred to as the “prevailing wage.” This article will go over the prevailing wage and how it could apply to you and your co-workers.

Your specific prevailing wage depends upon the county you are working in. It is difficult to keep the numbers straight, but your employer should furnish you with them. If you are unable to get the information you seek, the Missouri Department of Labor publishes wage schedules every year. You can access them on their website.

Missouri lays out some specific protections for workers, including:

  • The prevailing wage is the floor; you must be paid that amount regardless of experience or skill.
  • The prevailing wage must be paid for all hours worked on the site. It does not include travel, meals, mileage or other fringe benefits.
  • If you are an apprentice, you can be paid less.

You should fill out your timecards every day and keep track of your hours. If your employer does not pay you the proper wage, you can sue for double your owed wage as compensation.

If you were working on a government or public works contract, then you should probably have received the prevailing wage. If you believe that your employer unfairly reduced your wages, then you may have a valid employment claim. If this happened to you or a loved one, you may want to speak to attorney to review your case and your options.