Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Prevailing Wage Law

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The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that employers who wrongly deny prevailing wage to workers on public jobs must pay financial penalties called for under Ohio law.

In a 5-2 decision Tuesday, justices disagreed with a lower court’s decision that trial courts should have discretion over whether to assess such penalties when employers wrongly deny workers prevailing wage – the going union rate – on a public job.

The high court said the penalties are laid out in the law and must be assessed in all but exceptional cases.

Under state law, employers who fail to pay prevailing wage owe workers a 25 percent penalty on the unpaid sum and owe the state a 75 percent penalty. The state uses its share to pay for prevailing wage enforcement.

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