California Supreme Court: Charter Cities Need Not Pay Prevailing Wages to Private Construction Workers on Locally Funded Municipal Public Works

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On July 2, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that launched early fireworks throughout the state, either in celebration or alarm, over its far-reaching impact on public works projects. In State Building Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO v. City of Vista, S173586, the court exempted charter cities and their contractors from the obligation to pay workers state-mandated prevailing wages when a public improvement project is a “locally funded public work.”