Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently sent a formal opinion to Richland County Prosecuting Attorney James Mayer which stated that prevailing wage should apply to private RUMAs (road use maintenance agreements) with oil and gas drillers or wind farm operators in the county.

Prevailing wage is a law that sets the wages and hours for construction workers on certain public improvement projects. These wages are set to meet the local wage standard for each construction trade.

As with any new area of legal compliance, many townships and counties struggled with their oversight responsibilities under Ohio Attorney General Opinion 2012-029. Upon investigation, it was revealed that many contractors working under RUMA agreements were violating Ohio’s prevailing wage law.

Most recently, the Ohio Department of Commerce, Bureau of Wage & Hour determined that an excavating contractor failed to compensate its workers properly. This resulted in the company being ordered to pay $25,687.75 in back wages and penalties.