National Prevailing Wage and HelpDesk Center FAQs

March 24, 2010 By: Department of Labor Download pdf

The Department of Labor (DOL) posted an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions on centralized processing of prevailing wage requests (PWDs) by the National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWHC). Centralized processing of PWD requests became effective January 1, 2010. This FAQ, dated March 2010, replaces DOL's initial December 2009 FAQs. DOL states that "While most of these FAQs are not substantively different from the December 2009 FAQs, further clarifications and additional FAQs have been provided." Some practical tips from these FAQs include:


  • Processing times. DOL will process PWDs on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis. In its FAQ, DOL encourages requestors to submit their ETA Forms 9141 at least 60 days before the PWD is needed.
  • Problems or issues while a PWD request is pending. DOL asks that individuals with issues with PWD requests prior to determinations being issued please e-mail the NPWHC at FLC.PWD@dol.gov.
  • Requesting a duplicate PWD. A requestor who has misplaced a PWD received from the NPWHC can request a duplicate by sending an e-mail to FLC.PWD@dol.gov. The NPWHC will send an exact duplicate of the PWD to the requestor named on the ETA Form 9141.

DOL's FAQs also address the following issues relating to requests for use of special wage data:



Requesting That an ACWIA Wage be Used

To request that an ACWIA wage be used, "On the ETA Form 9141 item D.a.6 (Job Duties), after the description of job duties, include the following statement surrounded by asterisks: ***This employer is an institution of higher education or a research entity under 20 CFR 656.40(e).***"




Requesting That the PWD be Based on Non-OES Wage Data

To request that the NPWHC base its PWD on wage data other than OES data (e.g., employer-provided wage information, a Service Contract Act (SCA) wage, a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) wage) in making the PWD, the employer should do two things on the LCA:


  1. Place a statement on the ETA Form 9141 at item D.a.6. (Job Duties), that specifies the name, edition, revision, and publication date of the specific source, as appropriate. The statement at item D.a.6. should be placed after the description of job duties, surrounded by three asterisks. DOL gives the following example: *** Request SCA WD 95-0221 (Rev.-23) Emergency Incident/Fire Safety Services ***
  2. After entering the employer’s job title in item D.a.1., enter the title or occupation name and code in square brackets. DOL gives the following example: *** Site Sample Technician [30210 - Laboratory Technician] ***


Documentation to Accompany Employer-provided Wage Data

In addition to appropriately annotating the ETA Form 9141 at items D.a.6. and D.a.1., if an employer requests that employer-provided wage data be used to make the PWD, it should submit the following information at the time it submits the ETA Form 9141:


  1. The name of the published survey;
  2. The publication schedule for the survey. This should include the publication date of the requested survey, the date of the previous version of the survey, and the date of the next anticipated release of the survey;
  3. When the data was collected;
  4. A description of the job duties or activities used in the survey; and
  5. The methodology used in the survey:
    1. How the universe is defined;
    2. How the sample size was determined
    3. How the participants were selected;
      1. The number of employers surveyed for the occupation in the area;
      2. The number of wage value responses (employees) for the occupation in the area;
    4. A list of employer participants or explanation of how the cross industry nature of the survey was maintained;
    5. How the presented wage was determined and if it is the "mean" or "median";
    6. Any other appropriate information on the survey’s methodology;
    7. The area covered by the survey or relevant portion thereof and an explanation of any expansion of the area beyond normal commuting distance, when applicable.


Documentation to Accompany a CBA Wage

In addition to appropriately annotating the ETA Form 9141 at items D.a.6. and D.a.1., if the position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the employer should submit the following at the time it submits the ETA Form 9141:


  • A copy of the relevant portion of the CBA;
  • A letter, on letterhead, from the employer, stating the relevant section of the CBA, the CBA job title, and the appropriate wage; and
  • A letter, on letterhead, from the collective bargaining unit’s (union) authorized representative, stating the relevant section of the CBA, the CBA job title, and the appropriate wage.