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Illinois Prevailing Wage Act does NOT impose liability on General Contractor for Failure of Sub to comply with Act



A few weeks ago the Illinois appeals court in Cook County decided that William A Randolph Inc was not liable for the failure of its masonry subcontractor, Everhard, to pay the prevailing wage on a public job.  Cement Masons Pension Fund Local 803, et al, v. William A Randolph, Inc. 


Randolph had argued successfully in the trial court that the law did not impose the duty to comply on a general contractor, and, secondly, that ERISA preempted the lawsuit.  The court avoided the second issue, deciding that the Act itself did not provide that any employer but the one who employees the workers involved was on the hook for prevailing wage rates.  The law is clear that Everhard's employees could go after Everhard, but the court had no interest in implying a claim against Randolph also.  "We may not, under the guise of statutory interpretation, supply omissions, remedy defects, annex new provisions, substitute different provisions, and exceptions, limitations or conditions, or otherwise change the law as to depart from the language employed in the Act," the court stated.  The court noted that other state laws, and the Davis-Bacon Act, explicitly impose liability on a general contractor - but the Illinois legislature chose not to.