Prevailing Wage Ordinance

Good jobs are essential to the long-term viability of our communities and our economy.

In the spring of 2010, the City of Pittsburgh enacted the Service Worker Prevailing Wage Ordinance to require private projects subsidized by public monies to pay wage levels that reflect the local wage scale.  This legislation grew out of concern that private developers in the City of Pittsburgh were using public money to underwrite private businesses that were paying wages which fell substantially below wages paid in similar non-publically financed projects in the rest of the City.

In accordance with the Pittsburgh City Code, Title I (Administrative), Article VII (Procedures), Chapter 161 (Contracts), Sections 161.16 and 161.38 and the Davis-Bacon Act, the Controller’s Office monitors prevailing wage requirements on contractors’ compliance that provide building service and food services to the City of Pittsburgh to pay prevailing wages to employees employed pursuant to such contracts, and to require that building service, food service, grocery and hotel employees employed on projects receiving City subsidies be paid prevailing wages.

Covered Projects

Covered Projects include:

  • Those that receive at least $100,000 in public subsidy;
  • Commercial office buildings of at least 100,000 square feet, or a commercial office complexes totaling at least 100,000 square feet;
  • Residential buildings of at least 50 units;
  • Hotels or motels of at least 100,000 square feet;
  • Grocery stores having retail space of at least 30,000 square feet;
  • Shopping malls of at least 100,000 square feet; and
  • Sports stadiums.

Wage Determinations

Wage determinations are based on studying local wage conditions and three data sources of rate information to consider in determining prevailing wage:

The wage decision specifies the highest rates applicable in comparison of the above three sources (basic hourly wage rates and fringe benefits) determined to be prevailing for the described work classifications of a similar character and in specific localities.

Current Wage Rates

File a Complaint

 Any individual or organization may file a complaint with the City Controller. The complaint procedure is outlined within the Prevailing Wage Ordinance (Title I, Article VII, Section 161.38). Please contact the Controller’s office at 412-255-2075 or