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Civil Rights/Affirmative Action


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What does New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Disadvantaged and Small Business Programs Unit do?
A. NJDOT’s Disadvantaged and Small Business Programs Unit certifies companies that apply (pdf 60k) for either Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Emerging Small Business Enterprise (ESBE) certification. The certified companies can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects. NJDOT bid notices are available online at NJDOT Construction Services. The Disadvantaged and Small Business Programs Unit also monitors the annual goals for the participation of DBEs and ESBEs in NJDOT-assisted projects.

Q. What are the guidelines for DBE certification?
A. Under 49 CFR 26, to be eligible for DBE certification, persons must own 51% or more of a "small business," establish that they are disadvantaged within the meaning of United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations, prove that they control their business, and have a personal net worth of less than $1.32 million (not including primary residence or ownership equity in the company).

Q. How can a company apply to be a DBE?
A. To apply for DBE, download and complete the following documents: Mail the completed application package to:

New Jersey Department of Transportation
Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action
Disadvantaged and Small Business Programs Unit
1035 Parkway Ave
PO Box 600
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0600

Q. What is pre-qualification?
A. Pre-qualification is a review process that enables contractors to become eligible to bid on highway and bridge projects as a prime contractor. It established the kind and amount of work a firm can perform on NJDOT projects.

The review process is an evaluation of the firm’s financial resources, experience of personnel, past performance and experience.

Q. Who needs to pre-qualify?
A. All landscapers regardless of contract dollar amount and construction contractors who wish to bid as a subcontractor for $1 million or more must be pre-qualified.

Information and the form are available at NJDOT's Construction Services site.

Subcontractors who do not intend to bid on contracts in excess of $1 million need not be pre-qualified.

Q. How long does certification in the program last?
A. Once a firm has been certified, it shall remain certified until and unless this Office has removed its certification, in whole or in part, through the procedures under 49 CFR Part 26.87. All firms must annually complete a no change affidavit (pdf 124k). You will also be required to update all financial information.
 
Q. What is the SBE Program?
A. The Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program is race and gender neutral. This program requires 25% of state contract and purchase order dollars to be awarded to Small Business Enterprises (SBE). For additional information on the SBE program visit the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Minority and Women Business Development Web site.

Q. Why does NJDOT have a Wage-Rate Unit?
A. NJDOT wants to ensure that all employees of the Department’s contractors are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits under state and federal laws and regulations including the Davis-Bacon Act and the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act.

Q. What does the Davis-Bacon Act require?
A. Administered by the United States Department of Labor, the Davis-Bacon Act requires that all laborers and mechanics are paid prevailing wage rates on federal or federally assisted construction contracts.

The authority or legal basis for these laws includes Title 23 U.S.C.113. This is the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) statutory related act to implement Davis-Bacon Act provisions on Federal aid highways (does not include local roads or rural minor collectors).

Q. What is the prevailing wage?
A. Covered workers must receive the appropriate wage rate for their craft: the prevailing wage is the basic hourly rate of pay and the bona fide benefit rate of contribution as determined by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The same department also administers the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, a New Jersey state law that protects construction workers including, but not limited to carpenters, plumbers, power equipment operators, and laborers.

Q. Does the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development monitor Davis-Bacon Act related contracts in the state?
A. No. Certified payrolls for projects covered exclusively by the Davis-Bacon Act, such as public construction projects awarded by a federal agency, military base work and United States Postal Service buildings must be filed with the proper federal agency.

Q. What does the state office monitor?
A. The state office monitors certified payrolls that must be filed weekly with the appropriate public body, which under N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.26(4), is defined as the state, any of its political subdivisions, any authority created by the state legislature and any instrumentality or agency of the state or of any of its political subdivisions. This pertains to schools, roads, water and sewer systems, airports, dams and public buildings.

Q. Does a project ever fall under both the Davis-Bacon Act and the NJ Prevailing Wage Act?
A. Yes. In the event highway and airport projects require reporting under the Davis-Bacon Act and the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, the higher standards in wages and protection prevail.

Q. Who publicizes and monitors wage rates for 100 percent state-funded projects?
A. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development handles wage rates for 100 percent state-funded contracts.

Q. What should a contractor know when calculating wage rates for a project?
A. Contractors should be aware that:
  • for a 100 percent state funded project, the prevailing wage rate is determined by the New Jersey Department of Labor.
  • for an occupation where the federal and state rates differ, contractors must pay the higher of the two rates.
  • federal rates are available before a project bid date. They reflect one rate for each work classification.
  • state rates for a project are available only when the project is awarded. These wage rates may increase by the award date.
Q. What reports are required of contractors and subcontractors by the Wage-Rate Unit?
A. There are two basic reports:
  • a Payroll Report (pdf 21k) for each week of contract work should be submitted to the Wage-Rate Unit. It must contain the employee’s personal information (in its entirety on the first report) and stipulate the work classification, basic hourly wage rate as well as the overtime rate, if any, fringe benefits, total hours worked, the gross wages, itemized deductions and net wages for each employee.
  • a Statement of Compliance (pdf 15k) for wages paid each of its employees engaged in contract work under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act for the previous week must be submitted to the Wage-Rate Unit.
Q. How should the contractor complete and when should s/he submit these reports?
A. A contractor/subcontractor should follow the instruction sheet to complete the reports. They must be submitted within seven days from the date of the wage payment covered.

Q. When does the NJDOT Wage-Rate Unit monitor the contractors?
A. After the Resident Engineer submits his report of the adequacy and accuracy of work classifications and daily hours, the Wage-Rate Unit monitors the contractor’s compliance through the review of:
  • extensive home office and payroll-related records such as master payrolls, union remittance reports, foremen’s reports and canceled checks;
  • additional contractors’ payroll and payroll-related records.
Q. What happens when there is an underpayment of wages or a wage dispute by an employee?
A. For wage disputes that are not resolved by the Resident Engineer on a work site, the NJDOT Wage-Rate Unit, who works closely with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, would attempt to settle the dispute. The employee has the option of filing a wage claim.

Q. Is there information available about filing a wage claim?
A. Yes. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides a brochure with detailed information about filing a wage claim.

Q. How does a prime contractor find out about the required Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) goals for a NJDOT project?
A. The contractor’s goals and obligations are included in the Special Provisions section of the contract, entitled “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Utilization Attachment.” Training assignments are under “Equal Employment Opportunity Special Provisions, Training Special Provisions.”

Q. What is Form A?
A. Form A is the prime contractor’s DBE or SBE participation plan. All contractors with the obligation to use DBE or SBE subcontractors must submit the names of those subcontractors on Form A. The prime contractor submits Form A Schedule of Disadvantaged (DBE) Participation (pdf 9k) to the Office of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action within seven (7) business days after being identified as the low bidder on a NJDOT project that is federally funded.

For state-funded projects, the prime contractor must submit Form A Schedule of Small Business Enterprise Participation (pdf 8k) within seven (7) business days after being identified as the low bidder on a NJDOT project.

In both cases, the prime contractor must identify the classification, the name of the DBE or SBE subcontractor/supplier that will be participating in the project, the address, type of work to be performed, projected start date and completion of work and the dollar amount of the subcontract work.

Q. Do the DBE or SBE subcontractors listed on Form A have to be certified or registered?
A. Yes. DBEs must be certified by the Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action. SBE subcontractors must be registered with the Division of Minority and Women Business Development.

Q. What happens if the subcontractor subcontracts to an uncertified DBE?
A. Work that a certified DBE subcontractor subcontracts to an uncertified DBE company does not count toward DBE goals (pdf 61k).

Q. When does the Contract Compliance Unit issue a Recommendation to Award document?
A. After Form A is reviewed and approved the office may complete the Recommendation to Award memo and forward it to the Bureau of Construction Services.

Q. Are there different projects where the contractor uses DBE subcontractors and not SBE subcontractors, and vice versa?
A. Yes. DBE subcontractors are used for federally-funded contracts, and SBE subcontractors are used for 100 percent state-funded contracts. They cannot be used interchangeably.

Q. What does the incentive program – DBE or SBE participation – mean to a contractor?

A. The incentive program has two major benefits to prime contractors.

  • The program gives the contractors the opportunity to work with newly-certified DBEs.
  • Prime contractors who use first time, approved DBEs, will receive credit toward their goal percentage equal to the actual dollar amount subcontracted to the DBE or SBE. The total project credit limit is two percent of the total bid price not to exceed $200,000.

Q. What determines if expenditures of subcontracting DBEs can be counted toward the applicable DBE or SBE goal?
A. The Contract Compliance Unit must evaluate if a DBE or SBE performs a commercially useful function and if it actually carries out the work, manages and/or supervises a distinct element of the work subcontracted, and follows industry practices.

Q. What happens if the prime contractor fails to meet the DBE or SBE contract goal obligation?
A. The prime contractor must adequately document the Good Faith Effort made to meet the DBE or SBE subcontracting goals.

Q. What is an example of a Good Faith Effort?
A. An example of a prime contractor’s Good Faith effort is:
  • Solicit through all reasonable and available means;
  • Select portions of the contracted work by the DBE or SBE to ensure reaching the goals;
  • Provide information about plans, specifications and contract requirements in a timely manner to the DBE or SBE; and
  • Use the services of minority and women’s community organizations, contractors’ groups and local state and federal minority and women business assistance offices.
Q. How does NJDOT's Contract Compliance Unit monitor its prime contractors and subcontractors employees' participation on federal and state contracts?
A. The Contract Compliance Unit reviews documentation for each contractor that includes Contractor Utilization Reports, Workforce/EEO Reports and Contractor Training Reports.

Q. What are Contractor Utilization Reports?
A. The Contractor Utilization Reports, Form AD-267F DBE Monthly Report (pdf 15k) or Form AD 267S SBE Monthly Report (pdf 14k) must be submitted by the contractor to the division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action by the fifth (5) day after the end of the month. The name of the contractor, the project, the dollar amount the name of the subcontractors participating in the project, description of work performed and materials provided and the dollar amounts of the subcontract, payment for the month and to date should be supplied.

Q. What are Workforce and EEO reports?
A. Form CC-257 (pdf 56k) of the United States Department of Labor Monthly Employment Utilization Report that is required by Executive Order 11246 and filed by the fifth (5) day of the month during the term of the contract reports the number of total work-hours for each employee classification in each trade in the covered area for the monthly reporting period.

The prime contractor must submit a report for its aggregate work force and collect and submit reports for each subcontractor’s aggregate work force to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance with Executive Order 11246 responsibility.

Instructions for CC-257 (pdf 56k) details step-by-step filing.

NOTE: For July only, the prime contractor must submit the Federal Aid Highway Construction Contractors Annual EEO Report or Form FHWA-1391 (pdf 100k) in place of the Form CC-257.

Q. What does a prime contractor submit to start and continue a training program?
A. The contractor provides the Resident Engineer with a written report of an Initial Training Program. Subsequently, for each trainee the contractor provides the Resident Engineer with an Apprentice/Trainee Approval Memorandum (pdf 8k), which the Resident Engineer forwards to the Division for approval.

Q. Are there other Contractor Training Reports that must be submitted?
A. Yes. In addition, there is a CR-3 - Bi-weekly Training Report (dot 105k), a 1409 Quarterly Training Report (rtf 136k) and a CR-2 - Training Certificate For Reporting Hours To NJDOT (dot 39k) that must be filled out and submitted to the Division.

Q. What are the final reports that the prime contractor must submit?
A. The prime contractor must submit the Final DBE Report (pdf 11k) and/or the Final SBE Report (pdf 11k) to the Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action at the completion of the project. The report(s) identify the name of the contractor, the project and the date of the award, the dollar amount of the contract, the goal (s) and their attainment.

 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  August 22, 2014