The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site -



Opinion No. 5549

August 27, 1979


Construction contracts requiring payment of prevailing wages


Contracts on state projects requiring payment of prevailing wages


Contract requiring payment of prevailing wages

The statute requiring payment of prevailing wages to employees of contractors working on state projects applies only to contracts entered into as a result of competitive bidding.

The Honorable John A. Welborn

State Senator

Capitol Building

Lansing, Michigan 48909

Dear Sir:

You have requested my opinion concerning the impact of 1965 PA 166, MCLA 408.551 et seq; MSA 17.256(1) et seq, on the following fact situation:

'I have recently been contacted by a small businessman in my district who does repair work. In the past, he has done small repair jobs at various schools, and various state facilities.

He was then informed by one of his previous state customers, that he could continue to do repair work because he was not operating under a contract as required under Public Act 166 of 1965.

'He has no contracts with any of these facilities. They simply call him when something breaks down.

'My question is, does this type of activity fall under Act 166 of 1965 as amended by Act 100 of 1978? In other words, is this small businessman required to pay the prevailing wage if he does this type of work, or does the Act apply only to contracts which are let for bids?'

1965 PA 166, supra, Sec. 2 provides:

'Every contract executed between a contracting agency and a successful bidder as contractor and entered into pursuant to advertisement and invitation to bid for a state project which requires or involves the employment of construction mechanics, other than those subject to the jurisdiction of the state civil service commission, and which is sponsored or financed in whole or in part by the state shall contain an express term that the rates of wages and fringe benefits to be paid to each class of mechanics by the bidder and all of his subcontractors, shall not be less than the wage and fringe benefit rates prevailing in the locality in which the work is to be performed. . . .' (Emphasis added)

Section 1267 of the School Code of 1976, MCLA 380.1267; MSA 15.41267, states that a board of a school district, other than a school district of the first or second class, shall obtain competitive bids on all material and labor required for the construction of a new school building or an addition to an existing school building. There is no statutory requirement that a school district obtain competitive bids where a person performs small repair jobs at various schools.

Where the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous, no interpretation is necessary. Acme Messenger Service Co v Unemployment Compensation Commission, 306 Mich 704, 11 NW2d 296 (1943); Ypsilanti Police Officers Association v Eastern Michigan University, 62 Mich App 87, 233 NW2d 497 (1975). The above quoted statutory language makes it abundantly clear that 1965 PA 166, supra, only applies to contracts entered into pursuant to the competitive bidding process.

It is, therefore, my opinion that where a person enters into a contract pursuant to competitive bidding, he must pay the prevailing wage required by the statute. However, 1965 PA 166, as amended by 1978 PA 100, supra, only applies to contracts entered into as a result of competitive bidding.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General