770 West Broad AGA, a private contractor, entered into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Commerce to provide work space for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Under the lease terms, AGA made several improvements to the property at its own expense. Upon completion, the state fined the company over $500,000, alleging prevailing wage laws were violated. AGA refused to pay the fine and filed a court action claiming that prevailing wage did not apply, and that the state’s prevailing wage law violates the Ohio Constitution.
May 4, 2010 – 1851 Center Files Amicus Brief in Ohio Prevailing Wage Law Case
Ohio’s current prevailing wage law is, in part, unconstitutional, the 1851 Center argues in an amicus brief filed in the Tenth District Court of Appeals, Franklin County. The case, Ohio Department of Commerce v. 770 West Broad AGA, LLC, exposes fundamental flaws in the current prevailing wage law.
“Ohio’s prevailing wage law is deeply flawed and unconstitutional because it gives labor unions the legislative power to establish the prevailing wage,” said 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “Additionally, the law does not provide an intelligible principle for determining the prevailing wage, and it fails to provide a procedure for effective review. Essentially, it allows labor unions to set the wages of non-union workers, without any input from those workers themselves, much less the Department of Commerce or the Ohio legislature.”
While AGA won its case at the trial level, the appellate court reversed. Notably, both courts declined to address the constitutional issues. The Ohio Supreme Court refused to review the case.
May 3, 2010: Appellate Court Amicus Brief
April 11, 2011: Ohio Supreme Court Amicus Brief