Certified payroll is a special type of weekly payroll reports used by contractors working on federally funded projects. Contractors and subcontractors on most public works projects are required to submit certified payroll records (CPRs) to the labor Commissioner using DIR’s electronic certified payroll reporting system. There are some exceptions to this requirement, with some entities not required to submit CPRs. CP R systems are the only way that contractors and subcontractors need to report to CPR’s online system.

Reporting CPR’s is the responsibility of each company working on public jobs. CPRs need to be reported to the labor commissioner using the DIRs online system. Certified payroll records must be submitted at least once a  month (within a month after the end of the payroll period) or required by the contract with the awarding body. 

The best practice is to submit the records weekly or at the conclusion of each payroll period.

The main purpose of CPRs is for the Government to ensure all public works employees are paid correctly. It is based on the prevailing wage that has been set by the labor commissioner. The prevailing wage is different for each profession. 

The workers may work in both the public and private sectors and may have two different rates. It is the employer’s responsibility to allocate the worked hours correctly. 


All workers employed on public works projects must be paid the prevailing wage determined by the director of the Department of Industrial Relations, according to the type of work and location of the project. The prevailing wage rates are usually based on the rates specified in collective bargaining agreements.
 The prevailing wage rate is the basic hourly rate paid on public works projects to a majority of workers engaged in a particular craft, classification, or type of work within the locality and in the nearest labor market area (if a majority of such workers are paid at a single rate).