Apprenticeship is a proven way to learn a construction trade and prepare for careers in the industry. In Massachusetts, apprenticeship is regulated by laws administered through the Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS) in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Apprentices are paid a series of progressive hourly wage “step” increases as they master the different aspects of their trade on the job under the supervision of experienced journey workers. They are also required to complete 150 hours of related technical instruction per year. The FFCM works closely with the DAS to ensure that apprentices employed on public construction projects understand their rights and have recourse if those rights are violated.
The FFCM can assist Apprentice Workers on public construction projects in Massachusetts with the following:
- Making sure apprentice programs and apprentices are officially registered with the DAS and apprentices have a current annual ID card
- Verifying correct on-job wages and required apprentice- to- journey worker ratios.
- Helping apprentices process complaints, resolve violations of apprenticeship and wage laws and get back pay
Protect Your Rights
Apprentices themselves can and should take steps to prevent and correct abuses/ violations by practicing the following:
- Keeping careful records of on-job and related instruction hours for verification of applicable step increases throughout their apprenticeship
- Carrying their ID card during working hours and checking state-issued prevailing wage rate sheets to ensure they are working according to legal ratios and wage rates on public construction jobs
- Reporting suspected apprentice violations to program sponsors if appropriate or to the FFCM in strict confidentiality
- Subscribe to our semiannual publication, Public Construction Watch, which provides apprentices with updates on new laws and advisories and publishes outcomes of important precedent-setting decisions affecting public construction.