Indep. Training v. Cal. Dep't Indus. Relations

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Labor Law
  • Date Filed: 09-18-2013
  • Case #: 11-17763
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Tashima for the Court; Circuit Judges Murguia and Hawkins
  • Full Text Opinion

"Federal Purposes" under the National Apprenticeship Act mean those projects that require conformity with federal apprenticeship standards for as a conditional of financial assistance eligibility.

The Independent Training and Apprenticeship Program ("I-TAP") sought injunctive relief from a California Department of Industrial Relations ("CDIR") demand letter requiring I-TAP to pay a fine for violation of prevailing wage laws on California public works projects. I-TAP is a labor apprenticeship provider registered with the Department of Labor ("DOL"). I-TAP had supplied apprentices to three different contractors on two different jobs. I-TAP had relied on an understanding that these two projects qualified as being for "Federal Purposes" because they were funded in part by federal bonds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and therefore I-TAP could supply apprentices as a DOL registered apprenticeship provider. The issue before the court was the definition of "Federal Purposes" and whether or not the DOL has defined the term. The Ninth Circuit weighed the different definitions of "Federal Purposes" promulgated by the DOL via miscellaneous letters and amicus curae and found that their most recent definition, which found "Federal Purposes" projects to include those projects that required contractors to abide by apprenticeship standards within the Fitzgerald Act to be eligible for federal financial assistance to be the most compelling. Therefore, although I-TAP provided apprenticeship labor to those federally funded projects, the projects themselves had no conditions for federal apprenticeship standards so they do not fall under "Federal Purposes." Additionally, I-TAP sought relief via the supremacy clause, the dormant commerce clause, and via the 4th and 14th amendment; however, the panel affirmed the lower courts injunction. AFFIRMED.

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