Per the Department of Industrial Relations Public Works page, Public works in general means:
- Construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid in whole or in part out of public funds.
- It can include preconstruction and post-construction activities related to a public works project.
- For a full definition of public works refer to Labor Code section 1720.
Anyone working on a public works project must be paid prevailing wages as determined by DIR. Projects of $30,000 or more must meet DIR’s apprenticeship requirements. Failure to comply with public works requirements can result in civil penalties, criminal prosecution, or both.
(information cited from https://www.dir.ca.gov/public-works/}