Under the Labor Code, public works in general refers to:
Construction, alteration, demolition, installation, maintenance, or repair work,
done under contract, and
paid for in whole or in part out of public funds.
It can include pre-construction and post-construction activities related to a public works project.
Except for public works projects of $1,000 or less, not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which the public work is performed, and not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for holiday and overtime work fixed as provided in this chapter, shall be paid to all workers employed on public works. Please visit the California Legislative Information website for more information on the California Labor Code §1720 et. al.