The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts apply to contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works.

The Act requires that all contractors and subcontractors performing on federal contracts (and contractors or subcontractors performing on federally assisted contracts under the related Acts) pay their laborers and mechanics not less than the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits, as determined by the Secretary of Labor, for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on similar projects in the area. Some of the issues that you may face include:

  • Is the wage determination incorporated into the contract the proper one?
    •  Type of construction
    •  Date of decision
    •  Geographical area encompassed
  •  Have you read the wage determination correctly, particularly when it requires holidays, vacation or percentage fringe benefits?
  •  Have you classified your laborers and mechanics by proper trade based upon the area practice?

Apprentices may be employed at less than the wage determination rates, however:

  •  Are they enrolled in an apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Labor or with a state apprenticeship agency recognized by the Department?
  •  Are you complying with the job site ratio?
  •  Do you pay wages in accordance with indentureship agreement?
  •  How does the agreement impact fringe benefits?

Contractors and subcontractors on prime contracts in excess of $100,000 are also required, pursuant to the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, to pay employees one and one-half times their basic rates of pay for all hours over 40 worked on covered contract work in a workweek.

Covered contractors and subcontractors are also required to pay employees weekly and to submit weekly certified payroll records to the contracting agency. Beware of independent contractors and subcontractor compliance. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has organized many links that will help you find regulations and tools that will help you comply with Davis Bacon.

For four years I served as the Department’s government contract enforcement specialist for the New England states. Prior to that I routinely conducted DBA and DBRA investigations for many years. Please contact me to see how I may assist you in training, conducting an internal audit or during an investigation by your contracting agency or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

I am not a representative of any fringe benefit plans, nor is it my business to sell any contribution plans. My goal is simply to help you comply with the Davis Bacon and its Related Acts.