Davis Bacon Act Compliance

davis bacon act posterIf you are a direct contractor or subcontractor on a contract with the federal government for construction you should know about the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) and how it applies to your employees.

The DBA applies to federal funded (or assisted) contracts that exceed $2,000 and are for construction, alteration or repair.   Most people are aware of the DBA because it requires the payment of prevailing wages that are set by the U.S. Department of Labor. Although these wages are supposedly set to conform with the wage that prevails in a certain area they are often times much higher than what a non-union company is accustomed to paying their employees.

In order to determine if the DBA applies to the contract you are working on review your work contract to see if it was incorporated into the contract. If it’s not incorporated in the contract but it meets the criteria of a DB job know that the U.S. Department of Labor can retroactively incorporate the DBA into a contract even if it wasn’t applied at the time that work was done.

The following are some of the most common violations on Davis Bacon contracts:

  • Not paying the prevailing wage.
  • Paying a prevailing wage but not the one that corresponds to the work actually being performed. For example: paying an employee the prevailing wage of a laborer for all of his hours when he is doing the work of a carpenter half of the time.
  • Not paying the fringe benefit or not calculating the benefits correctly using the annualization method.
  • Having too many apprentices working in relation to number of journeymen working (“working out of ratio”)
  • Not completing accurate weekly certified payrolls.
  • Misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

The Labor Brain Inc. is not a law firm and its employees do not practice law or provide legal services.  The information provided on our website,  in email correspondence with representatives of The Labor Brain, and at outreach events is for informational and educational purposes only.  The information provided is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.