Davis Bacon Labor Standards

Davis Bacon Labor Standards

sign with the safety standards for construction work

When Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds finance any construction work whether in part or in entirety, that construction work is subject to Davis Bacon Labor Standards and the Related Acts. Simply put, the Davis Bacon Act necessitates that all workers and mechanics laboring on construction projects by the Federal government must be paid the “prevailing wages” for the classification of each job. Davis Bacon requirements dictate all demolition and rehabilitation projects on public buildings or public works including those that altar (including decorateing) or repair them.

The Related Acts require that workers be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours in a week, that employers do not persuade workers to forfeit any portion of their wages (with the exception of permissible deductions) and that employers submit certified payroll reports each week.

Pre-construction meetings involving at a minimum, the contract manager, prime contractor, and CDBG staff are required for sub-recipients with Public Facilities/Infrastructure projects.

Quick reference guide to Davis Bacon Labor Standards:

Davis Bacon Act – requires payment of prevailing wage rates to all laborers and mechanics on Federal

government and D.C. construction projects of more than $2,000

Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) – requires time and a half for overtime on

federal projects.

Copeland Act – makes it a federal crime for anyone to require any laborer or mechanic to kickback any

part of their wages. Necessitates weekly certified payroll reports.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – has federal minimum wage rates, overtime, and child labor


Construction Contract Provisions – Each contract subject to Davis-Bacon labor standards requirements

must have labor standards clauses and a Davis Bacon wage decision. Also provide provisions for

solutions to violations to ensure the payment of wages.

Davis Bacon wage decisions – created by the DOL for various types of construction and apply to specific geographical areas such as counties.

Prime Contractor – responsible for posting a copy of wage decision and a copy of the DOL Davis-Bacon

poster titled Employee Rights under the Davis Bacon Act at the job site in a place that’s easily accessible.

Certified Payroll reports – must be submitted each and every week beginning with the first week that your company starts on the project until it is finished.

Payroll retention – every contractor (including subcontractor) must keep a complete set of their own

payrolls and other basic records.

Prevailing wages – wage rates listed on the wage decision for the project.

Piece-work – some employees are hired on piece-work basis where the employee earnings are

determined by a factor of work produced (ex. Drywall hanger’s earnings based on square feet of

sheetrock hung). The employer must decipher an effective hourly rate for each employee each week

based upon the employees piece-work earnings for that week.

Overtime – defined as all hours worked on a contract over 40 hours per week.

Split classification – if you have employees that perform work in more than one trade during a work

week, you can pay the wage rates specified for each classification in which work is performed but you must have accurate time records showing the amount of time spent in each classification of work.