Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts
Federal Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts generally require that all
contractors on Federal contracts over $2,000 pay their workers not
less than the locally prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits.
Who is Covered
The Davis-Bacon Act 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
The Acts require that all contractors and subcontractors performing
on Federal contracts (and contractors or subcontractors performing on
Federally assisted contracts under the related Acts) in excess of
$2,000 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.
Apprentices and trainees may be employed at less than predetermined
rates. Apprentices must be employed pursuant to an apprenticeship
program registered with the Department of Labor or with a state
apprenticeship agency recognized by the Department. Trainees must be
employed pursuant to a training program certified by the Department.
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
The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts provide laborers and mechanics on
covered Federally financed or assisted construction contracts the
right to receive at least the locally prevailing wage rate and fringe
benefits, as determined by the Department of Labor, for the type of
work performed. The Wage and Hour Division and respective Federal
contracting agencies accept complaints of alleged Davis-Bacon
The Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards
Administration administers and enforces the Davis-Bacon Act.
Contractors or subcontractors found to have disregarded their
obligations to employees, or to have committed aggravated or willful
violations while performing work on Davis-Bacon covered projects, may
be subject to contract termination and debarment from future contracts
for up to three years. In addition, contract payments may be withheld
in sufficient amounts to satisfy liabilities for unpaid wages and
liquidated damages that result from overtime violations of the
Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.
Contractors and subcontractors may challenge determinations of
violations and debarment before an administrative law judge.
Contractors and subcontractors may appeal decisions by administrative
law judges with the Department's Administrative Review Board. Final
Board determinations on violations may be appealed to and are
enforceable through the Federal courts.
Falsification of certified payroll records or the required kickback
of wages may subject a contractor or subcontractor to civil or
criminal prosecution, the penalty for which may be fines and/or
Relation to State, Local and Other Federal Laws
Since 1931, Congress has extended the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage
requirements to some 60 related Acts which provide Federal assistance
for construction through loans, grants, loan guarantees and insurance.
These Acts include by reference the requirements for payment of the
prevailing wages in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act. Examples of
the related Acts are the Federal-Aid Highway Acts, the Housing and
Community Development Act of 1974, and the Federal Water Pollution