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What Does the Davis-Bacon Act Mean for You?

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) applies to contractors and subcontractors performing construction, alteration, or repair work on public buildings or public works, pursuant to federally funded or assisted contracts. Under the DBRA, contractors and subcontractors must pay their laborers and mechanics at least the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area. The Department of Labor determines the locally prevailing wage rates. For contracts over $100,000, they must also pay their employees over time pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Some other important points regarding DBRA:

  • Apprentices or trainees can only be employed at less than the rates listed in the contract wage determination as part of a recognized training program.
  • Contractors and subcontractors must pay workers on a weekly basis and submit weekly payroll reports.
  • Contractors and subcontractors must prominently display the Davis-Bacon wage determination information for workers.
  • The “prevailing wages” are determined based on wages paid to various classes of laborers and mechanics employed on specific types of construction projects in an area.
  • There are various penalties for noncompliance. Contract payments may be withheld, or the contract may be terminated and the contractor will be liable for any additional costs to the government. Further, the business can be prohibited from future federal contracts for up to three years.

The Department of Labor has identified six common employer mistakes under the Act:

  1. Misclassification of laborers and mechanics
  2. Failure to pay full prevailing wage, for all hours worked
  3. Inadequate recordkeeping
  4. Failure to maintain a copy of apprenticeship program and registration documents for apprentices
  5. Failure to submit certified payrolls weekly
  6. Failure to post the Davis-Bacon poster and applicable wage determination

If you believe your employer may have violated the Davis-Bacon act, or if you are an employer seeking guidance in order to comply with the Act, contact an experienced Georgia employment and labor law attorney.

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