By: Danielle Ternes
Jonathan Landesman spoke with Construction Dive about the Davis-Bacon federal wage rules. In the article, he cautions construction companies that it is not always clear-cut if a construction project is subject to Davis-Bacon. Jon said, “Even if in the situation where the awarding government entity tells the contractor that it’s not a covered project … that does not excuse the contractor from failing to pay the rate.” Jon continued, warning contractors that “the Department of Labor will not excuse violations.”
This feature is a part of “The Dotted Line” series, which takes an in-depth look at the complex legal landscape of the construction industry. To view the entire series, click here.
Most contractors that have performed work for publicly funded projects are likely familiar with prevailing wage requirements. Even those jobs performed under the terms of a project labor agreement typically will guarantee a specific wage rate.
At the federal level, how much workers are paid per hour, including benefits, is governed by the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts.
Davis-Bacon wage rates are set according to what contractors local to the job typically pay, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office, but also rely on input from other “interested parties” like trade unions to set minimum wage rates for those working on qualified projects. Depending on the part of the country, prevailing wage rates can be much higher than what an employee normally earns performing the same tasks on a private sector project.