Davis Bacon

The Davis Bacon Act of 1931 is a federal law that requires all on-site employees be paid fair wages, benefits, and overtime weekly while working on government-funded projects.

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Federal construction worker reviewing Davis Bacon paperwork

The Davis Bacon Act is a federal law that mandates on-site workers be paid certain wages, benefits, and overtime (also known as “prevailing wage”) on all government-funded construction, alteration, and repair projects at a minimum threshold of $2,000. The bill was enacted by Congress in 1931, and in 2013 President Barack Obama signed the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act, which passed authority of the Davis Bacon Act to the United States Department of Labor.

Davis Bacon Act Applicability: The Davis Bacon Act is applicable to all on-site employees working on government-funded construction, alteration, and repair projects. According to the Davis Bacon Act, “workers” are further defined by their trade and classification as not only “laborers” and “mechanics,” by also as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, ironworkers, flaggers, craftsmen, welders, concrete finishers, longshoremen, power equipment operators, and helpers.

Davis Bacon Act and the Department of Labor: There have been over 119,000 reported violations of the Davis Bacon Act over the last 32 years, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Though there are several ways to violate the Davis Bacon Act, the most common by far is failing to pay the prevailing wage. As a result, over $197 million in back wages have been paid to employees working under the Davis Bacon Act. Construction was the worst affected industry, followed by waste management and remediation services and the manufacturing industry.

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