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What projects does the Davis Bacon Act apply to?

The Davis Bacon Act applies to federally funded construction work, in which the value of the work exceeds $2,000. Examples of work that the Davis Bacon Act covers include: painting, decoration, and repairs. In many states, for state funded projects the federal prevailing wage laws apply. For state by state information click here.

Who needs to be paid Davis Bacon wages/ Prevailing?

Laborers and mechanics performing on the site of the work of DBRA-covered contracts are entitled to receive prevailing wage rates for such work. For more information see here.

Note: Davis Bacon Act does not apply to auditors, consultants, architects, or engineers working on a project or construction site.

How often to pay workers and send in a report?

Workers need to be payed no less often than once per week. This is a requirement through the Davis Bacon Act and it can’t be waived under any circumstance. Reports need to be submitted weekly to the government, even if there is a temporary break in work, in which case a “ No Work Performed” certified payroll report needs to be submitted.

Regulations around paying overtime?

On Davis Bacon contracts, time and ½ is paid on the basic hourly prevailing wage rate. The fringe benefits remain the same and aren’t increased in an overtime situation. So, the total amount of minimum overtime wage that needs to be paid, time and ½ + fringe benefits.

What can be counted as fringe benefits?

Fringe benefits can include employer contributions/costs for life insurance, health insurance, pensions, disability and sickness insurance, vacation and holiday pay, sick leave, and for defraying the costs of apprenticeship. See Sect 3141 2B.

The costs for fringe benefits are incurred by the contractor/employer; they are not payroll deductions from employee pay.

When do Davis Bacon Wages change?

Prevailing wage rates change from time to time, but the date the project starts, or effective date is the date that should be used to determine applicable Davis Bacon wage rates. So the project is locked in at those rates and, for the duration of the contract or project, those wages apply.

How long do certified reports need to be kept?

Documentation should be maintained for a minimum of three years after the end of the contract. These documentations can come in handy in the case of an audit or investigation. Learn more about the consequences of incorrect certified reports.

What are the obligations and responsibilities of the Prime/General Contractor?

The prime contractors play a large role in ensuring compliance with the Davis Bacon Act. These responsibilities can include:

  • All record keeping requirements
  • Auditing and monitoring payroll records submitted by contractors and sub-contractors

The Prime Contractor is responsible for obtaining and storing the original copy of the certified payroll report.

The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.