In part one of this two-part series, the Knoxville construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed two important federal labor laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). It’s imperative that contractors comply with these laws; otherwise, they could find themselves facing litigation, steep fines, or even prison time depending on the severity of the infraction.
Are you meeting the minimum wage requirements for your state? Do your workers qualify for overtime pay? Does the rate at which you compensate your workers on publicly funded projects meet the prevailing wage for your area? These are just a few of the questions a Knoxville construction attorney can help you with, but it’s only just scratching the surface of our country’s complex network of over 180 laws enforced by the Department of Labor (DOL). We’ll continue to explore some of the other important labor laws in the second half of this article.
McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act
The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) asserts that all contractors and subcontractors providing services on prime contracts exceeding $2,500 in value compensate varying classes of employees “no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement.” In other words, for contracts valued at $2,500 or less, contractors must observe the federal minimum wage under the FLSA. For contracts valued at $100,000 or more, contractors are required to compensate workers according to the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.
Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) is another labor law that helps to establish minimum wage, maximum hours, and safety and health standards for workers involved in contracts valued at $15,000 or greater. Specifically, this law deals with contracts for manufacturing or furnishing materials, supplies, articles, or equipment to the United States government or the District of Columbia. For the most part, these provisions are administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD); however, all safety and health requirements are handled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected time off for qualifying family and medical issues. Some examples of potentially eligible circumstances include:
- Childbirth and newborn care including newly adopted children.
- Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
- Serious health conditions that restrict an employee from being able to perform their occupational duties safely.
- Any urgent need or demand related to an employee’s spouse, child, or parent on “covered active duty.”
Negligence is no excuse for noncompliance. When contractors violate these federal labor laws, it can result in steep fines or even prison time. Don’t let this happen to you. Partner with a Knoxville construction attorney who provides employment law defense for construction companies.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.