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The Davis-Bacon Act: What You Need To Know

The Davis-Bacon Act is a federal law that applies to contractors and subcontractors who perform work on federal contracts or federally funded or assisted projects that total in excess of $2,000 and include the construction, alteration, or repair of any public buildings or works in any state. The Act mandates that laborers and mechanics of covered contractors must be paid the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics that have performed work on similar projects in the area. The prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits are determined by the Secretary of Labor.

Contractors involved in federal projects in excess of $100,000 who have laborers and mechanics must pay one and a half times the basic rate for any work above 40 hours on covered contract work. Covered contractors are also required to pay their laborers and submit certified payroll records to the contracting agency on a weekly basis.

Apprentices and trainees are not required to be paid at the prevailing wage so long as apprentices are employed pursuant to an apprenticeship program that is registered with the Department of Labor or with a state apprenticeship agency that is recognized by the Department, and trainees are employed pursuant to a training program which has been certified by the Department.

If you have been found in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, it is highly advisable to seek the counsel of a Tampa construction attorney to understand what options are available to you.

Penalties for Violation

Contractors and subcontractors who are found to be in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, have knowingly falsified certified payroll records, or have required kickback of wages paid to employees, may be subject to contract termination, debarment from bidding on future federal contracts for up to three years, and civil or criminal prosecution. Payments for performed work may also be withheld to satisfy liabilities for unpaid wages of laborers and mechanics and liquidated damages for violations of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

Contractors and subcontractors who are found to be in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act may challenge determinations and debarment by presenting their case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It is recommended to hire an experienced construction attorney in Tampa for representation in these types of cases. If the ALJ determines that the contractor or subcontractor is in violation, the ALJ’s decision may be appealed with the Department’s Administrative Review Board. The federal courts hold the power to appeal and enforce the Board’s final determinations on violations.

If you have been found in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, please contact our office today at 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form.

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.