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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Frequently Asked Questions

 
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VI. Contracting Agency Responsibilities

The wage determination applicable to my project does not contain a class of workers which is needed to complete construction. Can other worker classification(s) and wage rate(s) be approved for use on the project?

Prior to bid opening, if the only classification that will perform work on a contract is not listed on a general wage determination for the type of construction in the area, the contracting/assisting agency may submit a SF-308 request for a project wage determination for application to that project. In order to assure special treatment of a request where this circumstance exists, a note explaining the special circumstances should be made in the project description block of the SF-308. (A similar note may be made on a SF-308 request for a project wage determination, where a general wage determination is not applicable, and all of the work on the project will be performed by a particular classification, as a means to assure that a wage rate for that classification will be issued for the project).

Example:

An upcoming contract calls for repainting all the residences at a military base, and there is no painter classification in the general wage schedule issued for application to residential construction in the county where the project is located. A SF-308 may be submitted by the agency for application to that contract, and a project wage determination will be issued with a painter classification and wage rate for use prior to bid opening (or the other applicable date where certain assistance programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are the basis for coverage under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts). If there is no general wage determination issued for that area and type of construction, the same procedure should be followed.

After contract award, if the contract wage determination does not contain a class of workers that is needed to complete the construction, a contractor shall submit to the contracting officer a request for the addition of the needed classification(s) of laborers or mechanics not listed in the wage determination, together with proposed wage rates and fringe benefits conformable to the wage determination.

The contracting officer shall require that any class of laborers or mechanics which is not listed in the wage determination and which is to be employed under the contract be classified in conformance with the wage determination. An additional classification action, even if undisputed, is not valid unless the Department of Labor has approved it. If a dispute exists, the matter must be referred to the Wage and Hour Division for resolution, together with the views of all interested parties and the recommendation of the contracting officer. Approval of the additional classification and the proposed wage rate and fringe benefits requires that the following criteria have been met:

(1) The work to be performed by the classification requested is not performed by any classification in the wage determination; and

(2) The classification is utilized in the area by the construction industry; and

(3) The proposed wage rate, including any bona fide fringe benefits, bears a reasonable relationship to the wage rates contained in the wage determination; and

(4) There is evidence of agreement on the classification and proposed wage rate among the parties involved, or the views of those involved -- the contractor(s), employees (if known) or their representative, and the contracting officer/agency -- are forwarded for consideration to the Wage and Hour Division; and

(5) The request does not involve wage rates for apprentices or trainees.

All conformance notices should be responded to in writing within 30 days of receipt. These responses either approve or deny the request or inform the submitting agency that additional time will be required. Failure to receive a response does not constitute approval. If a response is not received, the Wage and Hour Division should be contacted directly. Every conformance request is analyzed to verify that the criteria for approval are met.

Any interested person requesting reconsideration of a conformance should present their request in writing accompanied by supporting data or other pertinent information to the Wage and Hour Division. The Wage and Hour Division should respond within 30 days or notify the requester within this time frame that additional time is needed.

If reconsideration of a conformance action has been sought and denied, an appeal for review may be filed with the Administrative Review Board. (See 29 CFR 1.8 and 1.9, and 29 CFR Part 7.)