V. Appeal Process

If it is believed that the rates on a wage determination are not accurate, can the wage determination be appealed?

Yes. Any interested person requesting reconsideration of a wage determination or of a ruling regarding application of a wage determination to a specific construction project 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 requestor within this time frame that additional time is needed.

An "interested person" is considered to include, without limitation:

(1) Any contractor, or an association representing a contractor, who is likely to seek or to work under a contract containing a particular wage determination, or any laborer or mechanic, or any labor organization which represents a laborer or mechanic, who is likely to be employed or to seek employment under a contract containing a particular wage determination, and,

(2) Any Federal, State, or local agency concerned with the administration of a proposed contract or contract containing a particular wage determination issued pursuant to the Davis-Bacon Act or any of its related statutes.

If reconsideration of a wage determination has been sought and denied, an appeal for review of the wage determination or its application may be filed with the Adminstrative Review Board, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-4309, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Requests for review of wage determinations must be filed, and any new wage determination resulting from the appeal must be issued, before contract award or start of construction where there is no award (or under the National Housing Act, before the date of initial endorsement, or the beginning of construction, whichever occurs first; or under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, before the date of the housing assistance payments agreement, or the beginning of construction, whichever occurs first).

The Wage Appeals Board (now the Administrative Review Board) was established by the Secretary of Labor in 1963 to decide, at its discretion, appeals concerning questions of fact and law related to final decisions of the Wage and Hour Division concerning:

  • Controversies over the payment of prevailing wage rates, overtime pay, or proper classifications;
  • Wage determinations issued under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts;
  • Debarment cases arising under 29 CFR Part 5;
  • Cases involving the assessment of liquidated damages under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act;
  • Appeal of any other final decision under 29 CFR Part 1, Part 3 or Part 5.

The Administrative Review Board consists of three members, one of whom is designated chairman. The members are appointed by the Secretary of Labor and majority vote of the Administrative Review Board is necessary for a decision, except that a decision to hear any appeal may be made by one member. The Board can act as fully and finally as the Secretary of Labor concerning the matters within its jurisdiction. The rules prescribed in 29 CFR, Part 7, "Practice Before Wage Appeals Board", govern the proceedings of the Board.