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Wages and Hours Worked:

Wages Under Federal Contracts


Frequently Asked Questions

OVERVIEW

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers laws and regulations requiring minimum wages and fringe benefits to be paid to workers performing construction work on federally-funded contracts or providing services to the federal government.

Federal construction contractors are required to pay their workers no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits. WHD issues wage determinations that set forth the required wages and fringe benefits to be paid by occupation and locality.

Contractors performing services for the federal government are required to pay service employees in various classes 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.

COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE MATERIALS

BASIC INFORMATION

POSTERS

RECORDKEEPING

  • Under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), covered contractors must maintain payrolls and basic records and submit certified weekly payrolls. Although use of Form WH-347 is optional, the form will satisfy the requirements of Regulations, Parts 3 and 5 (29 CFR, Subtitle A), as to payrolls submitted in connection with contracts subject to the DBRA. Records to be maintained include:
    • Name, address, and social security number of each employee;
    • Each employee's work classification(s);
    • Hourly rate(s) of pay (including rates of contributions or costs anticipated for bona fide fringe benefits or cash equivalents thereof);
    • Daily and weekly numbers of hours worked;
    • Deductions made; and
    • Actual wages paid.

    See 29 CFR 5.5(1)(3) for further information.
  • Each contractor and subcontractor performing work subject to the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) shall maintain certain records for each employee performing work on the covered contract. The following is a list of the basic records that must be maintained:
    • Name, address, and social security number of each employee;
    • Correct work classification(s), wage rate(s), and fringe benefits provided (or rate(s) of fringe benefit payments provided in lieu of fringe benefits);
    • The number of daily and weekly hours worked by each employee; and
    • Any deductions, rebates, or refunds from each employee's compensation.

    See 29 CFR 4.6(g) for further information.
  • The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires each covered contractor or subcontractor to provide a weekly statement of the wages paid to each of its employees engaged in covered work. The statement shall be executed by the contractor or subcontractor or by an authorized officer or employee of the contractor or subcontractor who supervises the payment of wages and shall be on form WH-348, “Statement of Compliance,” or on an identical form on the back of WH-347 “Payroll (For Contractors Optional Use”) or on any form with identical wording. Within seven days after the regular pay date for the pay period the statement shall be delivered to a representative of the federal or state agency in charge at the site of the building or work.

APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS

  • Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) - Requires payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and federally assisted construction projects.
  • 29 CFR Part 1 - Regulations describing the procedures for predetermination of wage rates.
  • 29 CFR Part 3 - Regulations regarding contractors and subcontractors on public building or public work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States.
  • 29 CFR Part 5 - Regulations regarding labor standards provisions applicable to contracts covering federally financed and assisted construction.
  • McNamara O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) - Requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to service employees employed on contracts to provide services to the federal government.
  • 29 CFR Part 4 - Regulations describing the labor standards for federal service contracts.
  • Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) - Provides for a minimum wage and prohibits employment of youth under 16 and convicts on federal contracts for the manufacture or supply of materials, supplies, articles, and equipment.
  • 41 CFR Part 50 - Regulations pertaining to federal supply contracts.
  • Title I - Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act - This Act requires contractors and subcontractors with covered contracts to pay laborers and mechanics employed in the performance of the contracts one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

RELATED TOPICS AND LINKS

DOL CONTACTS*

  • Wage and Hour Division
    200 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Room S-3502
    Washington, DC 20210
    Contact WHD
    Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627
    Local Offices

  • For questions on other DOL laws,
    please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
    Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
    TTY

*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.