Government Contracts

Prevailing wage requirements of various laws applicable to government contracts are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division.

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) require payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and federally-assisted construction projects.

The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to service employees employed on contracts to provide services to the federal government.

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires contractors and subcontractors on federal contracts to pay laborers and mechanics at least one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This Act also prohibits unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous working conditions in the construction industry on federal and federally financed and assisted projects.

The Copeland Anti-Kickback Act prohibits a contractor or subcontractor from inducing an employee to give up any part of his/her compensation to which he/she is entitled under his/her contract of employment. The Act's implementing regulations requires a contractor and subcontractor to submit a weekly statement of the wages paid each employee performing on covered work during the preceding payroll period.

The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act requires payment of minimum wage rates and overtime pay on federal contracts to manufacture or furnish materials, supplies or equipment.

Executive Order 13495, “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts,” was effective January 18, 2013. Executive Order 13495 requires that workers on federal service contracts who would otherwise lose their jobs as a result of the completion or expiration of a contract be given the right of first refusal for employment with the successor contractor. The Executive Order applies to all service contracts (prime and subcontractor) above the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) and their solicitations, except those excluded, that succeed contracts for the same or similar services at the same location.

Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors,” raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers on federal construction and service contracts beginning with contracts that resulted from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, with annual adjustments thereafter as determined by the Secretary of Labor. The applicable minimum wage is currently $10.35 per hour, in effect since January 1, 2018. Beginning January 1, 2019, the Executive Order minimum wage rate that generally must be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $10.60 per hour.

Executive Order 13706, “Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors,” requires contractors that enter into covered contracts with the federal government to provide covered employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually, including for family care and absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Executive Order 13706 applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017 (or that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017). Coverage of contracts and employees under Executive Order 13706 is nearly identical to coverage under the regulations implementing EO 13658, which requires the payment of a minimum wage to employees of federal contractors, except that Executive Order 13706 also covers employees who qualify for an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime provisions.

Webpages on This Topic

Davis-Bacon Wage Determinations
Current Davis-Bacon wage determinations that will apply to future contracts are available at this site.

Wage and Hour Division Website
This site includes direct links for accessing Wage and Hour District Office address and phone numbers, the Davis-Bacon poster (WH-1321), optional payroll form WH-347 (with instructions), and Davis-Bacon survey data collection form WD-10, "Report of Construction Contractor's Wage Rates."

All Agency Memo Nos. 130 and 131
These memoranda provide guidance on determining the type of construction (building, residential, highway or heavy).

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) Web Information Service
Provides public access to Davis-Bacon information and supports the user in filling out the Report of Construction Contractor's Wage Rates (WD-10) Form. Includes information about the Schedule of Surveys being conducted to make wage determinations and regional office information.

DBRA Site Map
A site map particularly useful in accessing Wage and Hour Regional Office contacts and information concerning the status of Davis-Bacon surveys and the survey process.

McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act
Covers contracts entered into by federal and District of Columbia agencies where the principal purpose of the contract is to furnish services through the use of service employees.

Frequently asked questions, as well as other guidance and information on the requirements and application of Executive Order 13706 are available at this site.

Regulations on this Topic

29 CFR Part 1 Procedures for Predetermination of Davis-Bacon Wage Rates

29 CFR Part 3 Contractors and Subcontractors on Public Building or Public Work Financed In Whole or In Part by Loans or Grants

29 CFR Part 4 Labor Standards for Federal Service Contracts

29 CFR Part 5 Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Provisions and Procedures

29 CFR Part 6 Rules of Practice for Administrative Proceedings Enforcing Labor Standards In Federal and Federally Assisted Construction Contracts and Federal Service Contracts

29 CFR Part 7 Practice Before the Administrative Review Board With Regard to Federal and Federally Assisted Construction Contracts

29 CFR Part 8 Practice Before the Administrative Review Board With Regard to Federal Service Contracts