U.S. Department of Labor Launches Education, Enforcement Initiative To Boost Compliance with Prevailing Wage Laws on Federal Projects
ATLANTA, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has launched an education and enforcement initiative in eight Southeastern states to ensure construction companies that work on federal or federally assisted construction projects meet prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) and the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).
WHD district offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee will engage federal contracting agencies, the Small Business Administration, and local chapters of construction associations to educate them about construction industry employers’ responsibilities, and how to prevent violations. WHD also will provide educational seminars directly to employers.
WHD investigations under these laws in these states during fiscal year 2020 resulted in employers paying $1,329,512 in back wages to 920 employees. Of the investigations conducted, 78 percent had DBRA violations, including investigations that led the Department to debar Wade Kincaid and KCS Construction of Columbia, Tennessee, and Southern Integrated Systems LLC and Jason Dinger, of Tampa, Florida, making them ineligible to bid on government contracts for three years.
“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring construction industry employers comply with the rules when they receive federal funds for work subject to the Davis Bacon and Related Acts,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria, in Atlanta, Georgia. “We have outreach staff available throughout the region to answer employers’ and contracting agencies’ questions about compliance. Our work in this area ensures that employees receive the wages they have legally earned, and levels the playing field for all contractors who do business with the government.”
Common violations disclosed during these investigations include employers’ failure to:
- Classify and pay workers for the category of work they actually perform;
- Pay the prevailing wage, including applicable fringe benefits, for all the hours employees work;
- Keep accurate records;
- Accurately track and pay workers the appropriate prevailing wages when they perform work in multiple job classifications; and
- Post the DBRA poster and all applicable wage determinations, as the law requires.
The DBRA requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay workers prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and as included in their contracts.
For more information about the DBRA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the Division’s web site. The Division also offers a search tool that allows users to determine if they are owed back wages collected by the Division.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.