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McNamara-O-Hara Service Contract Act (SCA)


The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 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. The Department of Labor issues wage determinations on a contract-by-contract basis in response to specific requests from contracting agencies. These determinations are incorporated into the contract.

For contracts equal to or less than $2,500, contractors are required to pay the federal minimum wage as provided in Section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

For prime contracts in excess of $100,000, contractors and subcontractors must also, under the provisions of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, as amended, pay laborers and mechanics, including guards and watchmen, at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act may also apply to SCA-covered contracts.

Key News

The Wage and Hour Division has issued a final rule to implement Executive Order 13495, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts. This final rule will be effective once the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) issues regulations for the inclusion of the nondisplacement contract clause in covered Federal solicitations and contracts, as required by the Executive Order. For more information, please visit the Nondisplacement Final Rule Webpage. (August 29, 2011)

General Guidance


Fact Sheets


Workplace Posters


  • Standard Form (SF) 1444 — Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Wage Rate

Interpretive Guidance

  • Field Operations Handbook
    • Chapter 14 — The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (PDF)

Applicable Laws and Regulations