With governmental projects continuing to be a major source of business in these tough times, it is important to keep in mind Davis Bacon wage requirements. If you don’t, you can be assured that the Department of Labor will come knocking on your door.

Here are a few pointers on paying Davis Bacon wages:

  • The Davis Bacon Act requires you to pay your employees a minimum Davis-Bacon wage. The wage rates can change dramatically depending on the location of the project, so make sure you check the rates before you bid and begin work. You can find out the wage rates at this Department of Labor website.
  • You must pay the employees for all hours worked, including overtime. But, if employees are working multiple jobs, such as laborer and trained skill, you can pay them separate rates for the work performed.
  • You can use apprentices on Davis Bacon project, and you can pay apprentices less than fully trained journeymen. But, you must have an approved apprentice program and the apprentices must be registered.
  • You must submit weekly certified payroll records to the contracting agency.

Here are some common problems contractors experience:

  • Failure to maintain and keep accurate records;
  • Failure to register apprentices in their program;
  • Failure to maintain the proper ratio of journeyman to apprentices;
  • Failure to post the proper notice;
  • Asking for wages back from employees, potentially violating the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act

The Davis Bacon Act can create some tricky situations, and with the Department of Labor watching over your shoulder, it can also lead to some hefty claims for back wages and penalties.