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With Influx of Infrastructure Funds, Ensuring Davis-Bacon Compliance

The Davis-Bacon Act sets wages for most federally-funded construction contracts.

The Department of Labor (DOL) held a webinar recently to advise contractors on compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). Originally passed in 1931, the DBA establishes wage and benefit rates for construction labor under federally-funded contracts. DBA requirements will apply to the majority of projects resulting from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Here are five key take-aways from the DOL webinar:

1. Davis-Bacon is a federal law that requires local prevailing wages be paid on most federal and federally funded construction contracts.

2. Construction workers working on Davis-Bacon covered construction contracts must be paid no less than the locally prevailing wages for all hours worked in each labor classification.

3. Contractors and subcontractors on Davis-Bacon projects must pay their construction workers not less than the wages and fringe benefits listed on the wage determination for the work performed.

4. Certified payroll reports play a crucial role in ensuring that construction workers on Davis-Bacon projects are paid the proper wages for the work performed.

5. The DOL Wage and Hour Division offers Davis-Bacon education and compliance assistance online and at their toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE.

"The overwhelming majority of the funds in the BIL will be subject to Davis-Bacon requirements, which will ensure contractors pay workers on construction projects a fair, prevailing wage so that local wages, labor markets and workers won’t be undercut," writes infrastructure expert Jessica Lombardo.

Categories that must comply with DBA requirements include roads and bridges, airports, ports, waterways, water infrastructure, and energy grid projects.

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