Davis Bacon Related Acts

Resources for Nevada prevailing wage contractors



Whether you are just starting out as a prevailing wage contractor or just looking to keep yourself updated, we have compiled these resources about state prevailing wage. Here are the most common questions of prevailing wage contractors and workers to help expand your knowledge!

Knowing more about the Davis-Bacon Act and the related “little Davis-Bacon Acts” is a must for any prevailing wage contractor. Compliance with prevailing wage laws can assure you better performance and relations with the government. Here are several frequently asked questions about prevailing wage rules in Nevada. For help with fully compliant fringe benefit plans in Nevada please get in-touch via email or give us a call today!

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What is the Davis-Bacon Act?
The Davis-Bacon Act, also known as the Prevailing Wage Law, is a federal law requiring contractors for federal public works projects to pay workers a set minimum wage. This prevailing wage considers the work or trade classification, and the subdivision of the State, and is determined by the Secretary of Labor.
The Davis-Bacon Act, which was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover in 1931, was sponsored by the Republican Senator James J. Davis from Pennsylvania and Representative Robert L. Bacon from New York. The setting of a minimum prevailing wage was a response to competition from foreign low-wage laborers.
Is there a Nevada Prevailing Wage Law?
Many states, including Nevada, have enacted versions of the DBA, called “little Davis-Bacon Acts”. In March 24 1937, Nevada’s own Prevailing Wage Law was enacted.
Under the provisions of this law, wages are defined as the basic hourly rate of pay, and the amount of bona fide fringe benefits. Bona fide fringe benefits include pension, vacation and holiday pay, health and welfare, cost of apprenticeship training and other programs, and other bona fide benefits to the worker.
Prevailing wage contractors and issues in the state of Nevada are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Labor Commissioner, Department of Business and Industry. They also have jurisdiction over the enforcement of private wage law, particular apprenticeship programs, and employment agencies.
How are prevailing wage determinations established in Nevada?
The NRS, or Nevada Revised Statutes, outlines the procedures in establishing prevailing wage. The Labor Commissioner determines the wages for each county by conducting an annual survey of contractors who have worked in the county. Other sources of wage information to be used in other circumstances consider the collective bargaining process, wages determined at the federal level, and other information from state and federal bodies.
The prevailing wage is set as 90% of the wage rate on projects as determined by school districts and the Nevada System of Education. Wage rate, if the same for more than half of the hours worked according to the survey of the Labor Commissioner, will be considered the prevailing wage. If it cannot be determined, the prevailing wage will stand as the average rate paid per hour based on the number of hours worked.
Does the Nevada Prevailing Wage Law apply to all public works projects?
The determinations published annually on October 1 are not subject to any increases and decreases unless an Amendment is made (for example, due to a clerical error by the state commissioner).
Are there any regulations on prevailing wage for work on overtime hours, weekends and holidays, and different shifts?
There are no specified daily overtime rates per trade classification under Nevada law. However, any work done over eight hours per day, or forty hours per week, should be paid an overtime rate which is one and one-half the wage rate. Mutual agreements between the employer and employee to work ten hours per day for four days in a week stand as an exception to this overtime rule.
Prevailing wage law in the state of Nevada does not establish different wage rates per work classification for work on weekends, on legal holidays, and on different shifts worked. However, an exception would be operator engineers. They should be paid a wage rate depending on their shift, with rates established by the CBA.
Are there regulations on training and apprenticeship in the state of Nevada?
Yes, the state of Nevada does have regulations on training and apprenticeship.
For training contribution, the wage law includes training, health and welfare, pension, insurance, and any benefits that the employer provides. These contributions vary per trade classification. In terms of regulation on apprenticeship rates, there are two main requirements.
Firstly, the apprentice should be employed under a bona fide apprentice program. Secondly, this program should be registered with the Nevada State Apprenticeship Counsel. The prevailing wage for apprenticeship is determined by the apprentice agreement.
How are fringe benefits discussed under Nevada Prevailing Wage Law?
The NRS defines prevailing wage as the basic hourly rate of pay plus the fringe benefits. Fringe benefits can include health and welfare, pension, vacation and holiday pay, apprenticeship training or a similar program, and any other bona fide benefits.
Does prevailing wage law cover travel and subsistence pay?
The prevailing wage law does not compensate for travel and subsistence in the state of Nevada. However, there is a zone rate (generally varying between $1 to $12 dollars) added to the prevailing wage. This rate is determined by the mileage from a certain location in the zone rate (not the contractor’s house) to the jobsite.
You can access the zone rate tables through here.
Should contractors be licensed in the state of Nevada?

All contractors are required to have a license in their trade according to the Nevada State Contractor Board, which grants the licenses.

To obtain a license, contractors should pass a background check and should have at least four years of experience in the trade.

You can access the licensing forms here.

What are the possible penalties for failure to comply?
Contractors, and officers, agents, or employees of a public body who fail to comply with the prevailing wage law are deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. The Labor Commissioner may assess a person who failed to pay properly and correct the payment after an opportunity for a hearing. The Labor Commissioner may also impose an administrative policy that is at most equal to the costs incurred by the process of investigation and prosecution. Penalties are issued on a sliding scale of $20 to $50 per day per worker.
Note that the Department of Labor maintains a Disqualification List (debarment).
Who is responsible for the enforcement of compliance?
The Labor Commissioner is tasked to investigate as well as penalize employers who are found to be in violation of laws on prevailing wage and public works projects employment practices. Given this, the Commissioner should give notice and opportunity for hearing before the imposition of a fine. The Attorney General decides whether or not violators should be prosecuted.


Failing to comply with the provisions listed in the prevailing wage law counts as a misdemeanor. Offenders, i.e. prevailing wage contractors, may be required to correct the difference between the actual wage paid and the set wage. An administrative fine to shoulder the investigation will also be imposed.
Avoiding these complications should be the priority of prevailing wage contractors and subcontractors when conducting business with the government. With ARCHER JORDAN, compliance with prevailing wage laws and fringe benefits requirements is easier. As a third party administrator of fringe benefits, ARCHER JORDAN can help you protect your business and your employees.

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