Davis Bacon Related Acts

Resources for Oregon 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!

The Little Davis-Bacon Act is the law that governs prevailing wage rates in Oregon. Up to this day, the provisions of the law are continuously being updated in order to keep up with the changes in the work industry. Read on below for more information. For help with fully compliant fringe benefit plans in Oregon please get in-touch via email or give us a call today!

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Who determines Oregon prevailing wage rates?

The Bureau of Labor and Industries has the task of enforcing the prevailing wage rate law, as well as teaching the prevailing wage contractors and public agencies about the requirements. The rates they determine are published here every January and July.

Is there a limit in the amount of the prevailing wage given to workers?
The prevailing wage law of Oregon dictates that the threshold for wages given to public workers is $50,000.
What are the responsibilities of contractors under the Little Davis-Bacon Act?
  • Submit certified payroll records to the public agency connected to the project for each week that they employ workers for the project. This is done on a monthly basis, on the 5th business day of the month.
  • Retain records proving that the right prevailing wage and overtime rate was given to their workers. The documents must be retained for at least 3 years starting from the date that the project was finished.
What information should be found in the documents to be maintained by the prevailing wage contractor?

Name and home address of the employee

  • Work classification of the employee
  • The rates of the fringe benefits and prevailing wage given to the employee
  • Number of hours worked by the employee per day and per week
  • All of the deductions and withholdings done to an employee’s wage
  • Agreements regarding apprenticeship
Can Oregon prevailing wage still increase?

The Bureau of Labor and Industries updates the prevailing wage rates every January and July. Not all classifications undergo changes in rates. The degree of changes will also depend on the outcome of the survey done.

Does the Little Davis-Bacon Act allow payment for overtime work?

The law permits paying overtime work. The employees must be compensated at least 1.5 times of the hourly basic rate, excluding the fringe benefits. Work done on the following days are paid as overtime:

  • Saturdays
  • Legal holidays including Sundays, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day Labor Day, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day
  • Work rendered that is beyond 40 hours per week
  • Work rendered that is beyond 8-10 hours per day given that the employer has determined a work schedule for 4 consecutive days.

The employer should ensure that the company operates according to this work schedule.

Overtime pay is only allowed for those who work on the site of the project. However, if off-site work is needed to fulfill the requirements of a contract, the rates for overtime will apply.

How is the overtime prevailing wage calculated?

Overtime pay is calculated using the formula: (basic rate per hour x 1.5) + fringe rate per hour

  • If the zone pay per hour is already due, add the amount to the base rate and use the formula: ((basic rate per hour + zone pay per hour) x 1.5) + fringe rate per hour
What happens when an employee performs more than one classification of work?
An employee that renders work in more than one classification that give 1 or more hourly prevailing wage rates of pay must be paid. The wage of the worker for all the hours he has worked must also be compensated with an amount that is calculated by multiplying ½ of the average of the rates per hour by the number of hours worked overtime. If the records of the contractor don’t clearly indicate the time spent for each work classification, the worker must be paid using the highest classification rate.
What consequences do Oregon prevailing wage contractors face when they violate the Little Davis-Bacon Act?

Failing to submit the certified payroll reports will cause 25% of the earnings in a project to be withheld.

  • Using the wrong Oregon prevailing wage rates will make the contractor liable for the underpaid amount. For instance, if the contractor underpaid a worker by $2,000 then he must pay liquidated damages for a total amount of $4,000. If the payroll records were proven to be falsified, the liquidated damages is 2x the amount of the unpaid overtime prevailing wage.
  • Civil penalties up to $5,000 may also be given to contractors if they fail to do the following:
    • Reply to a wage survey
    • File with the CCB an Oregon public works bond
    • Publish the required information at the site of work
    • Submit certified payroll reports
    • Cooperate with the investigations being done by the authorities regarding prevailing wage
  • Warning letters that inform the contractor of the violation committed
  • Intentionally violating the Oregon prevailing wage law may debar a contractor from accepting public contracts (with the exception of federal contracts).
What are the requirements for apprenticeships under the Oregon prevailing wage law?

Oregon does not mandate contractors to hire apprentices. If an apprentice works for a public work in Oregon, the contractor must shoulder some costs that are connected to the apprenticeship program. They may be given a percentage of the basic rate depending on the provisions of the program.

  • To become an apprentice, one must comply with the following requirements:
    • Register with the Apprenticeship and Training Division of the Bureau and Labor Industries or the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training
    • Perform work aligned with his craft
    • Work in the present ratio to the population of the journey workers assigned to a project indicated in the program
    • Ensure that the contractor must be a registered training agent


There are a lot of considerations to be made in paying prevailing wage to workers. Violation of the rules might hurt your business due to the various consequences you will encounter. Our team at ARCHER JORDAN is willing to help you out. Just call us and we are ready to answer your questions.

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