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Winning prevailing wage contracts requires more than just a good track record and a sharp bid. Having your compliance program in place make a big difference in our highly regulated environment. Having a partner with expertise in healthcare reform and local, state, and federal laws, is critical to you success. As a government contractor working on Davis-Bacon, state prevailing wage and/or Service Contract Act jobs, you need to understand in order to win more bids you need to focus on running your business, outsourcing your fringe benefit program to the expert.

ARCHER JORDAN helping contractors write sharper bids and win more jobs, day in and day out. Let us show you how to save money, and reduce your workload, while winning and keeping valuable contracts.

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Health Care Reform”). The intent of Health Care Reform is to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare.

Davis-Bacon Act

The Davis Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia construction contracts or federally assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 to pay their laborers and mechanics not less than the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on similar projects in the area. The prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits are determined by the Secretary of Labor for inclusion in covered contracts.

In addition to the Davis Bacon Act itself, Congress added Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions to approximately 60 laws-“related Acts”-under which federal agencies assist construction projects through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance. (Examples of the related Acts are the Federal-Aid Highway Acts, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.) Generally, the application of prevailing wage requirements to projects receiving federal assistance under any particular “related” Act depends on the provisions of that law.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has oversight responsibilities to assure coordination of administration and consistency of enforcement of the labor standards provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. Under this authority, DOL has issued regulations establishing standards and procedures for the administration and enforcement of the Davis-Bacon labor standards provisions. Federal contracting agencies have day-to-day responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Davis-Bacon labor standards provisions in covered contracts for which they are responsible or to which they provide federal assistance under laws they administer.

Within DOL, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administration and enforcement of the DBRA.

–Excerpt courtesy the US Department of Labor

For more information, visit:

Service Contract Act

The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) applies to every contract entered into by the United States or the District of Columbia, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services to the United States through the use of service employees. The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on covered federal or District of Columbia contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the monetary wage rates and to furnish fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement. Safety and health standards also apply to such contracts.

The compensation requirements of the SCA are enforced by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The SCA safety and health requirements are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within DOL.

— Excerpt courtesy the US Department of Labor

For more information, visit:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides rights and protections for participants and beneficiaries in group health plans. HIPAA includes protections for coverage under group health plans that limit exclusions for pre-existing conditions; prohibit discrimination against employees and dependents based on their health status; and allow a special opportunity to enroll in a new plan to individuals in certain circumstances. HIPAA may also give you a right to purchase individual coverage if you have no group health plan coverage available, and have exhausted COBRA or other continuation coverage.

— Excerpt courtesy the US Department of Labor

For more information, visit:

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.

ERISA requires plans to provide participants with plan information including important information about plan features and funding; provides fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets; requires plans to establish a grievance and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans; and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

— Excerpt courtesy the US Department of Labor

For more information, visit:

Living Wage Ordinances

Government contractors may, from time to time, work on jobs that are covered by Living or Responsible Wage Ordinances. Approximately 125 municipalities and local governments have these ordinances. There is no standardization among living wage ordinances, and requirements can vary drastically regarding what types of benefits can be provided with the fringe portion of the wage.

When you work with The Contractors Plan, we assist you with complying with any Living or Responsible Wage Ordinance that may apply to your project. We often work in a collaborative manner with the Living Wage officers to clarify issues and offer suggestions that will work for all parties involved.





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!

Definition of Prevailing Wage

Trade and public work wages paid to the majority of workers in a specific area. The prevailing wage is usually an hourly wage and determines overtime pay as well as benefits for laborers in that field. Read more:


How are prevailing wage determinations developed?

RWage determinations are developed based on available data showing the rates that are prevailing in a specific locality. Where a single rate is paid to a majority (more than 50%) of the workers in a classification of service employees engaged in similar work in a particular locality, that rate is determined to prevail. When information is used from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or other surveys, statistical measurements of central tendency (median) and the average (mean) are considered reliable indicators of the prevailing rate. For more information pertaining to the Issuance of Wage Determinations Under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA)of 1965, as Amended visit the United States Department of Labor website.

How are prevailing wage rates established?
The minimum monetary wages and fringe benefits to be paid are established based on what is prevailing in the locality. A rate is determined to prevail where a single rate is paid to a majority (50 percent or more) of the workers in the same class in a particular locality. If a single rate is not paid to the majority of workers in a locality, statistical measurements such as the median (a point in a distribution where 50 percent of the surveyed workers receive that or a higher rate and 50 percent receive a lesser rate) or the mean (average) are used to establish prevailing wage rates.

For more info and where this information was taken please visit the United States Department of Labor website.

There are eighteen States that do not have prevailing wage laws. They are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia. As seen on the United States Department of Labor website.This information was last revised in December 2014.

Prevailing wage requirements of various laws applicable to government contracts are enforced by the Wage & Hour Division.

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) require payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and federally-assisted construction projects.

The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to service employees employed on contracts to provide services to the federal government.

How often are prevailing rates set and when do they take effect?
The prevailing rate of wages and supplements are posted annually on July 1 of each year and are effective through June 30. (Article 8, Section 220, subd. 5a) When you examine a schedule for an occupation, pay attention to the dates above the column rates. These are the dates that additional adjustments become effective. Changes/corrections/updates to the annual determination will be posted to the Department’s website on the first business day of each month. Contractors are responsible for paying these updated rates retroactive to July 1st.
Are contractors responsible to pay the newly determined rates even if the new rates are not included in the wage schedule?
How are prevailing rates decided?
Prevailing rates in a locality are determined by collective bargaining agreements between bona fide labor organizations and employers of the private sector, provided that the employers employ at least 30% of workers in the same trade or occupation in the locality where the work is being performed. (Section 220, subd 5a)
What does locality mean for Prevailing Wage?
“Locality” means designated areas of the state described and defined for a trade or occupation in the current collective bargaining agreements between bona fide labor organizations and employers of the private sector. (Section 220, subd. 5d)
Can prevailing rate determinations be contested?
An employer may contest a determination by the fiscal officer. The employer must allege and prove by competent evidence that the actual percentage of workers, laborers, or mechanics covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the locality is below the required thirty percent.
Is it necessary for prime contractors to provide subcontractors with the prevailing wage schedules?
Yes. It is a violation for any contractor or its subcontractor not to provide to its subcontractor the schedule of wages and supplements specified in the contract as well as any annually determined rate issued subsequent to the schedule specified in the contract. (Section 220-a, subd. 1)
Where to go for assistance to comply with Prevailing Wage?

The Department of Labor provides America’s employers, workers, job seekers and retirees clear and easy-to-access information on how to comply with federal employment laws. Click here to visit the United States Department of Labor Compliance Assistance page.


Regulatory Library – the laws and regulations administered by WHD.

Elaws Advisors – The elaws Advisors are interactive e-tools that provide easy-to-understand information about a number of federal employment laws. Each Advisor simulates the interaction you might have with an employment law expert. It asks questions and provides answers based on responses given.

Posters –Workplace Posters

Forms –WHD Public Forms

Fact Sheets – Index of all WHD fact sheets by topic.

Compliance Assistance – The Department of Labor is committed to providing its customers — America’s employers, workers, job seekers and retirees — with clear and easy-to-access information on how to comply with federal employment laws. Such information and guidance is known as “compliance assistance.”

Industry-Specific Resources – WHD has a number of compliance assistance resources tailored to specific industries. For additional compliance assistance resources, please visit Wage and Hour’s main compliance assistance page and fact sheet index.

Labor Standards Information for New and Small Businesses (pdf) – WHD is providing this resource to assist new and small businesses to properly and effectively stay in compliance with the laws and regulations administered by the Division.

Minimum Wage Laws in the States

State Labor Offices

State Labor Law Topics

State and Local Government Employer’s Interactive Compliance Assistance Tutorial

State and Local Government Self Assessment Tool