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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Wage and Hour Division Releases Memorandum Concerning the Applicability of Davis-Bacon Labor Standards to Projects Funded by the Economic Stimulus Bill

Wage and Hour Division Releases Memorandum Concerning the Applicability of Davis-Bacon Labor Standards to Projects Funded by the Economic Stimulus Bill


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On May 29, 2009, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released a memorandum to all federal agencies and the District of Columbia regarding federal and federally-assisted construction work funded in whole or in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Currently, the Davis-Bacon Act requires that each contract over $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party must include a provision stating the minimum wages laborers and mechanics are paid. The Secretary of Labor determines the prevailing wages for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects.

Section 1606 of the ARRA indicates that the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement broadly applies to ARRA-funded construction projects. Projects receiving such funding must follow the requirements located in the DOL regulations at 29 C.F.R. Parts 1, 3 and 5. This provision explicitly overrides any limitation to Davis-Bacon coverage contained in other Davis-Bacon related Acts. Thus, even if a construction project receives funding from multiple statutes, the ARRA prevailing wage requirement governs if the project receives ARRA funding. 

Section 1606 of the ARRA does not apply to the following contracts: (1) tribal contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs involving repair and restoration of roads, school improvements, repairs and replacement construction, and detention center maintenance; (2) tribal contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Services involving Indian health facilities construction projects; and (3) contracts receiving project-based rental assistance funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The WHD provides additional information for construction projects receiving ARRA funding on its website.