December 2003

Paying prevailing wages | Legal Ease

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Paying prevailing wages

by Philip J. Siegel
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Although many roofing contractors perform work on federal government construction projects that require payment for prevailing wages, many roofing contractors are unaware of where the requirement originates and their rights according to the law.

The Davis-Bacon Act requires the payment of prevailing wage rates, which are determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to all laborers and mechanics who work on federal government construction projects in excess of $2,000. The purpose of the Davis-Bacon Act is to protect local wage standards and give local laborers and contractors a fair opportunity to participate in federal projects by preventing contractors from basing their bids on wages lower than those prevailing in the area. Each contract subject to Davis-Bacon labor standards must contain labor standards clauses and a Davis-Bacon wage determination.

Following are the most common questions asked by roofing contractors performing work on federal government construction projects subject to the Davis-Bacon Act.

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