The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) establishes minimum wage requirements on Federally funded or assisted construction projects.
This information applies to:
All grants and cooperative agreements
The Davis-Bacon Act, as amended, requires that, for Federal contracts over $2,000 where the Federal government or the District of Columbia is a party to the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works, laborers be paid locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits. Additionally, Congress has added prevailing wage provisions to approximately 60 Federal statutes ("Related Acts") which assist construction projects through financial assistance awards, loans and loan guarantees, and insurance. Collectively, these Federal prevailing wage laws are known as Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, or DBRA. Issuing a financial assistance award to a recipient who then issues a contract for construction does not make the United States a party to that contract, and as such the Davis-Bacon Act does not directly apply. For this reason, Congress has had to specifically incorporate Davis-Bacon applicability into other statutes in order to make the law applicable in circumstances where the Federal government assists construction projects through the provision of grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance.
For grants and cooperative agreements, Davis-Bacon provisions only applies through "Related Acts", i.e., those that specifically incorporate the requirement in the program's authorizing statute/legislation. For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) incorporated the requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act. See the U.S. Department of Labor's website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/programs/dbra/whatdbra.htm for more information.
If the program's authorizing legislation does incorporate Davis-Bacon requirements, the provision is applicable to all prime construction contracts of more than $2,000 awarded by non-Federal entities. see 2 CFR 200 Appendix II—Contract Provisions for Non-Federal Entity Contracts Under Federal Awards for more information. However, if the Davis-Bacon Act requirements are not specifically included in the program’s authorizing legislation, then the requirements do not apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should a notice of award include the Davis-Bacon Act provision?
A notice of award should only include the Davis-Bacon Act provision when the funding program's authorizing legislation specifically incorporates the requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act. See 2 CFR 200 App II (D) for more information.
Does the Davis-Bacon Act apply to Fish and Wildlife Service financial assistance programs?
Currently, there are no active FWS programs under the DBRA.
Does a contract under a Federal financial assistance award have to follow the Davis-Bacon Act?
The Davis-Bacon Act is not applicable to any passthrough funds (subawards or contracts) if the initial Federal award is exempt from Davis-Bacon provision requirements. However, if a State has a prevailing wage law in place, there may be a requirement depending on that State’s legislation.
2 CFR 200, Appendix II to Part 200 - Contract Provisions for Non-Federal Entity Contracts Under Federal Awards, here.
The Davis Bacon Act, as Amended. WH Publication 1246. (Revised April 2009). Online: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/statutes/dbra.htm.
29 CFR Part 5—Labor Standards Provisions Applicable To Contracts Covering Federally Financed And Assisted Construction (Also Labor Standards Provisions Applicable To Nonconstruction Contracts Subject To The Contract Work Hours And Safety Standards Act) here.
 “What Are the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts?” What Are the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts? - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - U.S. Department of Labor, https://www.dol.gov/whd/programs/dbra/whatdbra.htm.