Davis-Bacon Act

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Davis-Bacon Act

The Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C.A. §§ 276a to 276a-5) is federal law that governs the Minimum Wage rate to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed on federal public works projects. It was enacted on March 3, 1931, and has been amended. Its purpose is to preserve local wage standards and promote local employment by preventing contractors who bid on public contracts from basing their bids on the use of cheap labor recruited from foreign sources.

When controversies arise under the Davis-Bacon Act, they are first submitted to the federal agency that is in charge of the project. Thereafter, if the dispute is not satisfactorily resolved, the matter is submitted to the secretary of labor. The Wage Appeals Board of the Labor Department acts on behalf of the secretary in reviewing questions of law and fact made in wage determinations issued under the act and its related prevailing wage statutes. The board has discretion in selecting the controversies that it will review. Following these administrative procedures, a dissatisfied party may seek relief in the federal courts. The courts, however, will only review whether there has been compliance with the constitutional, statutory, and procedural requirements of the practices and procedures of the agencies involved in the dispute.


Labor Law.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.