What Is the Purpose of the Federal Prevailing Wage Rate?


Quick Answer

The federal prevailing wage ensures that contractors and subcontractors with federally funded contracts are paying their workers at least as much as local employers do for the same type of work, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This applies for contracts over $2,000.

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Full Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor determines locally prevailing wage rates as directed by the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. Determination of the federal prevailing wage applies to contracts for construction, alteration or repair of public buildings or public works, including painting and decorating, as stated by the U.S. Department of Labor. This law also applies to projects that are not directly funded by the federal government but are assisted by federal agencies through grants, loans, loan guarantees and insurance.

The public has access to Davis-Bacon information as well as tools to find and make wage determinations to ensure compliance with the law through links available on the U.S. Department of Labor website. The Report of Construction Contractor's Wage Rates (WD-10) Form can also be downloaded, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

If anyone wishes to file a complaint against a contractor or subcontractor for underpayment of wages, he should file it with the appropriate Wage and Hour Division district office, as instructed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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