Davis-Bacon Act

Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 1109

Definition: Davis-Bacon Act

The Davis-Bacon Act, 1931 is an act in the United States Federal Law that applies to ‘contractors and sub-contractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works’.

The Act is named after James J. Davis, former Senator, Pennsylvania and Robert L. Bacon, former Secretary of Labour under three presidents and former Representative of Long Island, New York. President Herbert Hoover signed the Act into law on March 3, 1931 after the Act, under the name, Davis-Bacon Act, was passed by the Congress.

Contractors and Sub-contractors operating under the purview of this act are required to pay their labourers and mechanics under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar work in the area. The locally prevailing wages are determined by the Department of Labour as directed by the act. The provisions of the Act apply to ‘Related Acts’ under which construction projects are undertaken by Contractors and Sub-contractors through grants, loans and guarantees, and insurance provided by Federal agencies. There are 60 such statutes to which provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act have been added. The District of Columbia is also covered under this Act.

For provisions of this Act to be applicable outside USA and the District of Columbia, the provisions of this Act need to be included in other Acts that are applicable. Also, if any other applicable Act has better minimum wage provisions than the Davis-Bacon Act, provisions of that Act will be applicable.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Davis-Bacon Act along with its overview.


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