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Construction Program Guide

Davis-Bacon (Payment of Prevailing Wage Rates / Payroll Requirements)

The 1931 Davis-Bacon Act requires the payment of prevailing wage rates to all labors and mechanics on Federal or Federally assisted construction contracts. Overall program responsibilities are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Project specific responsibilities are administered by the contracting agency. Davis-Bacon Act requirements are implemented in various Federal assistance programs through the "related act" provisions in each agency's implementing statutes.

Authority/Legal Basis

  1. Laws
    • Title 23 U.S.C. 113 (.pdf) provides the FHWA's statutory "related act" that implements Davis-Bacon provisions on Federal-aid highways. Note that the 1991 ISTEA changed the definition of a Federal-aid highway without changing the applicability requirements in 23 U.S.C. 113.
    • Thus Davis-Bacon requirements are not applicable to highways functionally classified as local roads or rural minor collectors (see Mr. Anthony R. Kane's February 13, 1992 memorandum; Subject: ISTEA of 1991 - Construction and Maintenance Requirements).
    • Title 40 U.S.C. 3141 links to the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act.
    • Title 40 U.S.C. 3145 links to the Copeland Act (commonly known as the "anti-kickback act").
    • Title 40 U.S.C. 3145 (.pdf) Regulations governing contractors and subcontractors
  2. Regulations
  3. Orders
    • None
  4. Policy
  5. Policy Memorandums


  1. General Information
  2. Other References
  3. Training
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Updated: 01/28/2016
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