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Prevailing Wage Laws For Employees And Contractors

From our offices in Pennsylvania and California, we are attorneys at Edelson Lechtzin LLP who are dedicated to protecting employees and workers from employer misconduct and exploitation nationwide. Prevailing wage laws set standards for government-funded jobs and projects and are designed to protect workers from getting paid less than they deserve. We work on behalf of our clients to enforce prevailing wage law standards across the country.

What Is A Prevailing Wage?

The purpose of a prevailing wage is to ensure that employees or contractors working on government-funded service contracts or construction projects are paid the same hourly wages and benefits as other local workers. Using the geographical location and local standards, a prevailing wage sets a minimum or baseline compensation level for workers in that area. With prevailing wage standards, lawmakers can influence compensation rates for industries across the country, which ultimately benefits workers and taxpayers.

Government-funded workers are protected by a prevailing wage. Examples of workers protected under federal prevailing wage laws include:

  • Construction workers working on a directly funded government contract
  • Workers hired for a public works development project
  • Truck drivers delivering equipment and supplies to a public works project
  • Employees working under a service contract on a property owned or leased by the government

When a company or contractor fails to pay the prevailing wage, it can constitute employer wage theft. At Edelson Lechtzin LLP, we represent clients across the country who believe their employer or contractor failed to follow prevailing compensation levels and benefit standards.

Federal Wage Laws And Service Contract Acts

There are several federal laws that set and protect prevailing wages for employees and contractors:

  • The Davis-Bacon Act: This act requires that any laborer or mechanic working on a construction project that is funded by federal assistance be paid at the prevailing wage rate.
  • The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act: This act requires that employees who work under federal government service contracts be paid prevailing wage rates and receive appropriate fringe benefits.
  • The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA): The CWHSSA provides that laborers and mechanics working under federal contracts or subcontracts be paid time and a half for overtime. It also protects these same workers from unsafe, unsanitary or hazardous conditions on all federally assisted or financed projects.
  • The Copeland “Anti-Kickback” Act: This act prevents a contractor or subcontractor from enticing an employee to give up compensation to which they are entitled and requires weekly reporting of wage statements.
  • The Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act: This act protects employees who work for manufacturers who furnish materials, supplies or equipment for government projects and federal contracts and requires minimum wage rates and overtime pay of time and a half.

Prevailing wage laws benefit workers across the country. Prevailing wages are based on market conditions, which are usually higher than minimum standards. They can help blue-collar workers more easily earn middle-class incomes. They can also close pay gaps and raise the standards for workers of color and female employees, especially in the service industries.

Do You Think Your Employer Or Contractor Violated Prevailing Wage Laws? Call Today.

If you think your employer or contractor violated the prevailing wage laws, they may be guilty of wage theft. Call us today at 844-696-7492 or send us an email through our online contact form, and we can discuss the particulars of your case and help you determine if your employer or contractor violated the prevailing wage laws. All our initial consultations are free, and we work strictly on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless and until we are successful on your behalf.

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