There is hickory bacon. There is turkey bacon. And then there is Davis Bacon.
The first two can be found in the meat department of your local supermarket.
The last one — Davis Bacon — is found in federally-funded construction contracts. If you’re bidding on a federal contract or subcontract, you’d better educate yourself about this requirement.
The federal Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) applies minimum prevailing wage classifications for all federally-funded or assisted construction projects. (Note that the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) now refers to the Davis Bacon Act as “Wage Rate Requirements – Construction.”)
The U.S. Department of Labor creates wage classifications by the type of project for a specific type of worker. (Although not the case in Georgia, also be aware of the fact that some state governments have adopted “little DBAs” requiring prevailing wages on state funded works.)
The worker classifications are crafted with broad job scopes, in order to be over-inclusive. These classifications have drawn the ire of many private construction firms, who complain about what they consider over-payment for non-specialized labor (i.e., paying a wire runner as a journeyman electrician). So, as many favor the DBA’s heavy wages – it can be crippling to an unprepared private firm’s profit margin.
To prepare, a construction professional must read and absorb the federal wage classifications that apply on their project – before bidding. Wage classifications are prepared by state and by project, and are included in all federally-funded construction work.
If you are bidding a contract in the State of Georgia, you’ll need to check out the Georgia classifications. For example, if you were building a non-residential structure, such as a government building, in Bibb County, you can see the applicable wage rates here.
If your Bibb County bid needs to include ironworkers to install your structural steel, you would need to bid them per hour at $24.04, plus $9.86 in fringe benefits (insurance, fringe, or even cash). There are no real boundaries here – if a worker is involved in structural steel work, that worker is to be paid as an ironworker. If a contractor does not plan for this broad application, you’ll be facing penalties that are spelled-out under the Wage & Hour Act or Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. The penalties are stiff, providing for up to two times the amount of the unpaid or underpaid wages, plus interest.
The lesson here? Like with all things involving government contracting, do your homework before jumping in with both feet. To obtain assistance, check with a representative of the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) nearest you. With proper preparation, you’ll be able to bid correctly, win a contract or subcontract, and then be able to bring home the real bacon.
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