2017 SCA Health & Welfare Fringe Benefit Increase

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement. The Department of Labor issues wage determinations on a contract-by-contract basis in response to specific requests from contracting agencies. These determinations are incorporated into the contract.

The health and welfare fringe benefit is one of the required SCA fringe benefits. Effective August 1, 2017, the prevailing health and welfare fringe benefits issued under the SCA will increase to a rate of $4.41 per hour.

Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors (EO 13706), requires certain employers that contract with the federal government to provide their employees with up to 56 hours (seven days) of paid sick leave annually, including for family care and absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. EO 13706 applies to new contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017 (or that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017).

To comply with EO 13706, an alternate health and welfare rate has been established that excludes the sick leave portion of the calculated health and welfare rate. The SCA health and welfare fringe benefits level for employees performing on contracts covered by EO 13706 will be $4.13 per hour.

(Dol.gov- SCA Home Page)

Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act Under Attack

By David Madland and Karla Walter
Posted on June 27, 2017, 11:45 am

The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars annually contracting out goods and services, including building highways, employing janitorial services in federal office buildings, and hiring security at nuclear laboratories. Prevailing wage laws-such as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 and the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act of 1965-help ensure that this spending does not drive down local wage and benefit standards; that businesses providing good jobs can compete; and that taxpayers get good value for their money.

Unfortunately, prevailing wage laws are under attack and could be repealed by this Congress. Several bills have been introduced to eliminate these long-standing laws, and reports indicate that these provisions could be attached to must-pass bills such as appropriations or defense authorization legislation. Despite his claims to be a pro-worker president, President Donald Trump has not committed to supporting these laws. Repealing prevailing wage laws would cut the wages of millions of workers and their families and ultimately cost taxpayers dearly.

The Davis-Bacon Act applies to workers on federally supported construction contracts, while the Service Contract Act applies to service workers on federal contracts. Both laws ensure that workers on government-funded projects are paid the going market rate-or the prevailing wage-based on surveys of wages and benefits for occupations in each local market. This helps standardize wages across an industry and ensures that government spending does not drive down market wages. In areas where there are a number of high-road firms-firms that treat their workers well-and market wages and benefits are high, the prevailing wage helps support good jobs. In areas where market wages are lower, the prevailing wage is also generally lower. Yet no matter the condition of the local labor market, prevailing wage laws help ensure that the federal government doesn’t undercut local standards.

Without these standards, the government purchasing process could cause wages in the market to spiral downward: This is because the government frequently awards contracts to the lowest bidder, which gives a natural advantage to those companies that pay their employees the least. This is especially true because of the federal government’s significant purchasing power. In many cases, the federal government is the largest buyer by far in the market, with the power to set the rate for goods, services, and labor. As a result, government spending could lower wages for workers throughout the private sector.

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Feds: Buckhannon nonprofit violates Fair Labor Standards Act

August 12 2016
Matt Harvey

BUCKHANNON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has revoked a West Virginia nonprofit’s ability to pay less than the current federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities.

The action came after federal investigations found the organization violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), according to a news release from the federal agency.

The division found that Buckhannon-Upshur Work Adjustment Center – a nonprofit community rehabilitation program – violated the FLSA when it failed to pay a valid sub-minimum wage to 12 workers with disabilities employed to do light assembly production.

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DOL Wage and Hour Division announces upcoming Prevailing Wage Seminars

The Wage and Hour Division is pleased to announce the following Prevailing Wage Seminars for 2014:
Manchester, NH March 4-6, 2014
Phoenix, AZ March 18-20, 2014
Chicago, IL April 1-3, 2014
San Diego, CA April 22-24, 2014
Houston, TX May 7-9, 2014
Atlanta, GA June 3-5, 2014

If you wish to attend one of these seminars, please send an email to WHDPWS@dol.gov Your email should include your name, title, organization, mailing address, email address, and location of the seminar that you wish to attend. There is no fee for attending any of these seminars, however, space is limited. Upon receipt of this information, we will advise you whether your request can be accommodated.

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