[I have said many times that the legal principles that will apply to green building projects will be very similar to existing legal principles in the construction law field. Going forward, on Fridays we will be reviewing legal developments from the construction industry that most likely will be applied to green building projects.] If you are working on a construction project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or you have any hint that you are), you need to be aware of your responsibility to pay Davis-Bacon wages. Section 1606 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) sets out the Davis-Bacon wage requirements:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law and in a manner consistent with other provisions in this Act, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and sub contractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code."
The Department of Labor (DOL) has broadly interpreted Section 1606 (pdf) of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA):
"Section 1606 of ARRA plainly indicates that the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement broadly applies to ARRA-appropriated construction projects. . . . [The ARRA] also extends the prevailing wage requirements to projects ‘assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act’ thus encompassing any assistance provided for ARRA projects through grants, loans, guarantees, and insurance."
In short, if any ARRA dollars are funding your construction project, Davis-Bacon wages are required (barring very limited exceptions). If you are working on a construction project in 2010, particularly one funded by a governmental entity, it is important that you ask if the project is being funded in any amount by ARRA funds. If ARRA funds find their way into your project and you have not accounted for Davis-Bacon wage requirements, a change order may be necessary. Related Links Applicability of Davis-Bacon labor standards (DOL)(pdf) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (GPO)