Summary: H.R.1987 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1987. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/23/1991)

Amends the Davis-Bacon Act (the Act) to apply it to any contract (relating to public buildings or public works of the United States or the District of Columbia or buildings or works financed in whole or part by Federal loans, grants, or loan guarantees, with specified exceptions) in excess of $100,000 for new construction (including painting and decorating) or in excess of $15,000 for alteration, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, or reconstruction (including painting and decorating).

Provides that State, local, or tribal government requirements for wages or fringe benefits applied to such contracts for federally-assisted construction or repair of buildings or works shall not be preempted by the Act unless there is a conflict in compliance with both.

Provides that an individual shall be considered a laborer or mechanic if the contractor or subcontractor paid the individual, directly or through a subcontract, for such services performed to carry out the contract.

Prohibits the use of multiple contracts to avoid application of the Act. Requires that any two or more contracts shall be treated as a single contract if they: (1) individually do not exceed the minimum amount necessary for the Act to apply; (2) in the aggregate do exceed such amount; and (3) all relate to the same work or related work at the same site. Permits any interested person to seek relief from violations of such provision in U.S. district court.

Applies the Act also to contracts for the lease of a facility if construction, alteration, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, or reconstruction is required for a contract's fulfillment.

Defines the terms "apprentice," "trainee," and "helper." Prescribes circumstances under which such persons may be paid less than the required wage rate under the Act. Directs the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) to promulgate regulations defining such persons and prescribing the conditions under which they will not be subject to the required rate, the rate at which they will be employed, and other appropriate conditions.

Requires the contractor or subcontractor to post the scale of wages required to be paid under such contract in a prominent and easily accessible place at the contract worksite.

Provides that the wages required to be paid under the Act shall be the wages determined by the Secretary to be prevailing within three years of the date the contract was entered into. Provides that, if the Secretary has not made a prevailing wage determination within such three-year limitation, the prevailing wage shall be the highest wage prevailing in a comparable area in the State in which the contract is performed. Directs the Secretary, in making a prevailing wage determination, to consider the wages paid for all projects of the same character in the area under contracts for amounts not less than the minimum amounts necessary for the Act to apply.

Provides that a contractor or subcontractor may only include contributions and costs relating to employee fringe benefits, as part of their prevailing wage payment, in an amount not exceeding the aggregate of such contributions and costs prevailing in the area.

Authorizes the Secretary to investigate and secure compliance with requirements of the Act.

Allows any interested person to petition the Secretary to review the determination of a Secretary of a department or an agency head that a contract entered into is not subject to the Act. Provides for judicial review of such coverage determinations.

Permits any laborer, mechanic, or any interested person to petition the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor to review the wage payments received to determine if they have been made in accordance with the Secretary's prevailing wage determination. Sets forth procedures for such wage review. Provides that the determination of the Administrator, an administrative law judge, or the Secretary on a petition for review of the wage payments may include the award of damages to the petitioner in the amount of twice the amount of wages not paid in accordance with the prevailing wage determination, if it is found that the petitioner was willfully not paid the required wages. Requires the defendant in such cases to pay a reasonable attorney's fee and the cost of the action.

Makes any employer who violates the required wage rate provisions of the Act liable to each affected employee in the amount of unpaid wages and, if the violation was willful, in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages. Allows an action to recover such liability to be maintained against any employer in any Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction by any interested party, or by any employee on behalf of affected employees and other employees similarly situated. Prohibits any employee from being a party plaintiff to such an action unless the employee gives consent in writing to become a party and the consent is filed in the court in which the action is brought. Prohibits employees from bringing such a civil action with respect to their wages if they file a petition for review. Directs the court, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, to allow a reasonable attorney's fee and the cost of the action to be paid by the defendant.

Requires the Comptroller General to pay directly to laborers and mechanics from any accrued payments withheld under the contract any wages found by the Secretary to be due.

Directs the Secretary to distribute to all departments of the Government a list of the names of persons or firms who: (1) are found to have disregarded their obligations to employees and subcontractors; and (2) are debarred from Federal contracts for a specified time. (Removes the Comptroller General from such debarment process.)

Declares that employees may bring an action against contractors and their sureties for the payment of unpaid wages.

Specifies that the Secretary or the contracting officer may order accrued payments in amounts necessary to cover unpaid wages to be withheld from contractors found to have violated the Act.

Requires that contracts subject to the Act contain a provision allowing the Government to terminate the contract if less than the required wage rate has been or is being paid. Makes the contractor and its sureties liable for any excess costs incurred by the Government because of such termination.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) enforce the Act; and (2) promulgate standards and procedures to be observed by contracting officers.

Amends the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act (which provides for the Secretary of Labor to make reasonable regulations for contractors and subcontractors in the construction or repair of public buildings or public works or buildings or works financed in whole or part by Federal loans or grants) to require such employers to report certain payroll information on a monthly (rather than a weekly) basis. Requires such information to include specified items (including rates of contributions or costs anticipated for bona fide fringe benefits). Requires such employers to maintain payroll and other related basic records for three years after completion of such work. Permits any interested person to obtain from any Federal department or agency a copy of any such payroll statement which has been filed by the contractor or subcontractor with the department or agency under such Act. Directs the Secretary of Labor to: (1) study the feasibility of employers using electronic methods to comply with reporting requirements under such Act; and (2) report to the Congress within one year on actions taken by the Secretary and employers to facilitate electronic reporting of payroll information.