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What is the Bacon-Davis Act?

A natural tendency that you may engage in when connecting with others in your same line of work in Fort Lauderdale may be to compare your salaries. Large discrepancies in pay between competing companies within the same industry might prompt you to question who sets the market for your services? Many assume that wages are regulated. This may come from some assuming that Florida has a prevailing wage law. 

Prevailing wage laws are often associated with legislation enacted all the way back in 1931 known as the "Davis-Bacon Act." This act called for contractors who took on federal jobs greater than $2,000 to pay their employees a prevailing wage. That wage was determined based off the average amount paid to workers in the area employed in the same industry. On top of the prevailing wage, the Act also required that federally contracted employees receive fringe benefits similar to those given to their local counterparts working in private industries. 

Over time, Congress added additional provisions to the Bacon-Davis Act in order to expand its reach (so much so that today it is more commonly known as the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts). Currently, federal employees working in the following industries fall under its purview: 

  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Air and Water Pollution Reduction
  • Health care

Some states have created their own prevailing wage laws based on the DBRA. Florida is not one of them. Yet if you are employed through a federal government agency (or an organization contracted with the federal government), then your wages are subject to the DBRA. For example, according to, construction workers employed with government building projects in Broward County are not only allowed the prevailing wage, but also paid holidays and vacation pay credit. 

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