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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Davis-Bacon Act problem

Does anyone have any information on the Davis-Bacon Act problem LLNS is facing?
I heard a rumor it could be big, bigger than the retiree lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

For those of us unfamiliar with Davis-Bacon (per Wikipedia):

The Davis–Bacon Act of 1931 is a United States federal law that establishes the requirement for paying the local prevailing wages on public works projects. It applies to “contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works”

Interestingly, it was signed into law by Herbert Hoover.

I have no idea as to the case law that would say this applies to facility construction at national laboratories, but you'd think they would have worked this one out a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is someone (NNSA, DOE, DOL?) has determined that "all of the LLNL site" is a public works project, and "any" construction, alteration, or repair of lab buildings by lab employees (and labor only subcontractors) is covered by Davis-Bacon. Example, you want a lab electrician to come out an replace a broken light switch in your office - he/she under D-B would get paid by the hour what an outside local electrician is getting in wages to do this same work.

LLNL has never viewed this law as applying to regular day to day lab repair work - just major construction projects done by outside contractors. Lab salaries for workers in these areas is below prevalling local wages - cost to the program for the repaired light switch may seem high due to all the lab taxes on the job, but what the lab employee gets in not the outside wage rate. They many also be owed retroactive pay covering many years of working at the lab. Also workers covered by D-B have to be paid weekly (a big change to lab payroll systems).


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