HUD, PJs, and their partners all have a responsibility to ensure that HOME projects are in-compliance with Federal Labor Standards. When PJs and their partners are acting as Local Contracting Agencies (LCAs) for federal (e.g., HOME) funds, they assume ultimate responsibility for ensuring Federal Labor Standards are applied to all projects receiving those funds. It is the responsibility of HUD's Office of Labor Relations not only to provide policy guidance on labor matters but also to enforce PJ compliance with Federal prevailing wage requirements, Davis-Bacon, and the Related Acts.
What are local agency responsibilities for upholding Federal Labor Standards?
LCAs (PJs) agree to administer and enforce Davis-Bacon requirements as a condition for receiving federal program assistance. LCAs have the following responsibilities:
- Designate appropriate staff (Contract Administrator) before the start of construction to ensure compliance with all applicable labor standards requirements and to act for and in liaison with HUD. Provide the name(s) of the staff to the appropriate HUD Field Office Labor Relations staff.
- Establish a construction contract management system that meets the standards of 24 CFR Part 85 Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State, Local and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments.
- Ensure that all bid documents, contracts, and subcontracts contain Federal labor standards provisions and the applicable Davis-Bacon wage decision.
- Ensure that no contract is awarded to a contractor that is ineligible (e.g., debarred) for federally-assisted work.
- Conduct on-site inspections including interviews with laborers and mechanics employed on the construction project. Ensure that the applicable Davis-Bacon wage decision and the Department of Labor Notice to Employees are posted at the job site.
- Review certified payroll reports and related documentation. Identify any discrepancies and/or violations. Ensure that any needed corrections are made promptly.
- Maintain full documentation of Federal labor standards administration and enforcement activities.
- Refer potential criminal or complex investigations, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) liquidated damage assessments for overtime violations, and debarment recommendations to HUD.
- Comply with all HUD requirements concerning special statutory, program, and/or other requirements.
- Prepare Federal labor standards enforcement reports as required in Department of Labor (DOL) regulations (29 CFR, Part 5).
More information can be found in the guidebook, Making Davis-Bacon Work: A Practical Guide for States, Indian Tribes and Local Agencies.
How can PJs help contractors understand prevailing wage and other labor requirements to ensure their compliance?
HUD Handbook 1344.1 (Making Davis-Bacon Work: A Contractor's Guide to Prevailing Wage Requirements for Federally Assisted Construction Projects) was written by HUD's Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to help contractors that perform work on construction projects assisted by Federal funds better understand the Davis-Bacon and related labor requirements to which they must adhere. The Handbook describes the laws and regulations associated with Federal Labor Standards, explains Davis-Bacon compliance and payroll reporting requirements, and discusses what happens when disputes over wage rates occur. The specific application of Davis-Bacon standards and requirements to HOME projects and activities is discussed in the OLR memorandum, Application of Federal Labor Standards to HOME Projects- Memorandum.