15g Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA)

15g00 Scope of CWHSSA coverage: general.

The DBA does not provide for compensation of covered employees at premium rates for overtime hours of work. The scope of CWHSSA is set out in section 103 of the act. The safety standards provisions are administered by OSHA. Except as otherwise provided, the act applies the maximum hours standards of 40 hours per week to any contract which may require or involve the employment of laborers or mechanics upon a public work of the U.S., any territory, or DC, and to any other contract which may require or involve the employment of laborers or mechanics if such contract is one:

  • to which the U.S. or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or any territory, or DC is a party; or
  • which is made for or on behalf of the U.S., any agency or instrumentality thereof, any territory, or DC; or
  • which is a contract for work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from, or loans insured or guaranteed by, the U.S. or any agency or instrumentality thereof, under any statute of the U.S. providing wage standards for such work. See FOH 15i00(1).

Guards and watchmen and many other classes of service employees are laborers or mechanics within the meaning of CWHSSA. See 29 CFR 4.181(b).

15g01 Method of procurement of contracts not controlling.

The CWHSSA is applicable to contracts regardless of the method of procurement. It is immaterial whether contracts are entered into through invitations for bids or by negotiation.

15g02 Failure to include CWHSSA stipulations in contract.

The failure to incorporate the CWHSSA stipulations, as set forth in 29 CFR 5.5(b) and 48 CFR 22.305, into a contract does not preclude CWHSSA coverage.

15g03 Site of work.

The CWHSSA has no site of work limitation as does the DBA. For example, if an employee performs part of the contract work under a construction contract at the job site and then continues contract work at a shop or other facility located at a remote distance, all the hours at both locations, including travel time between them (see FOH 15k03(e)), would be considered subject to CWHSSA. Different wage rates, however, might be paid as the DBA prevailing wage requirements would apply only to activities performed on the site of the work.

15g04 Statute of limitations.

The Portal-to-Portal Act does not apply to the CWHSSA. Employee suits authorized by section 104(b) of the CWHSSA may be subject to some other statute of limitations such as the Miller Act. However, contracting agencies may withhold and transfer funds to the comptroller general in order to pay unpaid workers without regard to any statute of limitations.

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