SCA Wage Determination Requirements

SCA Wage Determination Requirements

  1. SCA wage determinations apply to Federal Government and District of Columbia contracts, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services through the use of service employees. Each such contract in excess of $2,500 (and the related bid solicitation) is required to contain provisions that specify the monetary wages and fringe benefits to be paid service employees engaged in the contract's performance.
  2. SCA wage determinations set forth the prevailing wages and fringe benefits that prime contractors and subcontractors must pay service employees working on covered contracts in specified geographic areas. SCA wage determinations are issued by the WHD Branch of Service Contract Wage Determinations.
    1. Wages - the minimum monetary compensation required to be paid to the various classes of service employees - are usually listed in the wage determination as hourly wage rates.
    2. Fringe benefits, as specified in the contract clause established by the statutory SCA fringe benefits requirement, include:
      1. [M]edical or hospital care, pensions on retirement or death, compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity, or insurance to provide any of the foregoing, unemployment benefits, life insurance, disability and sickness insurance, accident insurance, vacation and holiday pay, costs of apprenticeship or other similar programs and other bona fide fringe benefits not otherwise required by federal, state, or local law to be provided by the contractor or subcontractor.
      SCA § 2(a)(2), recodified at 41 U.S.C. § 6703(2).
    3. The various fringe benefits listed are illustrative of those which may be included in the wage determination. Which fringe benefits are included in a wage determination depends on the type of wage determination and the source data used to develop the wage determination.
    4. Most SCA wage determinations are revised periodically, as new health and welfare benefits or wage survey data become available. However, if a wage determination is properly included in the contract at the time of award, the contract should not be modified to include subsequent revisions of the wage determination prior to completion of a contract term (unless the contract is a multi-year contract). (See further discussion concerning "Multi-Year Procurement" in the section below on "Obtaining SCA Wage Determinations.")
  3. The SCA requires DOL to issue a wage determination for every service contract exceeding $2,500 and employing more than five service employees. SCA § 10, recodified at 41 U.S.C. §§ 6702(a)(2) and 6707(f).
    1. If the contract requires five or fewer service employees, the contracting agency must obtain a wage determination from WDOL (if one is available there), or submit an e98 request for a wage determination.
      1. There is a misconception among some contracting officers that they need not obtain or request a wage determination for a covered service contract if there will be five or fewer service employees performing on the contract. However, only the WHD has the authority to decide whether or not to issue a wage determination for a contract with five or fewer service employees.
      2. If an appropriate wage determination is not readily available for a service contract involving five or fewer service employees by use of the WDOL process for obtaining SCA wage determinations, the agency must submit an e98 request. WHD will either issue a wage determination reflecting such rates or notify the contracting agency that there is no wage determination applicable to the contract. If WHD issues a wage determination for such a contract, the agency must include it in the bid solicitation and resulting contract.
      3. If WHD decides not to issue an SCA wage determination for a service contract involving five or fewer service employees, the contractor must pay no less than the federal minimum wage required by section 6(a)(1) of the FLSA. (An overview of the FLSA is available in the "Introduction to the Labor Standards Statutes Coverage" chapter of this resource book.)
      4. If a contract involves more than five service employees, the contract must contain a wage determination. If a wage determination is not available as discussed under the heading "Obtaining SCA Wage Determinations" below, the agency must submit an e98 request for a wage determination.

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