Contract Work Hours And Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA)

Purpose of CWHSSA

  • Enacted in 1962, the "Contract Work Hours Standards Act" consolidated a number of "eight hour" laws, some dating back to the 1890s, and originally provided for overtime pay after 8 hours a day on federal construction contracts, and provided for overtime pay after 40 hours a week. Amendments in 1969 added safety and health provisions and revised the name of the law to be the "Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act." Pub. L. 91-54, August 9, 1969.

CWHSSA Requirements 40 U.S.C. § 3702.

  • CWHSSA requires overtime pay for laborers and mechanics, including guards and watchmen, at a rate of one and one-half times the basic rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek on covered contracts.
  • Effective January 1, 1986, the daily (8-hour) overtime requirement was eliminated. Therefore, like the FLSA, CWHSSA requires overtime pay after 40 hours.
  • In addition to back wages for unpaid overtime hours, CWHSSA also provides for an assessment of liquidated damages at the rate of $10 per day for each day that each laborer and mechanic worked without payment of the required overtime compensation.
  • In those situations where there are concurrent FLSA and CWHSSA violations, the back wages are generally computed and reported under CWHSSA rather than FLSA. This is because under CWHSSA:
    1. Back wages due covered workers can be secured by agency withholding of funds due the contractor on account of work performed by the contractor or subcontractors.
    2. Liquidated damages may be assessed against the employer.
    3. Debarment action may be initiated.
    4. The safety and health provisions of CWHSSA are within the administrative jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of DOL, rather than the WHD.

CWHSSA Coverage 40 U.S.C. §§ 3701 et seq.

  • CWHSSA applies to DBA, DBRA, and SCA contracts in excess of $100,000. In addition to laborers and mechanics covered under DBA/DBRA, CWHSSA also specifically covers guards and watchmen. 40 U.S.C. § 3701(b)(2).
  • CWHSSA also applies to a contract in excess of $100,000 that may require or involve the employment of laborers or mechanics if the contract is one:
    1. to which the Federal Government, an agency or instrumentality of the Government, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia is a party;
    2. which is made for or on behalf of the Government, an agency or instrumentality thereof, a territory, or the District of Columbia; or
    3. which is a contract for work financed at least in part by loans or grants from, or loans insured or guaranteed by, the Federal Government or an agency or instrumentality under any federal law providing wage standards for the work.
  • However, by its terms, CWHSSA does not apply where federal assistance is only in the nature of a loan guarantee or insurance. 40 U.S.C. § 3701. For example, HUD assistance in the form of loan guarantees under the National Housing Act is not subject to CWHSSA.
  • CWHSSA is self-executing. The failure to include CWHSSA stipulations in a contract does not preclude its application.
  • CWHSSA has no job site limitation. If an employee performs part of the construction work at the job site, part of the work at a shop, and/or travels between covered contract work locations, the statute applies to all hours of the contract work performed by covered workers.

HSSA Exceptions 40 U.S.C. §§ 3701(b)(3) and 3706 and 29 C.F.R. § 5.15.

  • CWHSSA does not apply to contracts for:
    1. Transportation by land, air or water.
    2. Transmission of intelligence.
    3. Purchase of supplies or materials or articles ordinarily available in the open market.
    4. Work required to be done in accordance with the provisions of the PCA.
    5. Construction or services where the contract is not greater than $100,000.
    6. Agreements entered into by or on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation for storage in or handling by commercial warehouses of certain items including grain sorghums, beans, seeds, cotton, wool and naval stores.
    7. Certain sales of surplus power by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
    8. Work performed in a workplace within a foreign country, or
    9. Work performed within a territory under U.S. jurisdiction other than a state of the U.S.; the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands; Outer Continental Shelf lands defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462); American Samoa; Guam; Wake Island; and Johnston Island.

Consulting Services We Provide

  • Review public works preconstruction contracts
  • Monitor DIR contractor/subcontractor certified payrolls
  • Audit labor classification for each worker employed
  • Review DIR pre-DAS 140/142 submissions
  • Review CAC training fund contributions form CAC-2
  • Review DIR Fringe Benefits Statement PW-26
  • Monitor DIR wage determinations
  • Audit fringe benefits allowances
  • Review DIR holiday payment requirements
  • Audit DIR travel & subsistence requirements
  • Caltrans Labor Compliance
  • County of Sacramento Labor Compliance
  • City of Los Angeles Labor Compliance
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Labor Compliance
  • Federal Davis-Bacon Project Monitoring
  • Federal DBE Implementation & Review
  • Federal FAA AIP Goal Setting
  • DIR & Davis-Bacon Training
  • DIR Civil Wage Penalty Review
  • Local-Hire Review (e.g., San Francisco)
  • Skilled and Trained Workforce

Give us a call to discuss your labor compliance requirements.

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