How To Comply With Labor Standards And Payroll Reporting Requirements

2-1 The Wage Decision

Davis-Bacon labor standards stipulate the wage payment requirements for Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Roofers, Laborers, and other construction work classifications that may be needed for the project. The Davis-Bacon wage decision that applies to the project contains a schedule of work classifications and wage rates that must be followed. If you don’t have it already (and by now you should), you’ll want to get a copy of the applicable Davis-Bacon wage decision.

Remember, the wage decision is contained in the contract specifications along with the labor standards clauses. See 1-3, Construction Contract Provisions.

  1. The work classifications and wage rates. A Davis-Bacon wage decision is simply a listing of different work classifications and the minimum wage rates that must be paid to anyone performing work in those classifications. You’ll want to make sure that the work classification(s) you need are contained in the wage decision and make certain you know exactly what wage rate(s) you will need to pay. Some wage decisions cover several counties and/or types of construction work (for example, residential and commercial work) and can be lengthy and difficult to read. Contact the contract administrator (HUD Labor Relations field staff or local agency staff) if you have any trouble reading the wage decision or finding the work classification(s) you need.

    To make reading lengthy wage decisions easier for you, the contract administrator may prepare a Project Wage Rate Sheet (HUD-4720).This Sheet is a one-page transcript that will show only the classifications and wage rates for a particular project. A blank copy of a Project Wage Rate Sheet is provided for you in the appendix. Also, a fillable version of this form is available on-line at HUDClips (see web address in the Appendix). Contact the contract administrator monitoring your project for assistance with a Project Wage Rate Sheet.
  2. Posting the wage decision. If you are the prime contractor, you will be responsible for posting a copy of the wage decision (or the Project Wage Rate Sheet) and a copy of the DOL Davis-Bacon poster titled Employee Rights under the Davis-Bacon Act (Form WH-1321) at the job site in a place that is easily accessible to all of the construction workers employed at the project and where the wage decision and poster won’t be destroyed by wind or rain, etc. The Employee Rights under the Davis-Bacon Act poster is available in English and Spanish on-line at HUDClips (see address in the Appendix).

The Employee Rights under the Davis-Bacon Act poster (WH-1321) replaces the Notice to all Employees. The new poster is available in English and Spanish on-line at HUDClips (see address in the Appendix).

2-2 Additional “Trade” Classifications And Wage Rates

What if the work classification you need isn’t on the wage decision? If the work classification(s) that you need doesn’t appear on the wage decision, you will need to request an additional classification and wage rate. This process is usually very simple and you’ll want to start the request right away. Basically, you identify the classification you need and recommend a wage rate for DOL to approve for the project. There are a few rules about additional classifications; you’ll find these rules in the DOL regulations, Part 5, and in the labor clauses in your contract. The rules are summarized for you here:

  1. Additional classification rules. Additional classifications and wage rates can be approved if:
    1. The requested classification is used by construction contractors in the area of the project. (The area is usually defined as the county where the project is located).
    2. The work that will be performed by the requested classification is not already performed by another classification that is already on the wage decision. (In other words, if there already is an Electrician classification and wage rate on the wage decision you can’t request another Electrician classification and rate.)
    3. The proposed wage rate for the requested classification “fits” with the other wage rates already on the wage decision. (For example, the wage rate proposed for a trade classification such as Electrician must be at least as much as the lowest wage rate for other trade classifications already contained in the wage decision.) And,
    4. The workers that will be employed in the added classification (if it is known who the workers are/will be), or the workers’ representatives, must agree with the proposed wage rate.
  2. Making the request. Arequest for additional classification and wage rate must be made in writing through the contract administrator. (If the contract administrator is a local agency, the agency will send the request to the HUD Labor Relations staff.) If you are a subcontractor, your request should also go through the prime contractor. All you need to do is identify the work classification that is missing and recommend a wage rate (usually the rate that employer is already paying to the employees performing the work) for that classification. You may also need to describe the work that the new classification will perform.
  3. HUD review. The HUD Labor Relations field staff will review the requested classification and wage rate to determine whether the request meets the DOLrules outlined in paragraph 2-2(a), above. If additional information or clarification is needed, the staff will contact the prime contractor (or contract administrator for local agency projects) for more information, etc. If the Labor Relations review finds that the request meets the rules, the staff will give preliminary approval on the request and refer it to the DOL for final approval. The staff will send to you a copy of the preliminary approval/referral letter to the DOL.

    If the HUD Labor Relations staff doesn’t think the request meets the rules and if agreement can’t be reached on the proper classification or wage rate for the work described, the HUD Labor Relations staff will not approve the request. In this case, the staff will send your request to the DOLwith an explanation why HUD believes that the request shouldn’t be approved. The DOL still has final decision authority. You will receive a copy of the disapproval/referral letter to the DOL.
  4. DOL decision. The DOL will respond to HUD Labor Relations in writing about the additional classification and wage rate request. HUD Labor Relations will notify you of the DOL decision in writing. If the DOL approves the request, the prime contractor must post the approval notice on the job site with the wage decision.

If the DOL does not approve the request, you will be notified about what classification and wage rate should be used for the work in question. You will also receive instructions about how to ask for DOL reconsideration if you still want to try to get your recommendation approved.

It’s always a good idea to talk to the contract administrator before submitting an additional classification and wage rate request. The contract administrator can offer suggestions and advice that may save you time and increase the likelihood that DOLwill approve your request. Usually, the contract administrator can give you an idea about what the DOL will finally decide.

2-3 Certified Payroll Reports

You’ll need to submit a weekly certified payroll report (CPR) beginning with the first week that your company works on the project and for every week afterward until your firm has completed its work. It’s always a good idea to number the payroll reports beginning with #1 and to clearly mark your last payroll for the project “Final.”

  1. Payroll formats. The easiest form to use is DOL’s WH-347, Payroll. A sample copy of the WH-347 is included in the back of this Guide. You may access a fillable version of the WH-347 on-line at HUDClips (see web address in the Appendix). Also, the contract administrator can provide a few copies of the WH-347 that you can reproduce.

    You are not required to use Payroll form WH-347. You are welcome to use any other type of payroll, such as computerized formats, as long as it contains all of the information that is required on the WH-347.
  2. Payroll certifications. The weekly payrolls are called certified because each payroll is signed and contains language certifying that the information is true and correct. The payroll certification language is on the reverse side of the WH-347. If you are using another type of payroll format you may attach the certification from the back of the WH-347, or any other format which contains the same certification language on the WH-347 (reverse).

    DOL’s website has Payroll Instructions and the Payroll form WH-347 in a “fillable” PDF format at this address: https://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/wh347.pdf
  3. “No work” payrolls. “No work” payrolls may be submitted whenever there is a temporary break in your work on the project, for example, if your firm is not needed on the project right now but you will be returning to the job in a couple of weeks. (See tip box, for “no work” payroll exemption!) However, if you know that your firm will not be working on the project for an extended period of time, you may wish to send a short note to the contract administrator to let them know about the break in work and to give an approximate date when your firm will return to the project. If you number payrolls consecutively or if you send a note, you do not need to send “no work” payrolls.

    If you number your payroll reports consecutively, you do not need to submit “no work” payrolls!
  4. Payroll review and submission. The prime contractor should review each subcontractor’s payroll reports for compliance prior to submitting the reports to the contract administrator. Remember, the prime contractor is responsible for the full compliance of all subcontractors on the contract and will be held accountable for any wage restitution that may be found due to any laborer or mechanic that is underpaid and for any liquidated damages that may be assessed for overtime violations. All of the payroll reports for any project must be submitted to the contract administrator through the prime contractor.

    An alert prime contractor that reviews subcontractor payroll submissions can detect any misunderstandings early, prevent costly underpayments and protect itself from financial loss should underpayments occur.
  5. Payroll retention. Every contractor (including every subcontractor) must keep a complete set of their own payrolls and other basic records such as employee addresses and full SSNs, time cards, tax records, evidence of fringe benefit payments, for a Davis-Bacon project for at least 3 years after the project is completed. The prime contractor must keep a complete set of all of the payrolls for every contractor (including subcontractors) for at least 3 years after completion of the project.
  6. Payroll inspection. In addition to submitting payrolls to the contract administrator, every contractor (including subcontractors) must make their own copy of the payrolls and other basic records available for review or copying to any authorized representative from HUD or from DOL.
  7. 2-4 Davis-Bacon Definitions

    Before we discuss how to complete the weekly payroll forms, we need to review a couple of definitions. These definitions can help you understand what will be required of you:

    1. Laborer or mechanic. “Laborers” and “mechanics” mean anyone who is performing construction work on the project, including trade journeymen (carpenters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, etc.), apprentices, and trainees and, for CWHSSA purposes, watchmen and guards. “Laborers” and “mechanics” are the two groups of workers that must be paid not less than Davis-Bacon wage rates.
      1. Working foremen. Foremen or supervisors that regularly spend more than 20% of their time performing construction work and do not meet the exclusions in paragraph 2 below are covered “laborers” and “mechanics” for labor standards purposes for the time spent performing construction work.
      2. Exclusions. People whose duties are primarily administrative, executive or clerical are not laborers or mechanics. Examples include superintendents, office staff, timekeepers, messengers, etc. (Contact the contract administrator if you have any questions about whether a particular employee is excluded.)
    2. Employee. Every person who performs the work of a laborer or mechanic is “employed” regardless of any contractual relationship which may be alleged to exist between a contractor or subcontractor and such person. This means that even if there is a contract between a contractor and a worker, the contractor must make sure that the worker is paid at least as much as the wage rate on the wage decision for the classification of work they perform. Note that there are no exceptions to the prevailing wage requirements for relatives or for self-employed laborers and mechanics.

      For more information about working subcontractors, ask the contract administrator or your HUD Labor Relations Field Staff for a copy of Labor Relations Letter LR-96-01, Labor standards compliance requirements for self-employed laborers and mechanics. Labor Relations Letters and other helpful Labor Relations publications are available at HUD’s Labor Relations web site (see the list of web site addresses in the Appendix).
    3. Apprentices and trainees. The only workers who can be paid less than the wage rate on the wage decision for their work classification are “apprentices” and “trainees” registered in approved apprenticeship or training programs. Approved programs are those which have been registered with the DOL or a DOL-recognized State Apprenticeship Council (SAC). Apprentices and trainees are paid wage rates in accordance with the wage schedule in the approved program.

      Most often, the apprentice/trainee wage rate is expressed as a series of percentages tied to the amount of time spent in the program. For example, 0-6 months: 65%; 6 months - 1 year: 70%; etc. The percentage is applied to the journeyman’s wage rate. On Davis-Bacon projects, the percentage must be applied to the journeyman’s wage rate on the applicable wage decision for that craft.
      1. Probationary apprentice. A “probationary apprentice” can be paid as an apprentice (less than the rate on the wage decision) if the DOL or SAC has certified that the person is eligible for probationary employment as an apprentice.
      2. Pre-apprentice. A “pre-apprentice”, that is, someone who is not registered in a program and who hasn’t been DOL- or SAC-certified for probationary apprenticeship is not considered to be an “apprentice” and must be paid the full journeyman’s rate on the wage decision for the classification of work they perform.
      3. Ratio of apprentices and trainees to journeymen. The maximum number of apprentices or trainees that you can use on the job site cannot exceed the ratio of apprentices or trainees to journeymen allowed in the approved program.
    4. Prevailing wages or wage rates. Prevailing wage rates are the wage rates listed on the wage decision for the project. The wage decision will list a minimum basic hourly rate of pay for each work classification. Some wage decisions include fringe benefits which are usually listed as an hourly fringe rate. If the wage decision includes a fringe benefit rate for a classification, you will need to add the fringe benefit rate to the basic hourly rate unless you provide bona fide fringe benefits for your employees.
      1. Piece-work. Some employees are hired on a piece-work basis, that is, the employee’s earnings are determined by a factor of work produced. For example, a Drywall Hanger’s earnings may be calculated based upon the square feet of sheetrock actually hung, a Painter’s earnings may be based upon the number of units painted. Employers may calculate weekly earnings based upon piece rates provided the weekly earnings are sufficient to satisfy the wage rate requirement based upon actual hours, including any overtime, worked. Accurate time records must be maintained for any piece-work employees. If the weekly piece rate earnings are not sufficient, the employer must recompute weekly earnings based upon the actual hours worked and the rate on the wage decision for the work classification(s) involved.
    5. Fringe benefits Fringe benefits can include health insurance premiums, retirement contributions, life insurance, vacation and other paid leave as well as some contributions to training funds. Fringe benefits do not include employer payments or contributions required by other Federal, State or local laws, such as the employer’s contribution to Social Security or some disability insurance payments.

      Note that the total hourly wage rate paid to any laborer or mechanic (basic wage or basic wage plus fringe benefits) may be no less than the total wage rate (basic wage or basic wage plus fringe benefits) on the wage decision for their craft. If the value of the fringe benefit(s) you provide is less than the fringe benefit rate on the wage decision, you will need to add the balance of the wage decision fringe benefit rate to the basic rate paid to the employee. For example, if the wage decision requires $10/hour basic rate plus $5/ hour fringe benefits, you must pay no less than that total ($15/hour) in the basic rate or basic rate plus whatever fringe benefit you may provide. You can meet this obligation in several ways: you could pay the base wage and fringe benefits as stated in the wage decision, or you could pay $15 in base wage with no fringe benefits, or you could pay $12 basic plus $3 fringe benefits. You can also off-set the amount of the base wage if you pay more in fringe benefits such as by paying or $9 basic plus $6 fringe benefits; as long as you meet the total amount. The amount of the base wage that you may off-set with fringe benefits is limited by certain IRS and FLSA requirements.
    6. Overtime. Overtime hours are defined as all hours worked on the contract in excess of 40 hours in any work week. Overtime hours must be paid at no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of basic pay plus the straight-time rate of any required fringe benefits.
    7. Deductions. You may make payroll deductions as permitted by DOLRegulations 29 CFR Part 3. These regulations prohibit the employer from requiring employees to “kick-back” (i.e., give up) any of their earnings. Allowable deductions which do not require prior DOL permission include employee obligations for income taxes, Social Security payments, insurance premiums, retirement, savings accounts, and any other legally-permissible deduction authorized by the employee. Deductions may also be made for payments on judgments and other financial obligations legally imposed against the employee.

      Referring, again, to our example above where the wage decision requiring a $15 total wage obligation ($10 basic wage plus $5 fringe benefits) was met by paying $9 base wage plus $6 fringe benefits: Note that overtime rates must be based on one and one-half times the basic rate as stated on the wage decision. In the above example, the employer must pay for overtime: $15/hr ($9 basic + $6 fringe) plus $5 (one-half of $10, the wage decision basic rate) for a total of $20 per hour.
    8. Proper designation of trade. You must select a work classification on the wage decision for each worker based on the actual type of work he/she performed and you must pay each worker no less than the wage rate on the wage decision for that classification regardless of their level of skill. In other words, if someone is performing carpentry work on the project, they must be paid no less than the wage rate on the wage decision for Carpenters even if they aren’t considered by you to be fully trained as a Carpenter. Remember, the only people who can be paid less than the rate for their craft are apprentices and trainees registered in approved programs.
      1. Split-classification. If you have employees that perform work in more than one trade during a work week, you can pay the wage rates specified for each classification in which work was performed only if you maintain accurate time records showing the amount of time spent in each classification of work. If you do not maintain accurate time records, you must pay these employees the highest wage rate of all of the classifications of work performed.
    9. Site of work. The “site of work” is where the Davis-Bacon wage rates apply. Usually, this means the boundaries of the project. “Site of work” can also include other adjacent or virtually adjacent property used by a contractor or subcontractor in the construction of the project, like a fabrication site that is dedicated exclusively, or nearly so, to the project.

    2-5 Completing A Payroll Report

    What information has to be reported on the payroll form? The weekly payroll form doesn’t ask for any information that you don’t already need to keep for wage payment and tax purposes. For example, you need to know each employee’s name; his or her work classification (who is working for you and what do they do?), the hours worked during the week, his or her rate of pay, the gross amount earned (how much did they earn?), the amounts of any deductions for taxes, etc., and the net amount paid (how much should the paycheck be made out for?). No more information than you need to know in order to manage your work crew and make certain they are paid properly. And, certainly, no more information than you need to keep for IRS, Social Security and other tax and employment purposes.

    For many contractors, the Weekly Certified Payroll is the only Davis-Bacon paperwork you need to submit!

    You are required to submit certified payrolls to illustrate and document that you have complied with the prevailing wage requirements. The purpose of the contract administrator’s review of your payrolls is to verify your compliance. Clearer and complete payroll reports will permit the contract administrator to complete reviews of your payroll reports quickly.

    1. Project and contractor/subcontractor information. Each payroll must identify the contractor or subcontractor’s name and address, the project name and number, and the week ending date. Indicate the week dates in the spaces provided. Numbering payrolls is optional but strongly recommended.
    2. Employee information. Effective January 18, 2009, payrolls shall not report employee addresses or full Social Security Numbers (SSNs). Instead, the first payroll on which each employee appears shall include the employee’s name and an individually identifying number, usually the last 4 digits of the employee’s SSN. Afterward, the identifying number does not need to be reported unless it is necessary to distinguish between employees, e.g., if two employees have the same name.

      Employers (prime contractors and subcontractors) must maintain the current address and full SSN for each employee and must provide this information upon request to the contracting agency or other authorized representative responsible for federal labor standards compliance monitoring. Prime contractors may require a subcontractor(s) to provide this information for the prime contractor’s records. DOL has modified form WH-347, Payroll, to accommodate these reporting requirements.
    3. Work classification. Each employee must be classified in accordance with the wage decision based on the type of work they actually perform.
      1. Apprentices or trainees. The first payroll on which any apprentice or trainee appears must be accompanied by a copy of that apprentice’s or trainee’s registration in a registered or approved program. A copy of the portions of the registered or approved program pertaining to the wage rates and ratios shall also accompany the first payroll on which the first apprentice or trainee appears.
      2. Split classifications. For an employee that worked in a split classification, make a separate entry for each classification of work performed distributing the hours of work to each classification, accordingly, and reflecting the rate of pay and gross earnings for each classification. Deductions and net pay may be based upon the total gross amount earned for all classifications.
    4. Hours worked. The payroll should show ONLY the regular and overtime hours worked on this project. Show both the daily and total weekly hours for each employee. If an employee performs work at job sites other than the project for which the payroll is prepared, those “other job” hours should not be reported on the payroll. In these cases, you should list the employee’s name, classification, hours for this project only, the rate of pay and gross earnings for this project, and the gross earned for all projects. Deductions and net pay may be based upon the employee’s total earnings (for all projects) for the week.
    5. Rate of pay. Show the basic hourly rate of pay for each employee for this project. If the wage decision includes a fringe benefit and you do not participate in approved fringe benefit programs, add the fringe benefit rate to the basic hourly rate of pay. Also list the overtime rate if overtime hours were worked.
      1. Piece-work. For any piece-work employees, the employer must compute an effective hourly rate for each employee each week based upon the employee’s piece-work earnings for that week. To compute the effective hourly rate, divide the piece-work earnings by the total number of hours worked, including consideration for any overtime hours.

        The effective hourly rate must be reflected on the certified payroll and this hourly rate may be no less than the wage rate (including fringe benefits, if any) on the wage decision for the classification of work performed. It does not matter that the effective hourly rate changes from week-to-week, only that the rate is no less than the rate on the wage decision for the classification of work performed.


      Remember, the overtime rate is computed at one and one-half times the basic rate of pay plus any fringe benefits. For example, if the wage decision requires $10/hour basic plus $5/hour fringe benefits, the overtime rate would be: ($10 x 1 ½) + $5 = $20/hour.
    6. Gross wages earned. Show the gross amount of wages earned for work performed on this project. Note: For employees with work hours and earnings on other projects, you may show gross wages for this project over gross earnings all projects (for example, $425.40/$764.85) and base deductions and net pay on the “all projects” earnings.
    7. Deductions. Show the amounts of any deductions from the gross earnings. “Other” deductions should be identified (for example, Savings Account or Loan Repayment). Any voluntary deduction (that is, not required by law or by an order of a proper authority) must be authorized in writing by the employee or provided for in a collective bargaining (union) agreement. Ashort note signed by the employee is all that is needed and should accompany the first payroll on which the other deduction appears.

      Only one employee authorization is needed for recurring (e.g., weekly) other deductions. Written employee authorization is not required for income tax and Social Security deductions.
    8. Net pay. Show the net amount of wages paid.
    9. Statement of compliance. The Statement of Compliance is the certification. It is located on the reverse side of a standard payroll form (WH-347). Be sure to complete the identifying information at the top, particularly if you are attaching the Statement of Compliance to an alternate payroll form such as a computer payroll. Also, you must check either 4(a) or 4(b) if the wage decision contains a fringe benefit. Checking 4(a) indicates that you are paying required fringe benefits to approved plans or programs; and 4(b) indicates that you are paying any required fringe benefit amounts directly to the employee by adding the fringe benefit rate to the basic hourly rate of pay. If you are paying a portion of the required fringe benefit to programs and the balance directly to the employee, explain those differences in box 4(c).

      Only one Statement of Compliance is required for each employer’s weekly payroll no matter how many pages are needed to report the employee data.
    10. Signature. Make sure the payroll is signed with an original signature in ink. The payroll must be signed by a principal of the firm (owner or officer such as the president, treasurer or payroll administrator) or by an authorized agent (a person authorized by a principal in writing to sign the payroll reports). Signature authorization (for persons other than a principal) should be submitted with the first payroll signed by such an agent. Signatures in pencil; signature stamps; xerox, pdf and other facsimiles are not acceptable.

    2-6 Compliance Reviews

    What information has to be reported on the payroll form? The weekly payroll form doesn’t ask for any information that you don’t already need to keep for wage payment and tax purposes. For example, you need to know each employee’s name; his or her work classification (who is working for you and what do they do?), the hours worked during the week, his or her rate of pay, the gross amount earned (how much did they earn?), the amounts of any deductions for taxes, etc., and the net amount paid (how much should the paycheck be made out for?). No more information than you need to know in order to manage your work crew and make certain they are paid properly. And, certainly, no more information than you need to keep for IRS, Social Security and other tax and employment purposes.

    For many contractors, the Weekly Certified Payroll is the only Davis-Bacon paperwork you need to submit!

    You are required to submit certified payrolls to illustrate and document that you have complied with the prevailing wage requirements. The purpose of the contract administrator’s review of your payrolls is to verify your compliance. Clearer and complete payroll reports will permit the contract administrator to complete reviews of your payroll reports quickly.

    1. Project and contractor/subcontractor information. Each payroll must identify the contractor or subcontractor’s name and address, the project name and number, and the week ending date. Indicate the week dates in the spaces provided. Numbering payrolls is optional but strongly recommended.
    2. Employee information. Effective January 18, 2009, payrolls shall not report employee addresses or full Social Security Numbers (SSNs). Instead, the first payroll on which each employee appears shall include the employee’s name and an individually identifying number, usually the last 4 digits of the employee’s SSN. Afterward, the identifying number does not need to be reported unless it is necessary to distinguish between employees, e.g., if two employees have the same name.

      Employers (prime contractors and subcontractors) must maintain the current address and full SSN for each employee and must provide this information upon request to the contracting agency or other authorized representative responsible for federal labor standards compliance monitoring. Prime contractors may require a subcontractor(s) to provide this information for the prime contractor’s records. DOL has modified form WH-347, Payroll, to accommodate these reporting requirements.
    3. Work classification. Each employee must be classified in accordance with the wage decision based on the type of work they actually perform.
      1. Apprentices or trainees. The first payroll on which any apprentice or trainee appears must be accompanied by a copy of that apprentice’s or trainee’s registration in a registered or approved program. A copy of the portions of the registered or approved program pertaining to the wage rates and ratios shall also accompany the first payroll on which the first apprentice or trainee appears.
      2. Split classifications. For an employee that worked in a split classification, make a separate entry for each classification of work performed distributing the hours of work to each classification, accordingly, and reflecting the rate of pay and gross earnings for each classification. Deductions and net pay may be based upon the total gross amount earned for all classifications.
    4. Hours worked. The payroll should show ONLY the regular and overtime hours worked on this project. Show both the daily and total weekly hours for each employee. If an employee performs work at job sites other than the project for which the payroll is prepared, those “other job” hours should not be reported on the payroll. In these cases, you should list the employee’s name, classification, hours for this project only, the rate of pay and gross earnings for this project, and the gross earned for all projects. Deductions and net pay may be based upon the employee’s total earnings (for all projects) for the week.
    5. Rate of pay. Show the basic hourly rate of pay for each employee for this project. If the wage decision includes a fringe benefit and you do not participate in approved fringe benefit programs, add the fringe benefit rate to the basic hourly rate of pay. Also list the overtime rate if overtime hours were worked.
      1. Piece-work. For any piece-work employees, the employer must compute an effective hourly rate for each employee each week based upon the employee’s piece-work earnings for that week. To compute the effective hourly rate, divide the piece-work earnings by the total number of hours worked, including consideration for any overtime hours.

        The effective hourly rate must be reflected on the certified payroll and this hourly rate may be no less than the wage rate (including fringe benefits, if any) on the wage decision for the classification of work performed. It does not matter that the effective hourly rate changes from week-to-week, only that the rate is no less than the rate on the wage decision for the classification of work performed.

        Remember, the overtime rate is computed at one and one-half times the basic rate of pay plus any fringe benefits. For example, if the wage decision requires $10/hour basic plus $5/hour fringe benefits, the overtime rate would be: ($10 x 1 ½) + $5 = $20/hour.
    6. Gross wages earned. Show the gross amount of wages earned for work performed on this project. Note: For employees with work hours and earnings on other projects, you may show gross wages for this project over gross earnings all projects (for example, $425.40/$764.85) and base deductions and net pay on the “all projects” earnings.
    7. Deductions. Show the amounts of any deductions from the gross earnings. “Other” deductions should be identified (for example, Savings Account or Loan Repayment). Any voluntary deduction (that is, not required by law or by an order of a proper authority) must be authorized in writing by the employee or provided for in a collective bargaining (union) agreement. Ashort note signed by the employee is all that is needed and should accompany the first payroll on which the other deduction appears.

      Only one employee authorization is needed for recurring (e.g., weekly) other deductions. Written employee authorization is not required for income tax and Social Security deductions.
    8. Net pay. Show the net amount of wages paid.
    9. Statement of compliance. The Statement of Compliance is the certification. It is located on the reverse side of a standard payroll form (WH-347). Be sure to complete the identifying information at the top, particularly if you are attaching the Statement of Compliance to an alternate payroll form such as a computer payroll. Also, you must check either 4(a) or 4(b) if the wage decision contains a fringe benefit. Checking 4(a) indicates that you are paying required fringe benefits to approved plans or programs; and 4(b) indicates that you are paying any required fringe benefit amounts directly to the employee by adding the fringe benefit rate to the basic hourly rate of pay. If you are paying a portion of the required fringe benefit to programs and the balance directly to the employee, explain those differences in box 4(c).

      Only one Statement of Compliance is required for each employer’s weekly payroll no matter how many pages are needed to report the employee data.
    10. Signature. Make sure the payroll is signed with an original signature in ink. The payroll must be signed by a principal of the firm (owner or officer such as the president, treasurer or payroll administrator) or by an authorized agent (a person authorized by a principal in writing to sign the payroll reports). Signature authorization (for persons other than a principal) should be submitted with the first payroll signed by such an agent. Signatures in pencil; signature stamps; xerox, pdf and other facsimiles are not acceptable.

    2-7 Typical Payroll Errors And Required Corrections

    The following paragraphs describe common payroll errors and the corrective steps you must take.

    1. Inadequate payroll information. If an alternate payroll format used by an employer (such as some computer payrolls) is inadequate, e.g., does not contain all of the necessary information that would be on the optional form WH-347, the employer will be asked to resubmit the payrolls on an acceptable form.
    2. Missing identification numbers. If the first payroll on which an employee appears does not contain the employee’s individually identifying number, the employer will be asked to supply the missing information. This information can be reported on the next payroll submitted by the employer if the employer is still working on the project. Otherwise, the employer will be asked to submit a correction certified payroll.
    3. Incomplete payrolls. If the information on the payroll is not complete, for example, if work classifications or rates of pay are missing, the employer will be asked to send a correction certified payroll.
    4. Classifications. If the payrolls show work classifications that do not appear on the wage decision, the employer will be asked to reclassify the employees in accordance with the wage decision or the employer may request an additional classification and wage rate (see 2-2). If reclassification results in underpayment (i.e., the wage rate reported on the payroll is less than the rate required for the new classification), the employer will be asked to pay wage restitution to all affected reclassified employees. (see 2-8 for instructions about wage restitution.)
    5. Wage rates. If the wage rates on the payroll are less than the wage rates on the wage decision for the work classifications reported, the employer will be asked to pay wage restitution to all affected employees.
    6. Apprentices and trainees. If a copy of the employee’s registration or the approved program ratio and wage schedule are not submitted with the first payroll on which an apprentice or trainee appears, the employer will be asked to submit a copy of each apprentice’s or trainee’s registration and/or the approved program ratio and wage schedule. If the ratio of apprentices or trainees to journeymen on the payroll is greater than the ratio in the approved program, the employer will be asked to pay wage restitution to any excess apprentices or trainees. Also, any apprentice or trainee that is not registered in an approved program must receive the journeyman’s wage rate for the classification of work they performed.
    7. Overtime. If the employees did not receive at least time and one-half for any overtime hours worked on the project, the following will occur:
      1. If the project is subject to CWHSSA overtime requirements, the employer will be asked to pay wage restitution for all overtime hours worked on the project. The employer may also be liable to the United States for liquidated damages computed at $10 per day per violation. Or,
      2. If the project is not subject to CWHSSA, the employer will be notified of the possible FLSA overtime violations. Also, the contract administrator may refer the matter to the DOL for further review.
    8. Computations. If the payroll computations (hours worked times rate of pay) or extensions (deductions, net pay) show frequent errors, the employer will be asked to take greater care. Wage restitution may be required if underpayments resulted from the errors.
    9. Deductions. If there are any “Other” deductions that are not identified, or if employee authorization isn’t provided, or if there is any unusual (very high, or large number) deduction activity, the employer will be asked to identify the deductions, provide employee authorization or explain unusual deductions, as necessary.

      HUD does not enforce or attempt to provide advice on employer obligations to make deductions from employee earnings for taxes or Social Security. However, HUD may refer to the IRS or other responsible agency copies of certified payroll reports that show wages paid in gross amounts (i.e., without tax deduction) for its review and appropriate action.
    10. Fringe benefits. If the wage decision contains fringe benefits but the payroll does not indicate how fringe benefits were paid [neither 4(a) nor 4(b) is marked on the Statement of Compliance], the employer may be asked to submit correction certified payrolls and will be required to pay wage restitution if underpayments occurred. However, if the basic hourly rates for the employees are at least as much as the total wage rate on the wage decision (basic hourly rate plus the fringe benefit rate), no correction is necessary.
    11. Signature. If the payroll Statement of Compliance is not signed or is missing, the employer will be asked to submit a signed Statement of Compliance for each payroll affected. If the Statement of Compliance is signed by a person who is not a principle of the firm and that person has not been authorized by principle to sign, the employer will be asked to provide an authorization or to resubmit the Statement(s) of Compliance bearing the signature of a principle or other authorized signatory.
      1. On-site interview comparisons. If the comparison of on-site interviews to the payrolls indicates any discrepancies (for example, the employee does not appear on the payroll for the date of the interview), the employer will be asked to submit a correction certified payroll report.
    12. Correction certified payroll. Any and all changes to data on a submitted payroll report must be reported on a certified correction payroll. In no case will a payroll report be returned to the prime contractor or employer for revision.

    2-8 Restitution For Underpayment Of Wages

    Where underpayments of wages have occurred, the employer will be required to pay wage restitution to the affected employees. Wage restitution must be paid promptly in the full amounts due, less permissible and authorized deductions. All wages paid to laborers and mechanics for work performed on the project, including wage restitution, must be reported on a certified payroll report.

    1. Notification to the Employer/Prime contractor. The contract administrator will notify the employer and/or prime contractor in writing of any underpayments that are found during payroll or other reviews. The contract administrator will describe the underpayments and provide instructions for computing and documenting the restitution to be paid. The employer/ prime contractor is allowed 30 days to correct the underpayments. Note that the prime contractor is responsible to the contract administrator for ensuring that restitution is paid. If the employer is a subcontractor, the subcontractor will usually make the computations and restitution payments and furnish the required documentation through the prime contractor.

      The contract administrator may communicate directly with a subcontractor when the underpayments are plainly evident and the subcontractor is cooperative. It is best to work through the prime contractor when the issues are complex, when there are significant underpayments and/or the subcontractor is not cooperative. In all cases, the subcontractor must ensure that the prime contractor receives a copy of the required corrective documentation.
    2. Computing wage restitution. Wage restitution is simply the difference between the wage rate paid to each affected employee and the wage rate required on the wage decision for all hours worked where underpayments occurred. The difference in the wage rates is called the adjustment rate. The adjustment rate times the number of hours involved equals the gross amount of restitution due. You may also compute wage restitution by calculating the total amount of Davis-Bacon wages earned and subtracting the total amount of wages paid. The difference is the amount of back wages due.
    3. Correction certified payrolls. The employer will be required to report the restitution paid on a correction certified payroll. The correction payroll will reflect the period of time for which restitution is due (for example, Payrolls #1 through #6; or a beginning date and ending date). The correction payroll will list each employee to whom restitution is due and their work classification; the total number of work hours involved (daily hours are usually not applicable for wage restitution); the adjustment wage rate (the difference between the required wage rate and the wage rate paid); the gross amount of restitution due; deductions and the net amount actually paid. A properly signed Statement of Compliance must accompany the correction payroll.

      HUD no longer requires the signature of the employee on the correction payroll to evidence employee receipt of restitution payment. In addition, except in the most extraordinary cases, HUD no longer requires employers to submit copies of restitution checks (certified, cashiers, canceled or other), or employee-signed receipts or waivers.
    4. Review of correction CPR. The contract administrator will review the correction certified payroll to ensure that full restitution was paid. The prime contractor shall be notified in writing of any discrepancies and will be required to make additional payments, if needed, documented on a correction certified payroll within 30 days.
    5. Unfound workers. Sometimes, wage restitution cannot be paid to an affected employee because, for example, the employee has moved and can’t be located. After wage restitution has been paid to all of the workers who could be located, the employer must submit a list of any workers who could not be found and paid (i.e., unfound workers) providing their names, Social Security Numbers, last known addresses and the gross amount due. In such cases, at the end of the project the prime contractor will be required to place in a deposit or escrow account an amount equal to the total gross amount of restitution that could not be paid because the employee(s) could not be located. The contract administrator will continue attempts to locate the unfound workers for 3 years after the completion of the project. After 3 years, any amount remaining in the account for unfound workers will be credited and/or forwarded by the contract administrator to HUD.


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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or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances.

 
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