Washington, DC

Government contractors or recipients of government assistance shall pay affiliated employees and subcontractors who perform services under the contracts no less than the current living wage. Effective January 1, 2021 until June 30, 2021, the living wage rate is $15.00. The living wage requirement applies to all recipients of contracts in the amount of $100,000 or more, and all subcontractors that receive $15,000 or more from the funds received by the recipient from the District of Columbia. However, federal Davis-Bacon rates apply to all contracts in excess of $2,000 for construction of public buildings and public works entered into by the Federal Government or the District of Columbia.


The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts apply to contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works. Davis-Bacon and Related Act contractors and subcontractors must pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area. The Davis-Bacon Act directs the Department of Labor to determine such locally prevailing wage rates. The Davis-Bacon Act applies to contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia contracts. The Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage provisions apply to the “Related Acts,” under which federal agencies assist construction projects through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance.

For prime contracts in excess of $100,000, contractors and subcontractors must also, under the provisions of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, as amended, pay laborers and mechanics, including guards and watchmen, at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act may also apply to DBA-covered contracts.

Compliance Tips:

  • Washington, DC defaults to Davis-Bacon wage requirements.
  • On Davis-Bacon projects workers must be paid no less than weekly.
  • When a contractor performs work on a DBA-covered contract and the applicable wage determination does not provide a rate for a classification of work to be performed, the needed classification and wage rate must be added in conformance to the contract wage determination. This is the conformance process.