Prevailing Wage (Davis-Bacon and State Law)

The attorneys at McMahon Berger law firm have substantial experience representing employers in prevailing wage claims under the federal Davis-Bacon Act and prevailing wage laws separately required by each state. John Renick’s prior experience as an attorney for the Labor Department has given him a unique perspective in defending employers and dealing with government investigations relating to prevailing wage claims.

What is a prevailing wage?

Prevailing wages are a rate of pay and fringe benefits that must be paid to certain workers who perform certain types of work. Prevailing wages are determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor based upon the wages and benefits that workers typically receive in the area where the work is being done. Under several federal laws, employers with federal contracts are required to pay the prevailing wage to their employees. These laws include:

  • Walsh-Healey Act
  • Service Contract Act
  • Davis-Bacon Act

In addition, many states have their own intricate laws that set prevailing wages for various types of work that are performed under contracts with the state or local governments. Each state’s Department of Labor establishes prevailing wage rates based on category of employment within various localities.

Who is entitled to a prevailing wage?

Employees performing work on federal, state and municipally funded construction jobs are typically entitled to compensation at no less than the “prevailing wage” rates that are deemed to be prevailing in the locality where the work is performed.

What can an employer do to avoid a prevailing wage claim?

To effectively avoid a prevailing wage claims, employers must keep themselves informed of all recent changes to the federal and local prevailing wage rates. To assist our clients in this endeavor, McMahon Berger law firm provides e-mail alerts to clients regarding any change to federal and local prevailing wage rates. McMahon Berger law firm also conducts training seminars that address common pitfalls and misconceptions relating to federal and state prevailing wage laws.

What if a prevailing wage claim has been filed against your company?

For more than 50 years, McMahon Berger law firm has successfully defended employers in prevailing wage disputes. Whether the dispute involves classification, payroll reporting, benefits or unpaid wages, McMahon Berger the firm has the experience and ability to defend employers under complex circumstances.

If your company needs assistance with a prevailing wage law question or is subject to a prevailing wage law claim, contact McMahon Berger law firm at 314-567-7350 or

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