Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage Rates

Navigating the intricacies of the Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage Rates can be challenging. Yet, ensuring you pay your workers correctly is crucial. With our guidance, learn to bid correctly by mastering Davis-Bacon wage calculations.

Why it Matters:
Local counties often receive federal investments for construction projects. To ensure equitable compensation, contractors on such projects are mandated to pay specific wages and fringe benefits. Furthermore, you’re required to file weekly employee wage reports.

Mastering Calculations:
Visit the Department of Labor’s Wage Determination page to calculate your hourly rate costs for all Davis-Bacon required jobs. Once there:

  • Select your state and project county.
  • Opt for ‘Building’ under Construction type.
  • For cleaning companies, the work type is LABORER: Common or General.

Stuck with the math? Use our formula sheet for easier calculations.


  1. FICA Withholdings Calculation: Multiply the gross amount earned by 7.65%. This will give you the FICA withholdings amount.

  2. FICA Deductions Calculation: Multiply the gross amount earned by 4.5%. This will provide you with the FICA deductions amount.

  3. Total Deductions: To determine the total deductions, sum the amounts from the FICA withholdings and the FICA deductions.

Document Essentials:
Organized paperwork keeps you compliant. Here are some indispensable documents:

Key FAQs:

  • Signatories: Only managers, accounting employees, or owners can sign payroll submissions. No signatures from project managers, general contractors, or superintendents are valid.

  • High Rates with Davis-Bacon? Davis-Bacon wages are higher since they’re state-funded. Cleaning contractors must adhere to these rates and provide regular payroll reports.

For a comprehensive understanding, refer to the US Department of Labor. They detail out the applicability of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, highlighting their emphasis on fair wages and benefits.

State Audits:
Remember, states can audit a company within three months of invoicing. Stay prepared.

Subcontractor Specifications:
Subcontractor workers must submit a SF 1413, enlisting the primary company as the direct contractor. They do not undergo regular deductions and are given a Form 1099 at the year’s end.

Payroll Submission Guide:
Ensure your payroll is complete and compliant. It must include:

  • Worker details: name, ID number (like SSN’s last four digits) and full address (first week only).
  • Worker classification according to wage decision.
  • Hourly rates in line with wage decisions.
  • Comprehensive record of hours worked, pay details, and deductions.

Note: Maintain a weekly numbered record for project duration, marking the last submission as ‘Final.’