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House Passes Bill to Increase Claims Processing Efficiency Under Davis-Bacon Act

The House of Representatives today approved the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act (H.R. 6371), legislation that moves responsibility for wage claims adjustments for workers employed by federal contractors from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to the Department of Labor. Sponsored by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, the bill received bipartisan support in a vote of 361 to 3.

During floor debate on H.R. 6371, Rep. Walberg said, "The American people expect us to do all we can to promote greater efficiency within the federal government. Washington allocates hundreds of billions of dollars each year on construction projects, affecting workers and employers across the country. We should never allow unnecessary bureaucracy to squander taxpayer resources or stand between workers and the wages they have earned."

The Davis-Bacon Act requires federal contractors to pay workers a locally prevailing wage on government projects. Additionally, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires federal contractors to pay workers one and one half times their basic rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Though the Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing these laws, an outdated policy puts the GAO in charge of processing claims for workers who did not receive the appropriate wage. Since it no longer provides this service in other areas of the federal government, the GAO has requested that this authority be moved to the appropriate enforcement agency.

In an effort to reduce bureaucracy and ensure workers receive their compensation in a more timely manner, the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act will transfer this authority from GAO to the Department of Labor, which oversees enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act and the CWHSSA.

To read Rep. Walberg’s floor remarks on H.R. 6371, click here. To read bill text, click here.

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