Employment Law Report

House Passes Law Transferring Claims Processing Under Certain Laws to the Department of Labor

By Edwin S. Hopson

On November 13, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act (H.R. 6371), moving the responsibility for wage claims adjustments for workers employed by federal contractors to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The legislation was sponsored by Representative TimWalberg (R-MI), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.  The legislation was passed with bipartisan support in a vote of 361 to 3.

The statutes involved are the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires federal contractors to pay its employees a locally prevailing wage on government projects, and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act which 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.

Although the U.S. Department of Labor has been responsible for enforcing these laws, the GAO has been the agency in charge of processing claims for workers under these laws. The GAO had requested that this authority be moved to the appropriate enforcement agency.