Federal Contracts

Author: David Gabor, The Wagner Law Group

Updating Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor


  • Employers that enter into contracts with the federal government or the District of Columbia often must comply with laws that dictate minimum wages and working conditions for their workers.
  • Different laws apply to different situations.
  • The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act applies to contracts of more than $10,000 for the manufacture or purchase of goods and supplies. See The Walsh-Healey Act.
  • The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) applies to contracts of more than $2,500 for services such as data-processing, vehicle maintenance, relocation and more. See The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act.
  • The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) applies to contracts of more than $2,000 for the construction, alteration or repair of public buildings and public works. See The Davis-Bacon Act.
  • Among the major requirements of these laws is that workers must receive the prevailing wage - an hourly wage that the U.S. Department of Labor determines to be the prevailing minimum for similar workers in a particular locale.
  • In addition, all federal contracts must include a clause specifying that the minimum wage paid to workers must be at least $10.10 per hour. See Executive Order 13658.