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lightbulb401

Wage Determinations under the SCA

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I work for a large federal contractor under a contract that must comply with SCA requirements. When I look up the wage determination for Washington, DC, where I work, I see that my position's hourly wage is over $2/hr higher than the wage I am paid. Is this because my hourly wage is determined by the WD that was in effect when the contract was put into effect? Or are changes to WDs supposed to be reflected on my paycheck whenever it is updated? I'm assuming the former, but would appreciate any information on this. Thanks!

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Do you work specifically under one contract?  Or are you a back-office employee supporting many contracts?

If you work specifically under one contract, are you certain that your contract includes a wage determination?

Are you certain you are a covered employee?

As a general rule, the contractor (your employer) must comply with the wage determination that is incorporated into the contract.  A new wage determination won't be incorporated into your contract until the next appropriate time, such as an option exercise.  

Here is some text from the Department of Labor website at https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/web/SCA_FAQ.htm:

How do service employees know what wage rate they are supposed to be paid?

On the date a service employee commences work on a SCA covered contract, the contractor or subcontractor is required by law to deliver to the employee or post a notice of the required compensation in a prominent place at the work site.

What can be done if the employee is not being paid the wage rate listed in the wage determination?

The contractor is liable for the amount of any underpayments of compensation due to the employee engaged in the performance of the contract. Any employer, employee, labor or trade organization, contracting agency, or other interested person or organization may report an apparent violation to any office of the Wage and Hour Division. Look in the Blue Pages under U.S. Government, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, for your local office.

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I work under one contract and I am sure it is covered under the SCA. In April 2016, I received an email telling me that the “client” (I presume, the government agency) had retroactively incorporated new WDs into our contract and so my Health & Welfare benefit would increase by 25 cents. But it also said that there had been no change in the prevailing wage for my labor category. What puzzles me is that I obtained a copy of the WD for my contract from the HR department at my employer, and the wage listed for my labor category was, as I said before, over $2/hr higher than what I am paid. I was able to find an old copy of the same WD (or at least, with the same WD number) from 2013 that lists the hourly wage that I am currently paid. So essentially my wage hasn’t been updated since that time, even though the same WD now shows a higher number.

 

Thanks for that info. I'm probably wrong about all this, but wanted to seek another opinion on this situation. 

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44 minutes ago, lightbulb401 said:

Thanks for that info. I'm probably wrong about all this, but wanted to seek another opinion on this situation. 

You'd be surprised to hear that there are plenty of cases regarding underpayment and back wages...https://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/

For worker specific info, see the following link: https://www.dol.gov/whd/workers.htm  There is even a handy link on "How to File a Complaint."

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56 minutes ago, Matthew Fleharty said:

You'd be surprised to hear that there are plenty of cases regarding underpayment and back wages...https://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/

For worker specific info, see the following link: https://www.dol.gov/whd/workers.htm  There is even a handy link on "How to File a Complaint."

Thanks for this. I will keep looking into this issue. Nice to know that I can file a complaint with the DOL if it needs to come to that. 

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Lightbulb, are you talking about the gross or net hourly amount you are paid?  The amount called for in a WD is a gross amount.  However, it is subject to deductions such as for Federal and state income taxes.

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I'm talking about gross hourly. I have been notified by my manager that the wage increase will be back paid to June of last year (something which had supposedly been in the works for some time). Does anyone know the rules with regard to back pay when there are changes to a prevailing wage? I found a WD for December 2015 for Washington, DC showing the move to the higher wage, which naturally leads me to wonder why the back pay only goes to June 2016 and not December 2015. I'm wondering if maybe the back pay only applies starting when there is an exercise of a contract option by the federal agency, even if that occurs months after the prevailing wage is increased on the WD.

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