Grant Administration: Section 8.5 Pre-Construction RequirementsPre-construction Conferences
Before any work is performed by a contractor, CDFA requires that the grantee, the grant administrator, the engineer or architect, and any other technical advisors to the grantee conduct a pre-construction conference with the contractor, and any identified subcontractors, to explain contractual requirements and performance schedules.
The grantee should prepare an agenda, and plan to utilize and distribute the pre-construction checklist as a guide to ensure that all areas are properly addressed. (See Attachment 8-6: Pre-Construction Meeting Checklist) The grantee should clearly present the federal statutory compliance requirements as well as performance expectations. It is required that a copy of the Pre-Construction Meeting Checklist (Attachment 8-6) is signed by all parties to the contract and placed in the contract files. Items to be covered at the pre-construction conference include, but are not limited to:
- Explain to the contractors their responsibilities with respect to labor standards and equal opportunity requirements as well as the technical job requirements.
- Obtain the contractor’s Federal Identification Number and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number that is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).
- Explain that the contractor must submit weekly payrolls and statements of compliance signed by an officer of the company or person authorized by owner/officer, and that the prime contractor is responsible for securing, checking, and reviewing payrolls and Statements of Compliance from all subcontractors.
NOTE: Attachment 8-7 DOL Payroll Form & Statement of Compliance (WH 347) contains the Payroll form with statement of compliance and Attachment 8-8: Owner Authorization Form contains a copy of the Owner Authorization Form.
- Explain that wages paid must conform to those included in the wage rate decision included in the contract. Discuss the classifications to be used. If additional classifications are needed, contractors can request them using HUD Form 4230-A (see Attachment 8-9: Report of Additional Classification and Rate (HDU Form 4230-A)). However, the grant administrator must submit the form to the U.S. Department of Labor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Explain that employee interviews will be conducted during the project.
- Emphasize that both a copy of the wage rate decision and the wage rate poster “Employee Rights under the Davis Bacon Act” must be posted in clear view of all employees at the job site. Attachment 8-10: Required Davis Bacon Contracting Poster
- Explain that apprentice or trainee rates cannot be paid unless the apprentice or training program is registered and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. In New Hampshire, the state Department of Education and New Hampshire’s State Apprenticeship Advisory Council administer the registration of apprenticeship programs. If apprentices or trainees are to be used, the contractor must provide the grantee with a copy of the state registration of his/her apprentice program and a copy of the apprentice card for the worker.
- Foremen or supervisors that regularly spend more than 20% of their time performing construction work must be paid at least the hourly rate of any job that they perform.
- If the contract is $100,000 or greater, explain that workers must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in one week, including otherwise exempt salaried construction workers. Only a waiver from the Secretary of Labor can override the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Law.
- Indicate that failure to pay workers at least time and a half whenever overtime occurs violates the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards law (more than 40 hours per week) and makes the contractor liable for not only restitution but also liquidated damages of $27 per day for every day each worker exceeded 40 hours a week without being paid time and a half. (The $27 penalty amount is applicable as of January 24, 2019 and adjusts annually. See web link for current liquidated damages amount.) CWHSS Liquidated Damages Penalty
- Explain that no payroll deductions can be made that are not specifically listed in the Copeland Anti-kickback Act provisions as permissible payroll deductions. In addition, some of the permissible deductions require written permission of the employee. An unidentified payroll deduction is a method used by unethical contractors to get their workers to “kickback” a portion of their pay. This is a particularly common problem in times of high unemployment and in areas of minority concentrations. Unspecified payroll deductions are a serious discrepancy and should be resolved prior to further contractor payments.
- Explain debarment proceedings relative to violation of labor standards and equal opportunity requirements. Obtain any outstanding documents including Contractor/Subcontractor Eligibility Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibilities.
- Provide contractor with posters for the site, including “Employee Rights under the Davis Bacon Act,” as well as other worksite posters such as “Notice to All Employees Working on Federal or Federally Financed Construction Projects,” “Safety and Health Protection on the Job,” and “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.” These posters are available via the DOL website. The website also contains a feature called “elaws Poster Advisor” that will help employers determine all posters that they are required to display at their business. Posters, available in English and other languages, may be downloaded free of charge and printed directly from the DOL website. Other DOL Required Posters
- Inform the contractor that it is his/her responsibility to employ only eligible subcontractors who have certified eligibility in a written subcontract containing federal labor standards and equal opportunity provisions.
- Provide handouts explaining everything covered and obtain the contractor’s signature to document receipt in Pre-Construction Meeting Checklist (see Attachment 8-6 above).
- The grantee should also describe the compliance review that will be conducted during the project and indicate that discrepancies and underpayments discovered as a result of compliance review must be resolved prior to making further payment to the contractor. Remind the contractor that labor standards provisions are as legally binding as the technical specifications, and failure to pay specified wages will result in contractor payments being withheld until all such discrepancies are resolved.