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(3) In the case of the Bacon-Davis Act—the Secretary of Labor. (May 14, 1947, ch. 52, § 10, 61 Stat. 89.) $ 260. Liquidated damages.

In any action commenced prior to or on or after the date of the enactment of this Act to recover unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime compensation, or liquidated damages, under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that the act or omission giving rise to such action was in good faith and that he had reasonable grounds for believing that his act or omission was not a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, the court may, in its sound discretion, award no liquidated damages or award any amount thereof not to exceed the amount specified in section 16 of such Act. 8 261. Applicability of "area of production” regulations.

No employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, on account of the failure of such employer to pay an employee minimum wages, or to pay an employee overtime compensation, for or on account of an activity engaged in by such employee prior to December 26, 1946, if such employer

(1) was not so subject by reason of the definition of an "area of production", by a regulation of the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, which regulation was applicable at the time of performance of the activity even though at that time the regulation was invalid; or

(2) would not have been so subject if the regulation signed on December 18, 1946 (Federal Register, Vol. 11, p. 14648) had been

in force on and after October 24, 1938. (May 14, 1947, ch. 52, § 12, 61 Stat. 89.) $ 262. Definitions.

(a) When the terms "employer", "employee”, and “wage” are used in this chapter in relation to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, they shall have the same meaning as when used in such Act of 1938.

(b) When the term "employer" is used in this chapter in relation to the Walsh-Healey Act or Bacon-Davis Act it shall mean the contractor or subcontractor covered by such Act.

(c) When the term "employee" is used in this chapter in relation to the Walsh-Healey Act or the Bacon-Davis Act it shall mean any individual employed by the contractor or subcontractor covered by such Act in the performance of his contract or subcontract.

(d) The term “Wash-Healey Act” means sections 35 to 45 of Title 41; and the term “Bacon-Davis Act” means sections 276a to 276a-5 of Title 40.

(e) As used in section 255 of this title the term “State” means any State of the United States or the District of Columbia or any Territory or possession of the United States. (May 14, 1947, ch. 52, $ 13, 61 Stat. 90.)




40 U.S.C. 327-333

Summary and Description


This act provides a uniform standard, namely, an 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek with overtime compensation of 11/2 times the basic rate of pay for all work in excess of that standard performed under certain Federal and federally assisted contracts. It consolidates a series of "Eight Hour Laws" into a single statute with simplified provisions which apply in the same way to all contractors and subcontractors performing work coming within its terms.

The acts work hours standard applies to any contract involving the employment of laborers or mechanics, including watchmen and guards:

(1) on a public work of the United States, of any Territory, or the District of Columbia.

(2) to which the Federal Government (including any Federal agency or instrumentality), any Territory, or the District of Columbia is a party, or which is made for or on behalf thereof, or

(3) which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the Federal Government and to which Federal laws providing wage standards for such work apply. An exception is made to work where the assistance from the United States is only in

the nature of a loan guarantee, or insurance. The act makes clear that the contractor or subcontractor is liable to employees for unpaid overtime compensation. In addition, such an employer is liable to the Government for liquidated damages of $10 for each day an employee was permitted or required to work in excess of the work-hours standard without payment of overtime compensation. Criminal penalties are provided for intentional violations. The Secretary of Labor is given the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan No. 14 of 1950, and pursuant to this plan an employer violating the act's work hours standard may be barred from receiving further Government contracts for a period of up to three years. The act also contains a provision making applicable in accordance with its terms, section 2 of the Copeland Act, as amended. (See p. 180.)

However, the Secretary of Labor is authorized to issue rules and regulations under which such adjustments may be made in the application of the act as he finds necessary and proper in the public interest to prevent injustice and serious impairment of the conduct of Government business.

The Federal contracting agency is directed to withhold sums necessary to satisfy liabilities for liquidated damages and unpaid overtime wages. If the amounts withheld are not sufficient to satisfy the liability for underpayment of wages, the employees must be paid an equitable proportion of the sums. Then they have a right of action against the employer for the balance and it is no defense that they have accepted less than the required amounts.


This statute, which was originally entitled the “Contract Work Hours Standards Act of 1962", was amended by the Act of August 9, 1969 (76 Stat. 357) which changed its title to "Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act” and added at the end thereof a new section 107 (40 U.S.C. 333). The provisions added to the Act are designed to promote health and safety in the building trades and construction industry on all Federal, federally financed, and federally assisted construction projects in excess of $2,500. They specifically cover new construction and alterations and repair, including painting and decorating

STANDARDS, REPORTING, AND COMPLIANCE The Secretary of Labor is authorized:

(1) to promulgate safety and health standards;

(2) to establish and supervise programs for the education and training of employers and employees in the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of unsafe working conditions ;

(3) to collect reports and data, and consult with and advise employers as to the best means of preventing injuries; and

(4) to make inspections, hold hearings, issue orders, and make such decisions as are deemed necessary to gain compliance with the health and safety standards promulgated under the Act. Under section 4(b) (2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, standards issued under this Act are deemed to be occupational safety and health standards issued under the Safety and Health Act. They may be superseded by standards promulgated under the Safety and Health Act.


Inspections, educational programs, reporting and data-collecting functions are conducted through regional and area offices located throughout the country. Copies of the Act, and the health and safety standards promulgated thereunder, are available at each of these offices.


In the event, after an adjudicatory hearing, the Secretary determines noncompliance with the standards:

(1) The government agency for which the contract work is done has the right to cancel the contract, and to enter into other contracts for the completion of the contract, charging any additional cost to the original contractors.

(2) The U.S. district courts have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with the safety and health standards promulgated by the Secretary.

(3) On findings of repeated willful or grossly negligent violations of the Act, the Secretary is authorized to transmit the name of such contractors or subcontractors to the Comptroller General. The Comptroller General will distribute such names to all agencies of the government, who must withhold awards of contract from them for a period of three years. The Secretary may terminate the debarment before the end of the three-year period if the safety and health requirements are met to his satisfaction.

Text of Act

(Section Nos. refer to U.S. Code)

8 327. Definition of Secretary.

As used in sections 327 to 333 of this title, the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor. (Pub. L. 87–581, title I, § 101, Aug. 13, 1962, 76 Stat. 357.) 8 328. Eight-hour day and forty-hour week; overtime compensa

tion; contractual conditions; liability of employers for viola

tion; withholding funds to satisfy liabilities of employers. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the wages of every laborer and mechanic employed by any contractor or subcontractor in his performance of work on any contract of the character specified in section 329 of this title shall be computed on the basis of a standard workday of eight hours and a standard workweek of forty hours, and work in excess of such standard workday or workweek shall be permitted subject to the provisions of this section. For each workweek in which any such laborer or mechanic is so employed, such wages shall include compensation, at a rate not less than one and one-half times the basic rate of pay, for all hours worked in excess of eight hours in any calendar day or in excess of forty hours in the workweek, as the case may be.

(b) The following provisions shall be a condition of every contract of the character specified in section 329 of this title and of any obligation of the United States, any territory, or the District of Columbia in connection therewith:

(1) No contractor or subcontractor contracting for any part of the contract work which may require or involve the employment of laborers or mechanics shall require or permit any laborer or mechanic, in any workweek in which he is employed on such work, to work in excess of eight hours in any calendar day or in excess of forty hours in such workweek except in accordance with the provisions of sections 327 to 333 of this title, and

(2) In the event of violation of the provisions of paragraph (1), the contractor and any subcontractor responsible therefor shall be liable to such affected employee for his unpaid wages and shall, in addition, be liable to the United States (or, in the case of work done under contract for the District of Columbia or a territory, to such


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