U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2022
This part prescribes “anti-kickback” regulations under section 2 of the Act of June 13, 1934, as amended (40 U.S.C. 276c), popularly known as the Copeland Act. This part applies to any contract which is subject to Federal wage standards and which is for the construction, prosecution, completion, or repair of public buildings, public works or buildings or works financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States. The part is intended to aid in the enforcement of the minimum wage provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and the various statutes dealing with federally assisted construction that contain similar minimum wage provisions, including those provisions which are not subject to Reorganization Plan No. 14 (e.g., the College Housing Act of 1950, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the Housing Act of 1959), and in the enforcement of the overtime provisions of the Contract Work Hours Standards Act whenever they are applicable to construction work. The part details the obligation of contractors and subcontractors relative to the weekly submission of statements regarding the wages paid on work covered thereby; sets forth the circumstances and procedures governing the making of payroll deductions from the wages of those employed on such work; and delineates the methods of payment permissible on such work.
As used in the regulations in this part:
(a) The terms building or work generally include construction activity as distinguished from manufacturing, furnishing of materials, or servicing and maintenance work. The terms include, without limitation, buildings, structures, and improvements of all types, such as bridges, dams, plants, highways, parkways, streets, subways, tunnels, sewers, mains, powerlines, pumping stations, railways, airports, terminals, docks, piers, wharves, ways, lighthouses, buoys, jetties, breakwaters, levees, and canals; dredging, shoring, scaffolding, drilling, blasting, excavating, clearing, and landscaping. Unless conducted in connection with and at the site of such a building or work as is described in the foregoing sentence, the manufacture or furnishing of materials, articles, supplies, or equipment (whether or not a Federal or State agency acquires title to such materials, articles, supplies, or equipment during the course of the manufacture or furnishing, or owns the materials from which they are manufactured or furnished) is not a building or work within the meaning of the regulations in this part.
(b) The terms construction, prosecution, completion, or repair mean all types of work done on a particular building or work at the site thereof, including, without limitation, altering, remodeling, painting and decorating, the transporting of materials and supplies to or from the building or work by the employees of the construction contractor or construction subcontractor, and the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, articles, supplies, or equipment on the site of the building or work, by persons employed at the site by the contractor or subcontractor.
(c) The terms public building or public work include building or work for whose construction, prosecution, completion, or repair, as defined above, a Federal agency is a contracting party, regardless of whether title thereof is in a Federal agency.
(d) The term building or work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States includes building or work for whose construction, prosecution, completion, or repair, as defined above, payment or part payment is made directly or indirectly from funds provided by loans or grants by a Federal agency. The term includes building or work for which the Federal assistance granted is in the form of loan guarantees or insurance.
(e) Every person paid by a contractor or subcontractor in any manner for his labor in the construction, prosecution, completion, or repair of a public building or public work or building or work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States is employed and receiving wages, regardless of any contractual relationship alleged to exist between him and the real employer.
(f) The term any affiliated person includes a spouse, child, parent, or other close relative of the contractor or subcontractor; a partner or officer of the contractor or subcontractor; a corporation closely connected with the contractor or subcontractor as parent, subsidiary, or otherwise, and an officer or agent of such corporation.
(g) The term Federal agency means the United States, the District of Columbia, and all executive departments, independent establishments, administrative agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and of the District of Columbia, including corporations, all or substantially all of the stock of which is beneficially owned by the United States, by the District of Columbia, or any of the foregoing departments, establishments, agencies, and instrumentalities.
(a) As used in this section, the term employee shall not apply to persons in classifications higher than that of laborer or mechanic and those who are the immediate supervisors of such employees.
(b) Each contractor or subcontractor engaged in the construction, prosecution, completion, or repair of any public building or public work, or building or work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States, shall furnish each week a statement with respect to the wages paid each of its employees engaged on work covered by this part 3 and part 5 of this title during the preceding weekly payroll period. This statement shall be executed by the contractor or subcontractor or by an authorized officer or employee of the contractor or subcontractor who supervises the payment of wages, and shall be on the back of Form WH 347, “Payroll (For Contractors Optional Use)” or on any form with identical wording. Copies of WH 347 may be obtained from the Government contracting or sponsoring agency or from the Wage and Hour Division Web site at http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/index.htm or its successor site.
(c) The requirements of this section shall not apply to any contract of $2,000 or less.
(d) Upon a written finding by the head of a Federal agency, the Secretary of Labor may provide reasonable limitations, variations, tolerances, and exemptions from the requirements of this section subject to such conditions as the Secretary of Labor may specify.
§ 3.4 - Submission of weekly statements and the preservation and inspection of weekly payroll records.
(a) Each weekly statement required under § 3.3 shall be delivered by the contractor or subcontractor, within seven days after the regular payment date of the payroll period, to a representative of a Federal or State agency in charge at the site of the building or work, or, if there is no representative of a Federal or State agency at the site of the building or work, the statement shall be mailed by the contractor or subcontractor, within such time, to a Federal or State agency contracting for or financing the building or work. After such examination and check as may be made, such statement, or a copy thereof, shall be kept available, or shall be transmitted together with a report of any violation, in accordance with applicable procedures prescribed by the United States Department of Labor.
(b) Each contractor or subcontractor shall preserve his weekly payroll records for a period of three years from date of completion of the contract. The payroll records shall set out accurately and completely the name and address of each laborer and mechanic, his correct classification, rate of pay, daily and weekly number of hours worked, deductions made, and actual wages paid. Such payroll records shall be made available at all times for inspection by the contracting officer or his authorized representative, and by authorized representatives of the Department of Labor.
§ 3.5 - Payroll deductions permissible without application to or approval of the Secretary of Labor.
Deductions made under the circumstances or in the situations described in the paragraphs of this section may be made without application to and approval of the Secretary of Labor:
(a) Any deduction made in compliance with the requirements of Federal, State, or local law, such as Federal or State withholding income taxes and Federal social security taxes.
(b) Any deduction of sums previously paid to the employee as a bona fide prepayment of wages when such prepayment is made without discount or interest. A bona fide prepayment of wages is considered to have been made only when cash or its equivalent has been advanced to the person employed in such manner as to give him complete freedom of disposition of the advanced funds.
(c) Any deduction of amounts required by court process to be paid to another, unless the deduction is in favor of the contractor, subcontractor, or any affiliated person, or when collusion or collaboration exists.
(d) Any deduction constituting a contribution on behalf of the person employed to funds established by the employer or representatives of employees, or both, for the purpose of providing either from principal or income, or both, medical or hospital care, pensions or annuities on retirement, death benefits, compensation for injuries, illness, accidents, sickness, or disability, or for insurance to provide any of the foregoing, or unemployment benefits, vacation pay, savings accounts, or similar payments for the benefit of employees, their families and dependents: Provided, however, That the following standards are met:
(1) The deduction is not otherwise prohibited by law;
(2) It is either:
(i) Voluntarily consented to by the employee in writing and in advance of the period in which the work is to be done and such consent is not a condition either for the obtaining of or for the continuation of employment, or
(ii) provided for in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement between the contractor or subcontractor and representatives of its employees;
(3) No profit or other benefit is otherwise obtained, directly or indirectly, by the contractor or subcontractor or any affiliated person in the form of commission, dividend, or otherwise; and
(4) The deductions shall serve the convenience and interest of the employee.
(e) Any deduction contributing toward the purchase of United States Defense Stamps and Bonds when voluntarily authorized by the employee.
(f) Any deduction requested by the employee to enable him to repay loans to or to purchase shares in credit unions organized and operated in accordance with Federal and State credit union statutes.
(g) Any deduction voluntarily authorized by the employee for the making of contributions to governmental or quasi-governmental agencies, such as the American Red Cross.
(h) Any deduction voluntarily authorized by the employee for the making of contributions to Community Chests, United Givers Funds, and similar charitable organizations.
(i) Any deductions to pay regular union initiation fees and membership dues, not including fines or special assessments: Provided, however, That a collective bargaining agreement between the contractor or subcontractor and representatives of its employees provides for such deductions and the deductions are not otherwise prohibited by law.
(j) Any deduction not more than for the “reasonable cost” of board, lodging, or other facilities meeting the requirements of section 3(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, and part 531 of this title. When such a deduction is made the additional records required under § 516.25(a) of this title shall be kept.
(k) Any deduction for the cost of safety equipment of nominal value purchased by the employee as his own property for his personal protection in his work, such as safety shoes, safety glasses, safety gloves, and hard hats, if such equipment is not required by law to be furnished by the employer, if such deduction is not violative of the Fair Labor Standards Act or prohibited by other law, if the cost on which the deduction is based does not exceed the actual cost to the employer where the equipment is purchased from him and does not include any direct or indirect monetary return to the employer where the equipment is purchased from a third person, and if the deduction is either
(1) Voluntarily consented to by the employee in writing and in advance of the period in which the work is to be done and such consent is not a condition either for the obtaining of employment or its continuance; or
(2) Provided for in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement between the contractor or subcontractor and representatives of its employees.
Any contractor or subcontractor may apply to the Secretary of Labor for permission to make any deduction not permitted under § 3.5. The Secretary may grant permission whenever he finds that:
(a) The contractor, subcontractor, or any affiliated person does not make a profit or benefit directly or indirectly from the deduction either in the form of a commission, dividend, or otherwise;
(b) The deduction is not otherwise prohibited by law;
(c) The deduction is either (1) voluntarily consented to by the employee in writing and in advance of the period in which the work is to be done and such consent is not a condition either for the obtaining of employment or its continuance, or (2) provided for in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement between the contractor or subcontractor and representatives of its employees; and
(d) The deduction serves the convenience and interest of the employee.
Any application for the making of payroll deductions under § 3.6 shall comply with the requirements prescribed in the following paragraphs of this section:
(a) The application shall be in writing and shall be addressed to the Secretary of Labor.
(b) The application need not identify the contract or contracts under which the work in question is to be performed. Permission will be given for deductions on all current and future contracts of the applicant for a period of 1 year. A renewal of permission to make such payroll deduction will be granted upon the submission of an application which makes reference to the original application, recites the date of the Secretary of Labor's approval of such deductions, states affirmatively that there is continued compliance with the standards set forth in the provisions of § 3.6, and specifies any conditions which have changed in regard to the payroll deductions.
(c) The application shall state affirmatively that there is compliance with the standards set forth in the provisions of § 3.6. The affirmation shall be accompanied by a full statement of the facts indicating such compliance.
(d) The application shall include a description of the proposed deduction, the purpose to be served thereby, and the classes of laborers or mechanics from whose wages the proposed deduction would be made.
(e) The application shall state the name and business of any third person to whom any funds obtained from the proposed deductions are to be transmitted and the affiliation of such person, if any, with the applicant.
The Secretary of Labor shall decide whether or not the requested deduction is permissible under provisions of § 3.6; and shall notify the applicant in writing of his decision.
Deductions not elsewhere provided for by this part and which are not found to be permissible under § 3.6 are prohibited.
The payment of wages shall be by cash, negotiable instruments payable on demand, or the additional forms of compensation for which deductions are permissible under this part. No other methods of payment shall be recognized on work subject to the Copeland Act.
All contracts made with respect to the construction, prosecution, completion, or repair of any public building or public work or building or work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States covered by the regulations in this part shall expressly bind the contractor or subcontractor to comply with such of the regulations in this part as may be applicable. In this regard, see § 5.5(a) of this subtitle.