McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act
|McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act
|The Service Act (SCA)
|McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act
|State or Province
|The Department of Labor
|Scope of the Law
The McNamara–O'Hara Service Contract Act of 1965 (SCA), codified at 41 U.S.C. §§ 6701–6707, is a US labor law that requires the government to use its bargaining power to ensure fair wages for workers when it buys services from private contractors.
Text of the law
In this chapter:
(1) Compensation.—The term "compensation" means any of the payments or fringe benefits described in section 6703 of this title.
(2) Secretary.—The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Labor.
(3) Service employee.—The term "service employee"—
(A) means an individual engaged in the performance of a contract made by the Federal Government and not exempted under section 6702(b) of this title, whether negotiated or advertised, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services in the United States;
(B) includes an individual without regard to any contractual relationship alleged to exist between the individual and a contractor or subcontractor; but
(C) does not include an individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as those terms are defined in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations.
(4) United states.—The term "United States"—
(A) includes any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the outer Continental Shelf as defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. §1331 et seq.), American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island, and Johnston Island; but
(B) does not include any other territory under the jurisdiction of the United States or any United States base or possession within a foreign country.
§6702. Contracts to which this chapter applies
(a) In General.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this chapter applies to any contract or bid specification for a contract, whether negotiated or advertised, that—
(1) is made by the Federal Government or the District of Columbia;
(2) involves an amount exceeding $2,500; and
(3) has as its principal purpose the furnishing of services in the United States through the use of service employees.
(b) Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to—
(1) a contract of the Federal Government or the District of Columbia for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings or public works;
(2) any work required to be done in accordance with chapter 65 of this title;
(3) a contract for the carriage of freight or personnel by vessel, airplane, bus, truck, express, railway line or oil or gas pipeline where published tariff rates are in effect;
(4) a contract for the furnishing of services by radio, telephone, telegraph, or cable companies, subject to the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.); Communication, Contact "Personal#list" contains a listed "#" character as part of the property label and has therefore been classified as invalid.
(5) a contract for public utility services, including electric light and power, water, steam, and gas;
(6) an employment contract providing for direct services to a Federal agency by an individual; and
(7) a contract with the United States Postal Service, the principal purpose of which is the operation of postal contract stations.
§6703. Required contract terms
A contract, and bid specification for a contract, to which this chapter applies under section 6702 of this title shall contain the following terms:
(1) Minimum wage.—The contract and bid specification shall contain a provision specifying the minimum wage to be paid to each class of service employee engaged in the performance of the contract or any subcontract, as determined by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized representative, in accordance with prevailing rates in the locality, or, where a collective-bargaining agreement covers the service employees, in accordance with the rates provided for in the agreement, including prospective wage increases provided for in the agreement as a result of arm's length negotiations. In any case the minimum wage may not be less than the minimum wage specified in section 6704 of this title.
(2) Fringe benefits.—The contract and bid specification shall contain a provision specifying the fringe benefits to be provided to each class of service employee engaged in the performance of the contract or any subcontract, as determined by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized representative to be prevailing in the locality, or, where a collective-bargaining agreement covers the service employees, to be provided for under the agreement, including prospective fringe benefit increases provided for in the agreement as a result of arm's-length negotiations. The fringe benefits shall include medical or hospital care, pensions on retirement or death, compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity, or insurance to provide any of the foregoing, unemployment benefits, life insurance, disability and sickness insurance, accident insurance, vacation and holiday pay, costs of apprenticeship or other similar programs and other bona fide fringe benefits not otherwise required by Federal, State, or local law to be provided by the contractor or subcontractor. The obligation under this paragraph may be discharged by furnishing any equivalent combinations of fringe benefits or by making equivalent or differential payments in cash under regulations established by the Secretary.
(3) Working conditions.—The contract and bid specification shall contain a provision specifying that no part of the services covered by this chapter may be performed in buildings or surroundings or under working conditions, provided by or under the control or supervision of the contractor or any subcontractor, which are unsanitary or hazardous or dangerous to the health or safety of service employees engaged to provide the services.
(4) Notice.—The contract and bid specification shall contain a provision specifying that on the date a service employee begins work on a contract to which this chapter applies, the contractor or subcontractor will deliver to the employee a notice of the compensation required under paragraphs (1) and (2), on a form prepared by the Federal agency, or will post a notice of the required compensation in a prominent place at the worksite.
(5) General schedule pay rates and prevailing rate systems.—The contract and bid specification shall contain a statement of the rates that would be paid by the Federal agency to each class of service employee if section 5332 or 5341 of title 5 were applicable to them. The Secretary shall give due consideration to these rates in making the wage and fringe benefit determinations specified in this section.
§6704. Limitation on minimum wage
(a) In General.—A contractor that makes a contract with the Federal Government, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services through the use of service employees, and any subcontractor, may not pay less than the minimum wage specified under section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) to an employee engaged in performing work on the contract.
(b) Violations.—Sections 6705 to 6707(d) of this title are applicable to a violation of this section.
(a) Liability of Responsible Party.—A party responsible for a violation of a contract provision required under section 6703(1) or (2) of this title or a violation of section 6704 of this title is liable for an amount equal to the sum of any deduction, rebate, refund, or underpayment of compensation due any employee engaged in the performance of the contract.
(b) Recovery of Amounts Underpaid to Employees.—
(1) Withholding accrued payments due on contracts.—The total amount determined under subsection (a) to be due any employee engaged in the performance of a contract may be withheld from accrued payments due on the contract or on any other contract between the same contractor and the Federal Government. The amount withheld shall be held in a deposit fund. On order of the Secretary, the compensation found by the Secretary or the head of a Federal agency to be due an underpaid employee pursuant to this chapter shall be paid from the deposit fund directly to the underpaid employee.
(2) Bringing actions against contractors.—If the accrued payments withheld under the terms of the contract are insufficient to reimburse a service employee with respect to whom there has been a failure to pay the compensation required pursuant to this chapter, the Federal Government may bring action against the contractor, subcontractor, or any sureties in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the remaining amount of underpayment. Any amount recovered shall be held in the deposit fund and shall be paid, on order of the Secretary, directly to the underpaid employee. Any amount not paid to an employee because of inability to do so within 3 years shall be covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
(c) Cancellation and Alternative Completion.—In addition to other actions in accordance with this section, when a violation of any contract stipulation is found, the Federal agency that made the contract may cancel the contract on written notice to the original contractor. The Federal Government may then make other contracts or arrangements for the completion of the original contract, charging any additional cost to the original contractor. Decisional Interference
(d) Enforcement of Section.—In accordance with regulations prescribed pursuant to section 6707(a)–(d) of this title, the Secretary or the head of a Federal agency may carry out this section.
§6706. Three-year prohibition on new contracts in case of violation
(a) Distribution of List.—The Comptroller General shall distribute to each agency of the Federal Government a list containing the names of persons or firms that a Federal agency or the Secretary has found to have violated this chapter.
(b) Three-Year Prohibition.—Unless the Secretary recommends otherwise because of unusual circumstances, a Federal Government contract may not be awarded to a person or firm named on the list under subsection (a), or to an entity in which the person or firm has a substantial interest, until 3 years have elapsed from the date of publication of the list. If the Secretary does not recommend otherwise because of unusual circumstances, the Secretary shall, not later than 90 days after a hearing examiner has made a finding of a violation of this chapter, forward to the Comptroller General the name of the person or firm found to have violated this chapter.
§6707. Enforcement and administration of chapter
(a) Enforcement of Chapter.—Sections 6506 and 6507 of this title govern the Secretary's authority to enforce this chapter, including the Secretary's authority to prescribe regulations, issue orders, hold hearings, make decisions based on findings of fact, and take other appropriate action under this chapter.
(b) Limitations and Regulations for Variations, Tolerances, and Exemptions.—The Secretary may provide reasonable limitations and may prescribe regulations allowing reasonable variation, tolerances, and exemptions with respect to this chapter (other than subsection (f)), but only in special circumstances where the Secretary determines that the limitation, variation, tolerance, or exemption is necessary and proper in the public interest or to avoid the serious impairment of Federal Government business, and is in accord with the remedial purpose of this chapter to protect prevailing labor standards.
(c) Preservation of Wages and Benefits Due Under Predecessor Contracts.—
(1) In general.—Under a contract which succeeds a contract subject to this chapter, and under which substantially the same services are furnished, a contractor or subcontractor may not pay a service employee less than the wages and fringe benefits the service employee would have received under the predecessor contract, including accrued wages and fringe benefits and any prospective increases in wages and fringe benefits provided for in a collective-bargaining agreement as a result of arm's-length negotiations.
(2) Exception.—This subsection does not apply if the Secretary finds after a hearing in accordance with regulations adopted by the Secretary that wages and fringe benefits under the predecessor contract are substantially at variance with wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the same locality for services of a similar character.
(d) Duration of Contracts.—Subject to limitations in annual appropriation acts but notwithstanding any other law, a contract to which this chapter applies may, if authorized by the Secretary, be for any term of years not exceeding 5, if the contract provides for periodic adjustment of wages and fringe benefits pursuant to future determinations, issued in the manner prescribed in section 6703 of this title at least once every 2 years during the term of the contract, covering each class of service employee.
(e) Exclusion of Fringe Benefit Payments in Determining Overtime Pay.—In determining any overtime pay to which a service employee is entitled under Federal law, the regular or basic hourly rate of pay of the service employee does not include any fringe benefit payments computed under this chapter which are excluded from the definition of "regular rate" under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)).
(f) Timeliness of Wage and Fringe Benefit Determinations.—It is the intent of Congress that determinations of minimum wages and fringe benefits under section 6703(1) and (2) of this title should be made as soon as administratively feasible for all contracts subject to this chapter. In any event, the Secretary shall at least make the determinations for contracts under which more than 5 service employees are to be employed.
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