DOL Introduces Wage Determination and Job Title Updates

January 26, 2016
4 min read

A Blizzard of SCA News

Hopefully you spent this year’s blizzard home and warm curled up next to some loved ones in front of a raging fire as it blew through the Eastern Seaboard. Or better yet, with a smooth Pinot Noir…

What better time to look at some important Service Contract Act (SCA) news? It kind of slipped under the radar (perhaps for me because it came out the day my son was born), but the Department of Labor released All Agency Memorandum No. 218 that changed Wage Determinations (WDs) moving forward:

First, WDs changed data sources that will impact how they are issued. WDs are required to reflect the wages in a locality and DOL primarily relied on Locality Pay Statistics (LPS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to do so. Because of funding issues, LPS data was no longer collected and DOL stopped increasing wages in new WDs; DOL instead merely increased the hourly Health and Welfare benefits afforded workers. Now DOL is solely using Occupation Employment Statistics (OES). Because OES surveys are in smaller geographic areas, new WDs will cover smaller areas. In addition, because the data sources are different, there was a chance that wage rates could go down or up significantly. To address that issue, DOL will use current WD rates as a floor and cap increases at 10%. DOL has published a crosswalk between the old WDs (denoted by a 2005-xxxx) and new WDs (2015-xxxx) to help contracting agencies determine which WDs are the correct ones to utilize. To contractors out there: as always, new WDs should not be utilized until they are incorporated into your contract.

Second, DOL has updated its directory of occupations to reflect new job functions. This is the first update in a number of years and comes as a relief to many in the service industry (though additional IT positions to reflect cybersecurity and other similar positions would be helpful). Some of the new job titles include:

  • Customer Service Representative (no doubt to help with Affordable Care Act contracts);
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor;
  • System Support Specialist;
  • Aircrew Life Support Equipment Mechanic;
  • Background Investigator;
  • Single Point Entry Monitor;
  • Cryogenic Technician; and
  • Evidence Control Specialist.

The above list is not comprehensive.

Stay tuned for additional news regarding Fair Pay and other regulatory changes coming down the snowy pike…

This article was written by Eric S. Crusius, Counsel at Miles & Stockbridge P.C.. Eric represents government contractors in bid protests and other litigation matters before the Court of Federal Claims, Government Accountability Office, boards of contract appeals and other federal agencies. He counsels clients on a broad range of government contract issues, including the Service Contract Act (SCA) and other labor issues, trade agreements, export controls, subcontracting and teaming agreements, and compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Besides representing government contractors, Eric also represents corporations of all sizes in a variety of matters including intellectual property counseling and litigation (limited to trademark, copyright, and trade secret issues) and complex commercial litigation.
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