Debarment by Feds Leads to Debarment by State and Local Agencies

Written By: Randy J. Heller


New York amends its Labor Law and General Municipal Law to provide that if a contractor is debarred for a wage violation under the Davis-Bacon Act in the performance of a federal contract, it shall be ineligible to bid on state, municipal, or agency work.
On December 18, 2017, the legislature of the State of New York passed a law amending section 3 of 220-b of the Labor Law and section 103 of the General Municipal Law impacting the effect of a finding that a contractor had violated the Davis-Bacon Act. The new law will take effect 90 days after it became a law and apply to solicitations and bids let after the effective date.
The Davis-Bacon Act provides that a contractor shall be debarred for failing to pay the prevailing wages then in effect in the performance of public work for the federal government. This new law extends the effect of that debarment to state and local public work.
Any contractor which is debarred for having disregarded obligations to employees under the Davis-Bacon Act or any “substantially owned-affiliated entity” shall be ineligible to submit a bid on or be awarded any public works contract with the state, any municipal corporation (e.g., the City of New York), public benefit corporation or public body for so long as the debarred entity is published in the list of debarred contractors pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 3144. The affiliate is entitled to a hearing within seven days to challenge its ineligibility where it does not have “substantial involvement in the day to day management of the contractor or subcontractor.”
The General Municipal Law amendment further provides that in determining the lowest responsible bidder, the officer, board, or agency of the owner evaluating the bids shall consider whether or not the “substantially owned-affiliated entity” has been found to be in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, the Copeland Act, or the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.
No longer can a contractor or subcontractor shirking its obligations to workers hope to isolate its debarment and continue to perform construction work for other public owners.

Contact GDB Construction Law attorney Randy J. Heller, Esq. for more information.

about the authors

Randy J. Heller


For over forty years, Mr. Heller has specialized in construction law and litigation, representing some of the largest and most successful contractors in the nation.

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