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November 5, 2008    DOL Home > Compliance Assistance > By Law > SCA   

The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) 

 Frequently Asked Questions


The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) applies to every contract entered into by the United States or the District of Columbia, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services to the United States through the use of service employees. The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on covered federal or District of Columbia contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the monetary wage rates and to furnish fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement. Safety and health standards also apply to such contracts.

The compensation requirements of the SCA are enforced by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The SCA safety and health requirements are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within DOL.






Each contractor and subcontractor performing work subject to the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) shall maintain certain records for each employee performing work on the covered contract. The following is a list of the basic records that must be maintained for three years from completion of the work include:

  • Name, address, and social security number of each employee;
  • The correct work classification(s), wage rate(s), and fringe benefits provided (or cash equivalent payments provided in lieu of fringe benefits);
  • The total daily and weekly compensation of each employee;
  • The number of daily and weekly hours worked by each employee;
  • Any deductions, rebates, or refunds from each employee's compensation; and
  • Any list of a predecessor contractor's employees which had been furnished showing employees' length of service information.

See 29 CFR 4.6(g) and 29 CFR 4.185 for further information.


  • McNamara O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) (PDF) - Requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to service employees employed on contracts to provide services to the federal government.
  • 29 CFR Part 4 - Regulations describing the labor standards for federal service contracts.
  • 29 CFR Part 6 - Regulations describing the Rules of Practice for administrative proceedings enforcing labor standards in federal and federally assisted construction contracts and federal service contracts.
  • 29 CFR Part 8 - Regulations describing practice before the Administrative Review Board with regard to federal service contracts.



  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
    Wage and Hour Division
    200 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Room S-3502
    Washington, DC 20210
    Contact WHD
    Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627
    Local Offices

  • For questions on other DOL laws,
    please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL. Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
    Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627

*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.

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