About the Labor Standards Committee
All projects that exceed either the $2,000 threshold set forth in the Davis-Bacon Act or the comparable $2,500 threshold in the Service Contract Act must be reviewed by the Oak Ridge Office (ORO) Labor Standards Committee for the purpose of determining the applicability of these Acts to on-site construction work.
The ORO Labor Standards Committee reviews work packages submitted by contractors, after a joint company-union committee reviews and discusses each planned project on the Oak Ridge Reservation. The reservation is considered to be all facilities, contractors and apertures operated by or for the Department of Energy (DOE) to include vehicle feet, space management, reservation infrastructure including roads construction and maintenance, historical building, wild land and fire grid, and public parks. The list includes the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the East Tennessee Technology Park and all areas in and around the 256 miles of road. The contractor and union representatives all meet together, so that the operating unions and building trades unions hear the same information and provide their input and comments at the same time. This practice has had the benefit of keeping the unions all better informed of planned projects, and the planned approach to accomplishing work.
Since labor standards determinations are ultimately a Department of Energy (DOE) responsibility, the ORO Committee makes its rulings based on the various implementing regulations of the applicable labor laws (primarily the Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act), and past site precedent when relevant. The Committee's objective is to provide reasonably consistent determinations over time, while recognizing new kinds of work, and different contract arrangement for performing work, that can affect the decisions.
The Committee also reminds the contractors and unions regularly that federal labor laws are minimum wage laws, not work assignment laws. Further, several issues involving labor standards implementation are on-going, including painting and equipment replacement work. The Committee works with union officials and contractor representatives to resolve the issues; however, the unions sometime raise their concerns with either the Department of Labor or with the Department of Energy Headquarters. The Committee then provides information to these offices, explaining the basis for its decisions, for the purpose of working out a resolution.
The ORO Labor Standards Committee consists of representatives from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office (OSO), the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office (NPO), Oak Ridge Office Reservation Management Division and Contractor Human Resources (CHR). The committee is chaired by Lisa Carter, Team Leader, CHR. Voting members are Maurice Davis, CHR, David Arakawa (OSO), and Richard D. Peters, (NPO). Alternates to the Labor Standards committee are Greg Hamby, Facilities Infrastructure Resources Management Division, Sherman Martin, OSO, and Laura Easterling, CHR.