DOL A-to-Z: D, E and F

As part of our ongoing effort to educate the public about what we do at the Labor Department and to help demystify some of our commonly used jargon, we’re rolling out the next set of words for our DOL A-to-Z project. This week’s letters are D, E and F – and they stand for the Davis-Bacon Act, ERISA and FLSA.

Davis-Bacon Act
This law ensures that federal contracts promote good jobs and fair wages. The act requires contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded or assisted construction projects to pay their employees no less than the local prevailing wage for similar work in the area.

Established in 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act sets minimum standards for retirement, health and other employee benefit plans in order to protect workers, retirees and their families. Among other things, the law requires that participants in benefit plans receive information about plan features, holds plan fiduciaries (key decision-makers or advisers) accountable, and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

Administered by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, the Fair Labor Standards Act protects more than 135 million full-time and part-time workers across the United States. These protections include setting a floor for a minimum wage that states and municipalities are welcome to exceed; overtime payments of one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek; and child labor laws to ensure that when young people work, the jobs are safe and do not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities.

To learn more about this project and view the previous letters, visit

Jason Kuruvilla is a special assistant in the Office of Public Affairs.

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