At its core, the Georgia Foundation for Fair Contracting exists to protect worker rights. Unscrupulous contractors try to skirt the law by not paying workers the prevailing wage. Others misclassify workers to pay them a lower rate, or do not pay them the appropriate overtime rate for additional hours accrued. If these workers speak up, they risk being fired.
Georgia’s FFC can help workers pursue confidential grievances regarding their employment. This information is then passed along to the proper state agencies to investigate the complaint and ensure that workplace labor and safety laws are followed, including but not limited to fringe benefit credits, prevailing wage rates, and more.
Law-abiding contractors lose when public contracts are awarded to contractors who cheat. Not only does it encourage companies to underbid contracts, it also pushes right-minded contractors out of business. Georgia’s FFC actively monitors the public bidding process to ensure that responsible contractors have a level playing field and public bodies do not reward those who undermine labor laws.
If a contractor is not in compliance with a law or regulation, the Georgia FFC may bring this information before the relevant agency or public body. Moreover, Georgia’s FFC works with contractors to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. This two-pronged approach of monitoring the bidding process and providing resources to contractors ensures that all wage, hour, safety, and bidding laws are followed and that everyone has a fair shot at public bids.
When contractors undermine the public bidding process, they undermine the taxpaying public. In Georgia, contracts may be awarded not to the lowest bidder, but the lowest responsible bidder. This ensures that projects are completed on-time and on-budget, without cutting corners.
Taxpayer money should not go to companies that undermine responsible bidding laws. Oftentimes an unscrupulous contractor will underbid a project only to report overages after the contract has been awarded, costing the public more than it would have if a law-abiding contractor were hired in the first place. Georgia’s FFC ensures that contractors who skirt labor or safety laws cannot line their pockets with taxpayer dollars at the expense of safe, lasting infrastructure.