Copeland “Anti-kickback” Act
The Copeland “Anti-kickback” Act is a US labor law and an act of Congress that supplemented the Davis–Bacon Act of 1931. It prohibits a federal building contractor or subcontractor from inducing an employee into giving up any part of the compensation that he or she is entitled to under the terms of his or her employment contract. The Copeland Act also incorporated provisions of President Hoover’s executive order no. 5778, requiring employers to file weekly compliance reports.
The Copeland Act takes its name from U.S. Senator Royal S. Copeland, its primary sponsor. Copeland’s Senate Subcommittee on Crime found that up to 25% of the federal money paid for labor under prevailing wage rates was actually returned by the wage-earner as a kickback to the employing contractor or subcontractor, or to government officials. Copeland proposed the bill, S. 3041, with a brief statement in the Senate on April 26, 1934, and it passed without debate in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 13, 1934.