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By: Amy C. Bender
The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed the most sweeping changes to the regulations implementing the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts in 40 years. The Davis-Bacon Act requires the payment of locally prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to all laborers and mechanics on contracts entered into with federal agencies and the District of Columbia for more than $2,000 and for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works. These requirements also apply to more than 70 other statutes under which federal agencies assist construction projects through methods such as grants, loans, and insurance (the “Related Acts”).
The proposed revisions to the regulations focus on two primary issues, wage determinations and enforcement tools.
The suggested changes, which are aimed at making wage rates more informed and current and at making the wage determination process more efficient, include the following:
The proposed rule also seeks to enhance enforcement efforts and tools, such as through these methods:
The Department of Labor is accepting comments on the proposed rule through May 17, 2022. If the rule is adopted, covered contractors may get needed clarity on the wage rates they must pay their workers but also face more robust oversight and penalties for violations.
In our firm’s experience, the Department of Labor is focusing its investigation, auditing, and enforcement efforts on the construction industry in numerous wage-hour areas, including Davis-Bacon Act and Fair Labor Standards Act issues. Covered contractors are advised to stay abreast of these laws’ requirements and any coming changes.