Davis-Bacon and Related Acts
- The Davis-Bacon and related acts apply to contractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts.
- The contracts must be in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration or repair of public buildings or public works.
- Contractors must pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for similar projects.
The updates seek to modernize wage determinations and regulatory language to reflect current construction practices.
DOL Proposes Updates to Davis-Bacon and Related Acts
On March 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule to update certain provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and other related laws that regulate wage rates for federal and federally assisted construction projects.
The updates seek to modernize wage determinations and regulatory language to reflect current construction practices. Proposed changes include:
- Updating the prevailing wage update system and ensuring prevailing wage rates keep up with actual wages;
- Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983;
- Periodically updating prevailing wage rates to address out-of-date wage determinations;
- Providing broader authority to adopt state or local wage determinations;
- Issuing supplemental rates for key job classifications when no survey data exists;
- Updating the regulatory language to better reflect modern construction practices; and
- Strengthening worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and anti-retaliation.
As required by the rule-making process, the DOL is inviting public comments on the proposed changes. The comment period will open once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.