How our new rule will help construction workers
The federal government is making historic investments in infrastructure, which means investing in workers. A new rule will help ensure that construction workers on federally funded projects are fairly compensated – meaning more money to take home to their families and communities. Here’s what you need to know.
The rule will update the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, which aim to ensure that construction workers on federally funded (or assisted) construction projects are paid locally prevailing wages – and that the government’s construction contracting activity doesn’t have the unintended consequence of depressing workers’ wages.
Better accuracy and efficiency
In the past, wage determinations weren’t regularly updated and sometimes fell years behind actual wages. The new rule will help us calculate prevailing wages more regularly, accurately and efficiently. Some prevailing wage rates will update periodically to avoid becoming outdated. A more efficient survey process facilitated by the final rule means frequent Davis-Bacon wage surveys, ensuring that workers on federal jobs don’t have to wait 10 years for their wages to be updated to the locally prevailing rate. The rule also recognizes that the Wage and Hour Division has the authority to adopt state or local wage determinations as the federal prevailing wage under certain criteria.
Updated definitions will improve clarity. The rule will return to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983, to ensure prevailing wages more often reflect actual wages. It also updates the definition of “building or work” to include 21th century projects like energy infrastructure and clarifies that truck drivers and other worksite principles are covered.
Stronger worker protections
The final rule includes debarment and new anti-retaliation provisions, meaning more enforcement options and stronger protections of worker rights.
Strengthening and streamlining the wage determination process will ensure wages paid to workers on federally funded construction projects better reflect the realities of today’s labor market. When employers compete on equal footing, it benefits construction workers, their families, their communities and taxpayers.
Davis-Bacon Act regulations are as important as they’ve ever been, and this new rule will ensure that they address the modern workforce as we make unprecedented investments in America’s roads, bridges, federal buildings and energy infrastructure. As these projects open up opportunities around the nation, we’re ensuring that they’re creating good jobs with fair compensation and safe conditions.
Tue, 08/08/2023 – 12:54