DOL Proposes Davis-Bacon Overhaul to Modernize Prevailing Wage Protections

March 24, 2022

MCAA applauds Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Wage and Hour Division Acting Administrator Jessica Looman, and all U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) policy leaders for their work developing well-considered regulatory procedures modernizing U.S. prevailing wage protections for construction workers, responsible employers, government agency construction agencies and programs, and the taxpayers generally. The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register on March 18, 2022.

“The national Davis-Bacon policy is as strong and as valid today as the day it was developed back in the 1930s. The federal government’s purchasing power should be used to respect and improve private workforce standards – not undercut them,” said MCAA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Gaffney. 

“These proposed comprehensive administrative improvements are the latest in a series of strong policy measures the Labor Department has put in place to strengthen workforce standards,” noted MCAA CEO Tim Brink. “Just recently, the DOL rolled back the ‘entrepreneurial’ pretext for worker misclassification under federal wage-and-hour law protections, and before that the DOL took strong steps to roll back the previous Administration’s attempts to undercut apprenticeship training standards.” [The wage-and-hour worker misclassification criteria were pulled up short by a Federal District Court in Texas last week. That litigation will continue.] 

MCAA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Gaffney put together an expert panel of federal project prime contractors and subcontractors to review the regulations in preparation of a detailed practitioners’ analysis of the merits of the proposal. 

The comment period on the regulatory proposal will close on May 17, 2022. A few construction industry groups have already requested 60-day extensions of that comment period.

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