The Department of Labor’s recently published final rule updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations – the first comprehensive Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) regulatory review – in nearly 40 years. Originating in 1931, the DBRA mandates that laborers and mechanics receive prevailing wages and fringe benefits when engaged in federally funded contracts exceeding $2,000. These contracts encompass the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings and other communal infrastructure.
The updates in the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts final rule include:
- Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983 to address the overuse of average rates, and ensure they better reflect actual wages paid to workers in local communities.
- Periodically updating certain non-collectively bargained and out-of-date prevailing wage rates.
- Recognizing the division’s broad authority to adopt state or local wage determinations as the federal prevailing wage where certain criteria are satisfied.
- Allowing wage determinations to include supplemental rates for key classifications when insufficient survey data exists to publish prevailing wage rates.
- Modernizing and clarifying the definitions of “building or work” and “site of the work.”
- Ensuring that DBRA labor standards’ requirements protect workers by operation of law.
- Strengthening enforcement, including debarment and new anti-retaliation provisions.
How do you interpret what all these changes really mean to you and your company?
To facilitate comprehension and dissemination of the recent regulatory adjustments governing labor practices within federally funded contracts, the U.S. Department of Labor is hosting free online seminars on September 13 and 14. These sessions will provide a comprehensive overview of the recent modifications to the DBRA and extend participants the opportunity to seek clarifications and additional information. These initiatives form part of the division’s sustained endeavor to heighten awareness of federal prevailing wage stipulations among both federal contractors and subcontractors, fostering adherence.
Register and attend one of the seminars, scheduled from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM CDT on September 13 and 14, 2023.
All contracting agencies, contractors, unions, workers, and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend. The registration process allows you to pose any questions you may have. Participation is free, but prior registration is mandatory. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity!