DOL Announces First Major Revisions to Davis-Bacon Act in 40 Years

By Corie J. Anderson - Peters, Revnew, Kappenman & Anderson, P.A.

March 11, 2022

On March 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to update the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBA). This NPRM is the first major revision to the DBA in over 40 years.

I’ll provide a more comprehensive blog soon of how this is going to affect employers (I’ve got to read the over 400 pages), but here’s what the DOL is highlighting in the changes (all of which result in increased prevailing wages):

1.  Prevailing wage rates will increase, to “keep up with actual wages”.
2.  Return to pre-1983 definition of “prevailing wage”.
3.  Wage determinations will be periodically updated (note, some states’ little DBA already do this).
4.  Allows contracting agency to adopt state or local wage determinations.
5.  Will allow for supplemental rates for key job classifications when there is no survey data.
6.  Regulatory language will be updated to reflect modern construction practices.
7.  “Strengthen worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and anti-retaliation.

Also, employers should keep in mind that this is not law yet, it is just a NPRM, which is the first step the DOL must take to attempt to change the regulations.

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