On Dec. 16, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor sent its final rule updating Davis-Bacon and Related Acts prevailing wage regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for review. The content of the final rule is expected to be publicized in February 2023 or later, but will likely align closely with the DOL’s proposed rule. The review at the OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published in the Federal Register.

The 1931 Davis-Bacon Act and related regulations require contractors and subcontractors that perform work on federal and federally funded construction projects to pay a government-determined prevailing wage and benefit rate on an hourly basis to on-site construction workers. According to the DOL rulemaking, the Davis-Bacon Act and 71 active Related Acts collectively apply to an estimated $217 billion in federal and federally assisted construction spending per year—about 63% of all government construction put in place—and provide government-determined wage rates for an estimated 1.2 million U.S. construction workers.

ABC opposed the proposed rule, submitting nearly 70 pages of comments outlining how the rule would fail to fix the DOL’s unscientific wage determination process, rescind reforms made by the Reagan administration and increase regulatory burdens on small businesses, new industries and more public works projects.

ABC will be meeting with the OIRA to reiterate these concerns and urge the Biden administration to withdraw this harmful rule.