August 2023 Final Rule

On Aug. 8, 2023 the U.S. Department of Labor released a final rule, updating Davis-Bacon and Related Act Regulations, which makes drastic revisions to the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts regulations that apply to federal and federally assisted construction projects funded by taxpayers .

The DOL’s final rule mostly disregards the feedback of ABC contractors, construction industry stakeholders and thousands of small businesses urging the withdrawal of this unnecessary, costly and burdensome regulation.

Instead, the DOL is moving forward with dramatic changes to prevailing wage regulations, reversing much-needed reforms that were established by the Reagan administration, and unlawfully increasing the regulatory burden on small businesses, new industries and public works projects. 

Key changes in the final rule include:

  • Lowering the definition of “prevailing wage” to a wage paid to at least 30% of workers in a locality, down from 50%
  • Allowing the DOL to adopt state or local prevailing wage rates as DBA wage rates
  • Making DBA requirements effective by “operation of law,” meaning even if a federal agency fails to include DBA clauses in a contract, contractors are still required to pay prevailing wages
  • Adds new anti-retaliation provisions to DBA contracts

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 23, 2023, and will take effect on Oct. 23, 2023. Therefore, contracts entered into after this date will be impacted, and the DOL will be implementing the final rule’s changes to the wage determination process to WDs completed after the effective date.

ABC offered a members-only webinar on the final rule on Aug. 21, , 2023, and will continue to provide additional resources to assist contractors in complying with these new regulations.

On Nov. 7, ABC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenging the DOL’s inflationary and controversial final rule. Expect additional updates on the litigation in this space.

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. The Biden administration and Congress have recently expanded the application of Davis-Bacon Act prevail wage and benefit requirements onto hundreds of billions of dollars worth of private clean energy and microchip manufacturing projects.

Final Rule Resources:

Proposed Rule Resources

Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS Act and Davis-Bacon Related Acts Resources

Additional Davis-Bacon Information:

Access ABC’s state prevailing wage law research database (Updated June 1, 2021) 
 State Prevailing Wage Law Research Database



Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division website on Davis-Bacon and Related Acts  for guidance, fact sheets, e-tools, posters, forms, guidance and additional resources.


The DOL’s Final Rule: Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations page provides compliance information including FAQs and a comparison chart on the August 2023 final rule.


The Prevailing Wage Resource Book  updated on April 1, 2024 to reflect changes implemented by the August 2023 final rule, was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division as a training tool for use in prevailing wage conferences.


The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s Field Operations Handbook includes a chapter with helpful language on  the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act .


The DOL provides Prevailing Wage Seminars to provide training on the Davis-Bacon Act and other prevailing wage requirements.


The DOL’s Labor Advisors list provides contacts at each federal agency responsible for implementation and compliance with labor law requirements for federal contractors, including Davis-Bacon regulations.


Wage Determinations

Visit, the government website where contractors can obtain government-determined prevailing wage determination (WDs) for contracts subject to the Davis-Bacon Act.


The DOL’s Sept. 2021 Conformance Request Guide provides information on requesting conformances where wage determinations do not contain an appropriate labor classification.


Wage Surveys

The DOL’s Construction Survey Status page status of upcoming Davis-Bacon wage surveys, providing opportunities for contractors to participate in the wage determination process.


The electronic WD-10 form can be used to participate in relevant surveys.


The Branch of Construction Wage Determinations provides contact information for the DOL staff responsible for wage determinations in different regions.


The federal Davis-Bacon and Related Acts govern wage requirements for contractors and subcontractors performing federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000. Administered through an unscientific and fundamentally flawed survey process by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), these so-called “prevailing” wages hinder economic growth, increase the federal deficit, and impose enormous burdens. Davis-Bacon stifles contractor productivity by raising project costs, and imposes rigid craft work rules that ignore skill differences.

ABC supports full repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, as well as any state and local prevailing wage laws that mandate wage and benefit rates that do not reflect the current construction market. In the absence of full repeal, ABC also continues to support legislative and regulatory efforts designed to mitigate the Act’s negative effects. ABC opposes expansion of Davis-Bacon into areas of public and private projects in which it has not been previously mandated.

For a summary of studies on the impact of prevailing wage, click here.