Department of Labor Announces Proposed Rule on Prevailing Wage
On Friday, March 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that could lead to wage increases for many workers on government-funded construction projects. DOL’s proposal from their Wage and Hour Division (WHD) would require more frequent updates to the minimum wages for federal projects set under the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which are based on local prevailing wages for construction work, and strengthen anti-retaliation protections for workers. The rule would also change the way prevailing wages are calculated, basing them on wages paid to at least 30% of local workers. Under a 1983 regulation, wages are currently only considered "prevailing" when they are paid to more than half of workers in a given area. DOL said the rule would cover 1.2 million workers and $187 billion in federal spending on construction each year.