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Design Build Industry Disagrees with Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations

The design build industry strongly disagrees with the Wage and Hour Division’s interpretation of the Davis-Bacon Act and proposal to revise regulations to classify members of survey crews as “laborers and mechanics” subject to the Act.  The proposed rules seek to unilaterally expanded the application of the Davis-Bacon Act to a class of workers who had never previously been considered “laborers and mechanics.” Rather, survey crews work under the responsible charge of licensed, professional surveyors.  They are not construction workers.  Their services are not directly involved in construction.  Rather, the services they provide are an extension and implementation of professional engineering design, which is outside of the scope and coverage of the Act.  Survey crew members predominately apply knowledge for analysis and interpretation while collecting data to exercise discretion and judgment, and is not “manual or physical in nature.”

Per their argument, “for more than 60 years, the Department of Labor, under both Republican and Democrat Administrations, have followed the standard established by Secretary Arthur Goldberg in 1962 that the Act generally exempts survey crews, except to the extent that such workers perform primarily manual work, such as clearing brush or sharpening stakes, which Secretary Goldberg noted are not commonplace.  The proposed regulations fail to mention the Goldberg standard, and instead seeks to establish a new, unprecedented standard for Davis-Bacon Act application.  This new standard has no basis in the law, an act of Congress, ruling by a court, or any other activity to change a 60+ year policy.”