Final Rule Issued to Update Davis-Bacon Act

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced the issuance of a final rule to update the regulations that implement the Davis-Bacon Act and Davis-Bacon and Related Acts to reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and federal construction investments. The announcement follows a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on March 18, 2022, which led to comments from construction industry and labor stakeholders that helped inform the regulatory updates.


The final rule will provide greater clarity and enhance the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) regulations’ effectiveness in the modern economy. Updates to the regulations strengthen and streamline the process for setting and enforcing prevailing wage rates on federally funded construction projects, ensuring that when the federal government invests in infrastructure, it is also investing in workers.


The final rule’s regulatory changes will improve the department’s ability to administer and enforce DBRA labor standards effectively and efficiently. These changes include:

  • Creating several efficiencies in the prevailing wage update system and ensuring prevailing wage rates keep up with actual wages, which over time would mean higher wages for workers.
  • Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983 to ensure prevailing wages reflect actual wages paid to workers in the local community.
  • Periodically updating prevailing wage rates to address out-of-date wage determinations.
  • Providing broader authority to adopt state or local wage determinations when certain criteria are met.
  • Issuing supplemental rates for key job classifications when no survey data exists.
  • Updating the regulatory language to better reflect modern construction practices.
  • Strengthening worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and new anti-retaliation provisions.

More information is available at Final Rule: Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations.


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Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP

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