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How our new rule will help construction workers

Title: How Our New Rule Will Help Construction Workers


The federal government’s investments in infrastructure are not only aimed at improving physical structures but also prioritizing the welfare of construction workers. A new rule has been implemented to ensure that construction workers on federally funded projects receive fair compensation. This blog post discusses the key aspects of the new rule and its potential benefits for construction workers.

1. Prevailing Wages:

The updated rule focuses on the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, which guarantee that construction workers on federally funded construction projects are paid prevailing wages in their respective localities. The intention is to prevent any negative impact on workers’ wages resulting from the government’s construction contracting activities.

2. Enhanced Accuracy and Efficiency:

Previously, wage determinations were infrequently updated, leading to significant gaps between actual wages and prevailing wages. The new rule emphasizes more regular, accurate, and efficient methods of calculating prevailing wages. It enables periodic updates to wage rates, preventing them from becoming outdated. Additionally, the rule streamlines the survey process, reducing the waiting time for workers to have their wages updated to the locally prevailing rate.

3. Updated Definitions:

The rule revises the definitions used to bring more clarity to the prevailing wage concept. By adopting the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983, the rule ensures that prevailing wages align more closely with actual wages. Furthermore, the updated definition of “building or work” includes modern projects like energy infrastructure, ensuring workers in these sectors are covered. It also acknowledges that truck drivers and other important workers on construction sites are included in the wage provisions.

4. Strengthened Worker Protections:

Worker rights are a crucial aspect of the new rule. The final rule includes provisions for debarment and anti-retaliation, providing stronger protections and enforcement options to safeguard worker rights. These additions aim to create fair working conditions and prevent any form of employer mistreatment.

5. Impact on the Recruitment and Staffing Industry:

The Davis-Bacon Act and its new rule can have notable implications for the recruitment and staffing industry, especially in terms of diversity and efficiency. By ensuring prevailing wages, the rule promotes fair compensation for all workers, reducing wage disparities and creating equal opportunities for candidates from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the streamlined wage determination process helps recruitment firms save time and resources by having accurate and updated wage data readily available.


The new rule governing construction workers’ compensation on federally funded projects brings much-needed reforms to the Davis-Bacon Act. By updating prevailing wages, enhancing accuracy and efficiency, providing clearer definitions, and strengthening worker safeguards, the rule ensures that construction workers are fairly compensated and protected in today’s labor market. The recruitment and staffing industry can also benefit from this rule by promoting diversity and efficiency in the hiring process. As infrastructure investments continue to rise, this rule is a crucial step toward creating good jobs with fair compensation and safe working conditions for construction workers.

Note: The content of this blog post is based on the original article titled “How our new rule will help construction workers” by Jessica Looman, the principal deputy administrator for the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

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