On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Biden administration unveiled a long-awaited revamp of wage guidelines pertaining to construction workers involved in federally funded projects, including a clarification for material suppliers.
The Department of Labor (DOL) released its final update to the formula the government uses to set “prevailing wages” under the Davis-Bacon Act. This happened eighteen months after the draft proposal was released. The rule will be published on August 23, where it will then take effect 60 days thereafter pending any legal hold-ups.
NSSGA, along with our industry partners in NAPA (National Asphalt Paving Association) and NRMCA (National Ready Mixed Concrete Association) ensured that material suppliers’ voices were heard through constant communication with the DOL leadership and Biden administration staff throughout the deliberation process. This included submitting comments to the DOL emphasizing how ‘‘material suppliers’’ have never been considered contractors or subcontractors under and subject to Davis-Bacon standards, and why that needed to change.
We are pleased the new rule includes a clarification for material suppliers that our industries requested. Specifically, the final rule clarifies that activities that are incidental to material supply, such as loading, unloading and pickup (when performed in conjunction with delivery), do not constitute construction activity. However, if a material supplier is also performing construction activities at the project (i.e. supplying aggregates and paving on a highway project) then all employees including the material supplier would be subject to Davis Bacon.
The new rule is almost 600 pages long and NSSGA will continue digging into the regulation to ensure no other impacts are imposed on your businesses. Further, we will closely follow any possible legal action attempting to halt the implementation of the new wage requirements on construction projects.
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314