Davis-Bacon Construction Contractors Should Include New WHD Conformance Guide Review In Compliance Processes

November 27, 2021

Construction industry government contractors and subcontractors should add reviewing their policies under the recently published Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Conformance Request Guide to their compliance reviewe processes.

Davis-Bacon and other federal contractors and subcontractors face a host of new and evolving regulatory and enforcement responsibilities and risks arising both from legislative, regulatory and enforcement changes pushed through by the Biden-Harris Administration, Congressional Democrats or both. While the Biden-Administration has trumpeted the announcements if some changes like the Biden-Harris Administration ‘s vaccination and other COVID-19 safety mandates, efforts to replace Trump Administration era regulations used to determine joint-employer liability under laws such as the National Labor Relations Act, wage and hour laws, and the Family Medical Leave Act with much more pro-labor Obama era joint-employer standards, changes in federal minimum wage rates for government contractors and various other rules, other changes are accomplished through “clarifications” or other more subtle actions. While keeping abreast of the more widely publicized policy and enforcement changes, construction industry contractors also must use care not to overlook subtle interpretative “clarifications,” “guides” and other resources that shed light on changes in interpretation and enforcement likely to affect their workforce practices including the WHD’s interpretation and enforcement of Davis-Bacon wage and fringe benefit rules.

The recently released Wage and Hour Division Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Conformance Request Guide provides resources WHD views as helpful to assist construction contractors and contracting agencies comply with the requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts as currently construed by WHD. WHD also says the Guide details the information and construction types contained in wage determinations and provides what WHD calls “additional clarity” regarding the limited circumstances in which contractors and contracting agencies may need to request a new class of laborer or mechanic be added to a published wage determination for a specific contract.

The publication of the Guide sends a strong signal that federal construction contractors and subcontractors can expect WHD audit and enforcement of their compliance with the standards set forth i the Guide as part of the broader regulatory and enforcement agenda impacting their industry under the Biden-Harris Administration. Construction contractors should act to review and update their policies and budgets as well as and consider tightening their compliance and risk management practices in response to this guidance as well as other emerging regulatory and enforcement guidance.

More Information

For assistance or more information about these and other workforce requirements contact the author.

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About the Author

For help developing, administering or defending your organization’s wage and hour and other workforce, employee benefits, compensation or compliance practices, contact the author. Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 30+ years working as an on demand, special project, consulting, general counsel or other basis with domestic and international business, charitable, community and government organizations of all types, sizes and industries and their leaders on labor and employment and other workforce compliance, performance management, internal controls and governance, compensation and benefits, regulatory compliance, investigations and audits, change management and restructuring, disaster preparedness and response and other operational, risk management and tactical concerns. In the course of this work, she has advised government contractors and other employers, published and spoken extensively on wage and hour and other workforce compliance for more than 30 years.

For more information about these concerns or Ms. Stamer’s work, experience, involvements, other publications, or programs, see www.cynthiastamer.com,  on  Facebook, on LinkedIn or Twitter or e-mail here.

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