Federal Court Halts Department of Labor’s Prevailing Wage Expansion.

Mathew Moldawer
Mathew Moldawer

A federal judge in Texas granted the Associated General Contractors of America bid to temporarily stop the Department of Labor’s expansion of the prevailing wage rule.  The prevailing wage rule requires that contractors on certain public works projects pay their workers the local wage rate plus fringe benefits for the type of work being completed. Often, that means paying the rate established in union contracts.

The DOL’s actions are part of the Biden Administration’s push to increase wages for contractors working on government projects.  The new regulation expanded the prevailing wage to “prefabrication companies, material suppliers, and truck drivers, professional surveyors” and green energy projects such as solar panels, wind turbines, broadband installation, and installation of electric car changers.

AGCA filed a lawsuit to stop the DOL from enacting the new regulation.  The federal judge who heard the case agreed, finding: (1) there was evidence that they likely would be successful in their case; (2) irreparable harm to AGCA outweighed any damage to the defendants; and (3) public interest was not negatively impacted by stopping the enactment of the regulation.

Federal contractors already must adhere to strict regulations, especially in relation to their employees. Federal contractors should keep up to date on the DOL’s actions.  

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