The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has sued the Federal Government to block updates to the Davis-Bacon Act. AGC officials say the White House lacks the legal authority to expand coverage to areas specifically excluded in the law or to retroactively impose Davis-Bacon stipulations on existing contracts. AGC filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The update to Davis-Bacon seeks to raise wages for construction and subcontractor workers employed on federally funded construction projects.

The White House finalized an update to the Davis-Bacon Act in August 2023. The update seeks to raise wages for construction and subcontractor workers employed on federally funded construction projects.

White House officials say the updates will raise prevailing wage standards for more than one million construction workers, working across roughly $200 billion in construction projects yearly, who are “paid less than intended by the act—and less than they deserve.”

“As an industry that largely pays above existing Davis-Bacon rates, our concerns are with the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional exercise of legislative power and not with the wage rate themselves,” says AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “We are challenging the president’s unlawful efforts to expand a construction wage law to cover a wide range of manufacturing and shipping operations.”

AGC officials argue the White House’s attempt to apply the law to materials suppliers operated by contractors or subcontractors represents an illegal effort to exercise legislative power. Officials add the Act also impermissibly seeks to expand coverage to delivery truck drivers—who are not mechanics or laborers—when they spend an undefined amount of time on the jobsite.

Furthermore, AGC challenged the White House’s rule stating Davis-Bacon rules can be retroactively imposed on qualifying contracts that omitted the inclusion of the Davis-Bacon requirements.

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