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Harris says new rule means ‘thousands of extra dollars’ for workers on federal construction projects

by Lucas Garcia
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Labor regulations

Vice President Kamala Harris revealed alterations to labor regulations on Tuesday that have the potential to lead to increased wages for construction workers involved in federal endeavors.

During her address in Philadelphia, Harris indicated that the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, a statute mandating the payment of prevailing local wages for public projects, has undergone its first update in several decades. The fresh regulation signifies a step back in time, as it adopts the prevailing wage interpretation employed by the Labor Department between 1935 and 1983. This shift is anticipated to raise the hourly income of both contractors and subcontractors.

According to a statement sent via email from the office of the Democratic vice president, over 1 million construction laborers engaged in projects with an approximate value of $200 billion, backed by federal support, will reap the benefits. The statement further expounds that this revised rule will translate into thousands of additional dollars annually for workers, which can aid in home down payments, retirement savings, and simply affording more financial flexibility.

Although this move would bolster workers’ earnings, detractors, including the Associated Builders and Contractors, argue that this updated rule will escalate construction project costs, placing a greater burden on taxpayers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Labor regulations

What did Vice President Kamala Harris announce regarding labor rules?

Vice President Kamala Harris announced changes to labor rules that could lead to higher wages for construction workers on federal projects.

What is the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931?

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 is a law that requires the payment of prevailing local wages on public works projects.

What does the new labor rule involve?

The new labor rule updates the definition of prevailing wage used from 1935 to 1983, which is likely to increase hourly earnings for contractors and subcontractors.

How many construction workers will benefit from the new rule?

More than 1 million construction workers on federally supported projects worth around $200 billion are expected to benefit from the new rule.

How will the new rule impact workers’ earnings?

The new rule is expected to result in thousands of extra dollars per year for workers, helping them with activities such as home down payments, retirement savings, and financial flexibility.

What concerns do critics have about the new rule?

Critics, including the Associated Builders and Contractors, argue that the new rule could make construction projects more expensive for taxpayers.

Where did Vice President Harris make this announcement?

Vice President Harris made the announcement in a speech in Philadelphia.

When was the last update to the Davis-Bacon Act before this change?

The Davis-Bacon Act had not been updated for several decades prior to this recent change.

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