Introduction: Prevailing Wage Regulations and Public Policy in the Construction Industry
Prevailing Wage Laws in the United States regulate the wages paid on government funded construction projects. At the federal level the DavisBacon Act is probably the most well known prevailing wage law, though to many citizens, its existence is not recognized. The Davis-Bacon Act has set minimum wages by occupation and locality for federally financed construction projects since 1931. Thirty-one states along with the District of Columbia have prevailing wage laws. These acts are part of a larger set of regulations that began in the last half of the 19th century and developed through the 20th century and into the 21st. These laws include child labor laws, workers' compensation, fair labor standards including the eight-hour day, unemployment insurance, the rights of workers to collectively bargain for wages and benefits, minimum wage laws, Social Security, and the right to a safe workplace including state and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA).