LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday announced it filed a federal complaint to block the Biden Admiration’s “unlawful effort to expand the reach of a decades-old law that governs wage rates on federally funded construction projects.”
Court records obtained by EverythingLubbock.com showed the complaint was filed on Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Labor and Julie Su, acting secretary of the USDOL. A response had not yet been filed.
See full press release below.
The following is a press release from the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce:
LUBBOCK, TEXAS-The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce filed suit yesterday in federal court to block the Biden Administration’s unlawful effort to expand the reach of a decades-old law that governs wage rates on federally funded construction projects. Joining the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce are co-Plaintiffs Associated General Contractors of America, Associated General Contractors of Texas, and J. Lee Milligan, Inc. The Biden administration lacks the legal authority to expand the law to cover manufacturing facilities miles away from projects, or to retroactively impose the measure on already-executed contracts, among other concerns.
Our chief concern is the administration’s unconstitutional exercise of legislative power. This lawsuit challenges the President’s unlawful efforts to expand a construction wage law to cover a wide range of manufacturing and shipping operations.
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Lubbock in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule proposing significant changes to the Davis-Bacon Act, which was first enacted in 1931. The measure sets construction wage rates for federally funded or assisted public works projects. Among other things, the administration is attempting to expand the construction wage law to cover workers in manufacturing facilities that produce building and infrastructure components, and to cover delivery truck drivers and to retroactively impose the measure on already executed contracts that don’t specifically require Davis-Bacon wage rates.
In its lawsuit, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce noted that the Davis-Bacon Act is specifically limited only to “mechanics and laborers employed directly upon the site of the work.” Further, in an amended version of the Act passed in 1935, Congress clarified that the Davis-Bacon law does not apply to materials suppliers. The administration’s attempt to apply the law to materials suppliers operated by contractors or subcontractors represents an illegal attempt by the executive branch to exercise legislative power, the suit notes. Similarly, the rule impermissibly seeks to expand coverage to delivery truck drivers—who are not mechanics or laborers—when they spend an undefined, “not de minimis” amount of time on the jobsite.
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce is seeking a nationwide temporary and permanent injunction to stop this effort to expand Davis-Bacon requirements to categories of work that were excluded in the original act of Congress.
Plaintiffs are represented by Fernando Bustos and Ben Casey of the Bustos Law Firm, P.C., and Robert Roginson and Jeffrey Londa of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. For inquiries, please contact Fernando Bustos at (806) 780-3976.
Click here for a copy of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit.