U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 150 million workers and 10 million workplaces.  Several agencies administer programs related solely to the construction industry.


Secretary Su

Meet Secretary Su

Julie Su became Acting Secretary of Labor or March 11, 2023. She was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the deputy secretary of labor on July 13, 2021.  Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Labor, Deputy Secretary Su served as the secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. 

CEA Highlights Industry Priorities 

CEA identifies policies and enforcement activities that Build the Nation Back Better by strengthening the unionized construction market and growing middle-class job opportunities our member firms provide.

  • Strengthen the Multiemployer Pension System -- Failure to act on this issue threatens the entire multiemployer pension system.  Our members are willing to be part of the solution in addressing this crisis, but there are limits to how much of the burden can be placed on the contractors who pay into the system. We support legislation and policies that will not only help multiemployer pension plans and their participants who are facing insolvency, but also strengthen the long-term viability of healthy pension plans. To address the latter, we strongly support the authorization of composite plans.
  • Protect and Strengthen Prevailing Wage Laws -- Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements and enforcement are vital to maintaining the unionized construction industry and the middle-class wage jobs it provides.
  • Combat Employee Misclassification --To protect construction workers from abuse and safeguard lawful, responsible contractors from unfair competition due to willful misclassification, we urge: (1) additional resources to DOL’s Wage and Hour Division necessary to strengthen enforcement (2) tighten the framework for determining whether a worker is an employee or a legitimate independent contractor. 
  • Prepare the Next Generation of Skilled Workers -- Our employers and their labor partners operate over 1,100 apprenticeship training centers nationally and invest over $1.3 billion annually in workforce training and apprenticeship programs. Both employers and building trades’ unions to oppose the DOL’s 2019 proposed rule authorizing the use of Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). Any effort to expand and strengthen apprenticeship and training opportunities in construction must build on the existing private registered apprenticeship model.
  • Support Project Labor Agreements -- PLAs have proven a cost-effective tool for federal agencies to ensure high quality construction projects are completed on-time and on budget. PLAs minimize the risk of labor disputes and promote on-schedule and on-budget completion of projects, reducing overall costs and minimizing risks to taxpayers.
  • Support Bid Listing -- Procurement policy should require prime contractors on low-bid solicitations over $1 million to list all subcontractors with work over $100,000 and require the prime contractor to use the listed subcontractor at the proposed price as identified at contract award.