Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a procedure that would enforce Executive Order 14026 that would increase the minimum wage for federal contractors.
“The Executive Order therefore seeks to raise the hourly minimum wage paid by those contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered Federal contracts to $15.00 per hour, beginning January 30, 2022; and beginning January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor,” read the notice. “The Executive Order directs the Secretary to issue regulation by November 24, 2021, consistent with applicable law, to implement the order’s requirements.
“This proposed rule therefore establishes standards and procedures for implementing and enforcing the minimum wage protections of the Executive Order.”
Karla Walter, senior director of employment policy at the Center for American Progress, praised U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration for putting their money where their mouth is.
“Raising the contractor minimum wage to $15 would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of American workers and help close pay disparities for women and Black and Latino workers, who are more likely to be employed in the low-wage industries that our government contracts,” said Walter. “The proposed rule also boosts equity by eliminating the tipped minimum wage for contract workers by 2024, ensuring coverage for workers with disabilities, and extending the contractor minimum wage protections to workers in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.
“Certainly, there is more to be done to ensure that corporations receiving billions in government spending function as model employers, but these actions are a critical step toward delivering on President Biden’s commitments to raise wages for workers and supporting a robust economic recovery,” Walter said.
In late April, Biden signed an executive order requiring certain federal contractors to pay employees a $15 minimum wage according to the consumer price index and to adjust to the cost of living.
The order goes into effect Jan. 20, 2022.
“This executive order will promote economy and efficiency in federal contracting, providing value for taxpayers by enhancing worker productivity and generating higher-quality work by boosting workers’ health, morale, and effort,” the White House said in a statement.