$15 Minimum Wage Moves Closer to Current Federal Contracted Workers

The new federal minimum wage for contractors hired by the U.S. government will be $15 per hour next month, the Labor Department announced Tuesday.

The announcement came as President Trump signs an executive order putting a six-month hold on raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contractors.

The new contract minimum wage is set to be $15 an hour for contractors who provide services or products worth at least $400,000 in a fiscal year, according to Labor Department press release.

This includes training programs, like Head Start, schools serving students with physical disabilities, and activities that provide educational, recreational, community, recreational, and skills training.

“The new federal contract minimum wage protects the Federal employees we contract with while creating a healthier and more productive workforce,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a press release.

The new federal minimum wage for contractors hired by the U.S. government will be $15 per hour next month. pic.twitter.com/oa80DKXwlZ — Rhea Suh (@RheaSuh) February 7, 2018

The $10.10 an hour minimum wage will stay in place until the Department of Labor publishes its final regulations, which is expected sometime before the end of the fiscal year.

After the regulations have been published, the rule will take effect 60 days later.

The announcement comes after a yearlong review of a draft proposal to change the current minimum wage rule by the Labor Department.

The department announced the cancellation of the draft proposal following several protests organized by several Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who argued that a government worker is worth $19.64 an hour.

“American workers deserve a fair wage. We are proud to stand with them to ensure that these contracts and new proposals adhere to labor laws,” Murray said in a press release.

The United States Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the move does “not make sense.”

“This policy proposal would undermine hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time when American businesses are struggling to stay afloat,” Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement.

The new contract minimum wage is part of a larger effort from the Trump administration to put a $7.25 federal minimum wage in place for those who earn wages and salaries of less than $500 a week.

“Federal contractors by and large won’t really see an impact because we keep the $7.25,” Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller told Fox News Tuesday.

He said he voted against the issue at a Republican-led hearing last week, because he feels the “fair wage” should be left to states and the private sector.

“This decision does nothing for the average wage earner,” he said.

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