NWLC Applauds $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

(Washington, D.C.) Today President Biden issued an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors from $10.95 to $15 per hour, beginning with contracts that are initiated or extended in 2022, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation so that it will automatically keep pace with the cost of living. This minimum wage rate will apply equally to tipped workers on federal contracts; under the policy currently in effect, federal contractors are permitted to pay tipped workers just $7.65 per hour before tips.

The following is a statement by Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“By raising the minimum wage to $15 for workers on federal contracts, the Biden-Harris administration is taking another important step to build back a better economy that works for all of us. Up to 390,000 working people—from cleaning and maintenance workers in federal buildings to health care workers in VA hospitals—will take home higher wages to support themselves and their families. Food service workers and other tipped workers on federal contracts will, for the first time, be able to depend on at least the full minimum wage from their employer along with their tips. This is a win for racial justice and gender equity. Women and people of color—who disproportionately hold tipped jobs and other low-paid jobs—will see significant gains that will help close race and gender wage gaps. And all of us will benefit from a policy that ensures that companies granted the privilege of doing business with our tax dollars are held accountable for paying a decent wage.

“Today’s order marks another critical win in the Fight for $15—it is a victory for the workers who have organized, protested, and demanded nothing less than $15 an hour for everyone. Now, Congress must pass the Raise the Wage Act and make a $15 minimum wage a reality for all working people across the country.”