DOL sends draft rule on $10.10 for federal contractors

The Department of Labor has submitted to the White House its draft regulations requiring companies that do business with the government to pay their workers at least $10.10 an hour.

The proposed rule springs directly from an executive order President Obama signed in February as part of his push for an across-the-board minimum wage hike.

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The increase for employees of federal contractors, who can now earn as little as $7.25 an hour, is slated to take effect in January. That leaves almost eight months for White Hous review of the regulation, which is supposed to take three months or less, a public comment period and the issuing of a final rule.

The draft language has not been released, though the administration has designated it as not economically significant — a designation that means it would carry an annual price tag of less than $100 million.

On its own, the rule would be small consolation for proponents of a minimum wage increase for all American workers. Employees of federal contractors represent a small fraction of the workforce, and only some of them would see a pay bump.

Last week, legislation calling for an across-the-board raise for the country’s lowest earners fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate.

The White House and congressional Democrats have pledged to keep pushing the proposal.