Biden seeks $15 minimum wage for federal workers, contractors
President Biden on Friday is set to take steps to lay the groundwork to increase the minimum wage for federal employees and contractors to $15 per hour.
The order directs the various agencies to review what workers earn less than $15 per hour, and prepare rules for contractors to ensure their workers are not paid less.
Under the order, contractors would also have to provide emergency paid leave to their employees.
Biden hopes to finalize the actions within his first 100 days in office.
In 2014, then-President Obama signed an order raising the minimum wage for federal workers from $7.25 to $10.10, hoping to pressure Congress to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009.
The minimum wage of $7.25 has remained unchanged for those not employed by the federal government or subject to higher state and local ordinances. Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan includes a plan to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15, but it faces Republican opposition and cannot be passed through budget reconciliation, a process that would allow Democrats to sidestep a GOP filibuster.
Biden’s executive action will also restore certain collective bargaining provisions to federal workers and eliminate Schedule F, an employment classification former President Trump created in October that would strip most civil service protections and make it easier to fire them without cause.
Trump was often frustrated about the civil service and his inability to summarily dismiss career civil servants.