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The US Department of Labor announced that more than 300,000 maintenance, safety and child care workers will receive a raise starting next year with a new $ 15 an hour minimum wage for federal contractors.
The new compensation scheme stems from an April executive order by President Joe Biden that increases the salary of federal workers. The $ 15 base salary for federal contractors will be indexed for inflation and will increase in subsequent years.
According to the mandate, the new pay floor goes into effect for any federal contract beginning on or after January 30, 2022. The rule stipulates that suppliers of equipment and guides in federal zones, as well as workers with disabilities who can be paid less than the minimum wage will have their salary increased to $ 15 an hour.
In addition, according to the regulations starting in 2024, workers who receive tips with federal contracts must earn at least that amount. These workers may be paid less than others because employers assume that tips will make up the difference.
“Federal contract workers are essential,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told the media. “The people we are going to cover clean and maintain the federal buildings. Provide child care for children, they repair roads and bridges throughout the country, ”he said.
Government authorities said the new provision applies to all employees of companies that have contracts with the government, not just those who work in federal buildings.
The move being made by the administration of President Joe Biden is aimed at reducing existing wage gaps across the United States. This will allow thousands of workers to provide better living conditions for their families and leave precariousness behind.
Although many companies have increased employee salaries, the compensation they provide is not based on the current federal minimum wage, which in many cases is lower. This year, various companies in the service and hospitality sector set a minimum wage of $ 15 per hour.
Increase the salary of government employees could indirectly boost the income of other workerssaid Ben Zipperer, an economist at the Institute for Economic Policy. He pointed to research showing that when Amazon raised his starting salary to $ 15 an hour in 2018, led close competitors to raise their salary as well.
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