President Biden Issues Executive Order Requiring $15 Minimum Wage to be Paid to Workers on Government Contracts

On April 27, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers on federal contracts and to federal contract workers with disabilities and directing the incremental elimination of the tipped sub-minimum wage for federal contractors by 2024.

When the New Minimum Wage Goes into Effect

Starting January 30, 2022, all federal agencies will need to include a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and the new minimum wage must be implemented in new contracts by March 30, 2022. Agencies must also implement the higher wage into existing contracts when those contracts are extended or renewed.

Automatic Increases to the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

The minimum wage will be indexed to an inflation measure so that it will automatically adjust every year after 2022 to reflect changes in the cost of living.

Gradual Elimination of the Tipped Minimum Wage

Under current federal law, employers of tipped workers may pay a sub-minimum wage as long as their tipped wages bring their total wages up to the minimum wage. The new Executive Order slowly eliminates the sub-minimum wage for tipped employees working on federal contracts, requiring a wage of at least $10.50 per hour beginning January 30, 2022, an increase to 85% of the new federal contractor minimum wage by January 1, 2023, and an increase to 100% of the new federal contractor minimum wage by January 30, 2024. It should be noted that if the employee does not receive sufficient tips in addition to the amounts set forth above to equal the new federal contractor minimum wage, the cash wage paid must be increased to make sure the worker receives at least the federal contractor minimum wage.

Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers with Disabilities

The new Executive Order ensures a $15 minimum wage for federal contract workers with disabilities and includes a cost-of-living increase every year beginning in 2022.

Follow Guardian HR alerts for further information about this Executive Order as the regulations implementing the Executive Order will be issued by November 24, 2021.

Clients wishing for additional information on minimum wage, please contact your Guardian HR dedicated Manager.

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