On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors,” to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for workers on Federal construction and service contracts. The President took this executive action because boosting wages lowers turnover and increases morale, and will lead to higher productivity overall. Raising wages will improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government. The Executive Order directed the Department of Labor to issue regulations to implement the new Federal contractor minimum wage.
The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on June 17, 2014. The NPRM proposed standards and procedures for implementing and enforcing Executive Order 13658 and invited public comment on the proposed provisions. The Department received many comments from a variety of interested stakeholders, such as labor organizations; contractors and contractor associations; worker advocates, including advocates for individuals with disabilities; contracting agencies; small businesses; and workers.
After carefully considering all timely and relevant comments, the Department has published a final rule to implement the provisions of Executive Order 13658. The final rule issued by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez is an important milestone in raising the minimum wage for workers on Federal contracts.
On September 16, 2015, the Department of Labor published a Notice in the Federal Register to announce that, beginning January 1, 2016, the Executive Order 13658 minimum wage rate is increased to $10.15 per hour. This Executive Order minimum wage rate generally must be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts. Additionally, beginning January 1, 2016, tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts generally must be paid a minimum cash wage of $5.85 per hour. Questions relating to the Executive Order and/or these wage rates may be directed to the Government Contracts Division at (202) 693-0064.