Way back in February 2014, the Obama administration proposed new minimum wage rules for contractors hired by the federal government. The new minimum wage was raised to $10.15 and was finally implemented January 1st of this year. This is a $.05 increase over the original proposal as set forth by the Obama administration. From now on, all contractors working for the federal government must be paid this minimum wage.
That old saying, “you get what you pay for,” is the logic that underpins this wage hike. The idea was that by raising wages, it would reduce turnover, increase morale and lead to better productivity among the contractors. The eventual goal, for the federal government, is cheaper and more efficient workforce. Basically, workers that are paid a better wage will work harder and better at their jobs.
The Administration directed the Department of Labor to promulgate and implement the new rules. The Department, in typical government alacrity, then spent the remainder of 2014 and most 2015, or nearly a year and a half, studying the effects of this proposed change and accepting comments from the public. It wasn’t until September 16, 2015 that the new rule was officially “published” and to take effect this current year.
If you are a government contractor, then you may be covered by this new rule. It is relatively new, only a few weeks, so your manager may not be aware of the wage hikes. You may want to speak to your employer to inquire if your government contract is covered by this new wage hike. If you believe that your employer is purposefully trying to avoid paying you your fair wage, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Not all government contracts are covered by this new wage hike. An attorney can help determine if yours is one of them.