Employees of federal contractors who make minimum wage will soon notice a boost in their paychecks. Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a rule that increased the minimum wage for this group to $10.10. The Economic Policy Institute says the new rule sets a floor on wages for almost 20 percent of federal contractors earning less than poverty-level wages, mostly minorities and women. We wholeheartedly support this rule and are thrilled to see it finalized.
“NCLR commends the administration for raising the wages of employees who do business with the federal government,” said NCLR Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, Eric Rodriguez in a statement. “Not only is this the right thing to do to lift working families out of poverty and to help them keep pace with the rising cost of living, but it should also be a catalyst for Congress to boost the federal minimum wage.”
The new rule is estimated to affect 200k new workers and will apply to employees who work on new or renewed contracts issued after Jan. 2015.
Unfortunately, Congress failed to pass a similar minimum wage increase for all workers this year. Their inaction leaves nearly 28 million people, one-quarter of whom are Latino, at the current paltry rate of $7.25. We will continue to fight for an increase so that Latinos, and workers in general, don’t have to worry about earning enough to cover even their most basic expenses.