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Total Articles: 78

The Minimum Wage in 2018: A Rates-Only Update

Minimum wage laws can impact businesses of all sizes, whether operating nationwide, in multiple jurisdictions, or only in one city, county, or state. To help manage this challenge, we are publishing a rates-only update so employers know the minimum amount they must pay non-exempt employees.

Hertz, Thrifty to Pay $2 Million to Settle Local Minimum Wage Complaints

Car rental companies Hertz and DTG Operations Inc. (which operates many of its stores under the brand name Thrifty) have agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle claims filed by 157 of their workers seeking back wages under the minimum wage ordinance in SeaTac, Washington.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage and Overtime Updates (August Edition)

Although the lazy days of summer may be grinding to a halt, August minimum wage and overtime developments showed no signs of a slow-down. Democrats continue to try to impress upon the electorate labor and employment-related differences between themselves and Republicans at the federal level, annual minimum wage adjustment announcement season has opened at the state level, and struggles continue at the local level.

Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (June Edition)

Summer is upon us and the heat – from both a temperature and legislative perspective – is on. As employers across the county await action from federal labor officials concerning the currently-enjoined white collar salary rule, state measures increasing exempt employee pay continue to move through state legislative houses. Multiple states, counties, and cities are about to raise their minimum wage rates. And numerous state and local governments are contemplating new minimum wage measures or changes to existing schemes.

Potential Minimum Wage Increase

On May 25, bills were introduced in Congress that would increase the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour from $7.25 an hour immediately and incrementally to $15 an hour in annual steps over seven years.

Bills Introduced To Increase FLSA Minimum Wage

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 1242) and in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 15) that would increase the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage from today's $7.25 an hour to $9.25 an hour immediately, and then to $15 an hour in seven, annual steps. Increases (but never decreases) in the rate would thereafter be pegged to the median hourly wage of all employees as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (April Edition)

The madness of March may be behind us, but April is no joke when it comes to minimum wage and overtime updates. Developments at the federal, state, and local levels could affect employer operations in the near or distant future.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (March Edition)

March madness is not limited to college basketball. This month has also seen numerous minimum wage proposals introduced and considered at the local and state levels. Local and state officials continue to battle over who gets to set the minimum wage. There have been a number of minimum wage rulings by state supreme courts since February’s Wage Watch. And we are only one quarter of the way through 2017.

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (February Edition)

The year’s shortest month contains a long list of minimum wage and overtime developments. Though to date in 2017 a minimum wage proposal has yet to pass a single state house, and measures in Mississippi, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming were unsuccessful, new proposals across the country require employers’ attention. While front-page stories may focus on the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary vacancy, employers should note that some of the most important developments are taking place in the papers’ state and local sections.

Is Minimum Wage Momentum Slowing Down?

2016 proved to be a momentous year for the minimum wage, as seven states and 18 localities passed new laws and ordinances establishing or increasing minimum wages.

Fight for $15 Plans Protests, ‘Civil Disobedience’ on November 29

Fight for $15, the four-year-old movement to secure a minimum wage of $15 an hour, has announced plans for demonstrations, strikes, and protests in 340 cities across the country on November 29. Tens of thousands of employees are expected to participate. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some state and local laws provide for higher minimum wages than the federally mandated rate.

It’s Summer! Is Your Local Amusement Park or Recreational Establishment Exempt From The FLSA’s Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements?

Summer is here, which presents the perfect opportunity to discuss one the Fair Labor Standards Act’s lesser-known exemptions, the seasonal amusement or recreational establishment exemption.

Minimum Wages To Rise On Both Coasts

Over the past few years, numerous states and municipalities have increased the statutory minimum wage. Further, through Executive Order, President Obama increased the federal minimum wage applicable to federal contractors. Consistent with this trend, the governors of both California and New York have now reached new legislative deals with their respective legislative branches which provide for significant increases to the minimum wage in each state.

Required 2016 Minimum Wage Poster for Federal Contractors Available

The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its 2016 minimum wage poster to reflect new requirements imposed by the February 12, 2014, Executive Order (E.O.) 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. The E.O. requires federal contractors to pay workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts at least $10.10 per hour beginning January 1, 2015, and at least $10.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. The amount may be adjusted annually by an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor in a manner prescribed by the E.O. In 2016, covered tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts generally must be paid a cash wage of at least $5.85 per hour.

State Minimum Wage Increases Effective 2016

State and local legislatures continue to be busy with minimum wage legislation. As in past years, employers with multi-state operations must remain abreast of these changes. Many state laws provide for annual increases based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index and inflation. Except as noted below, higher state minimum wages are effective January 1, 2016. Because hospitality and similar employers also need to be aware of changes to the permissible tip credit that affect the minimum wage they must pay to customarily tipped employees, such increases also appear below.

2016 Minimum-Wage Increases

Efforts to raise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage appear to be stalled for the moment.

Minimum Wage To Increase For Many In 2016

A number of states and local jurisdictions will raise their minimum wage in 2016; here is the latest information on what to expect in the new year.

Minimum Wages, Maximum Challenges in 2016 (2017, 2018 . . .)

Although the state-level minimum wage changes in 2015 have been tame compared to the significant changes in 2014,1 employers should be aware of a number of minimum wage legislative developments on the federal, state, and local levels this year. The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed significant increases to the minimum salary that must be paid to executive, administrative, and professional employees for them to be exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Proponents of increased minimum wages have succeeded in having more cities and counties enact local minimum wage laws and raise minimum wage rates where rates have remained unchanged for years.

The Minimum Wage Battle Is Heating Up and Retail Is Fighting Back

Over the past two years, we have seen minimum wage hikes in states and cities (such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Emeryville) across the country as labor groups push for a universal $15 per hour minimum wage. With the presidential elections coming, organized labor is reinvigorating its battle to increase the minimum wage and is targeting the retail industry through a national television advertising campaign criticizing retail jobs and retail employers. Retailers are not, however, sitting back passively. The largest industry group representing retailers—the National Retail Federation (NRF) —is fighting back on their behalf and has launched its own advertising counterattack on national television.

HR Intel – The Minimum Wage Battle Flares Up and More…

For employees, the fight for wages is personal. Yesterday, thousands of fast food workers went on strike around the country, primarily seeking $15 minimum wage in their industry, but also a voice in next year’s presidential election.

'Fight for $15' Walk-Outs and Protests Continue; Are You Prepared for November 10?

Continuing its three-year campaign, “Fight for $15” on November 4, 2015, announced plans for worker strikes and protests at fast food restaurants in 270 U.S. cities on November 10. The protests, timed to occur one year prior to the 2016 presidential election, is calculated to send a message to voters and candidates. Protests will culminate with a march on the November 10 Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.

The Minimum Wage: How High Will It Go?

It’s hard to imagine now, but it was just about two years ago when the White House first endorsed the idea of a $10.10 minimum wage.

Restaurant Industry Alert: Wage Board Proposal - Fast Food Workers' Minimum Wage May Rise to $15 in New York City by 2018

Executive Summary: On July 22, 2015, the New York State Department of Labor's (NYSDOL) Wage Board voted to recommend a 171 percent increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City (NYC), from the current hourly rate of $8.75 to $15.00 by 2018. If the Wage Board's recommendation becomes law (it would go into effect December 31, 2015 if approved by Commissioner of Labor Musolino), the minimum wage for fast food workers would first jump to $10.50 by year's end, increasing $1.50 annually thereafter until reaching $15 per hour by July 1, 2021, in all of New York State. The Department of Labor's press release indicates this decision may be made as early as Monday, July 27, 2015.

Restaurant Industry Alert: "Fight for $15" Planned for Tax Day

Executive Summary: In the latest move in their two-year campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, fast-food workers have announced plans for a major one-day walkout on April 15, 2015 – Tax Day for U.S. employers. Events are planned in approximately 200 U.S. cities as well as at least 40 other countries. In addition to fast-food workers, organizers claim the April 15 Fight for $15 will include workers from other industries including retail, child care, and airport workers as well as adjunct college professors. The movement has been spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union and is supported by several community action groups. With thousands of fast-food workers in the U.S. expected to take part in the one-day strike, employers in the fast food industry would be wise to make sure they are prepared to respond appropriately to these efforts.

The Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees—Is a Raise in Store?

President Obama has made increasing the federal minimum wage a priority for the administration due in no small part to sustained union efforts over the past few years—including “worker center” protests and campaigns aimed at the hospitality industry, such as “Fight for 15” and “Fast Food Forward” To this end, President Obama issued Executive Order 13658 on February 12, 2014, announcing an increase in the minimum wage rate to $10.10 per hour for workers on federal service and construction contracts. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule implementing that executive order on October 7, 2014.

Hints About New FLSA Regulations Begin to Emerge: Minimum Salary May Double

Last spring, I made some predictions about what the new FLSA regulations would likely include when they were finally released. The regulations were delayed, but what we expect hasn’t changed, as I explained in November. On Twitter this past Friday (and you should be following @WageHourInsight, if you aren’t already), I highlighted an article that gives employers the first glimpse at what the Obama administration has planned.

Minimum Wage Hikes Hit 21 States

Raising the minimum wage was certainly a hot topic in 2014 (even more so than in 2013). The issue sparked employees in several industries across the country to organize high-profile protests, asserting that minimum wages are not sufficient and a raise in the wage floor is due. President Obama agreed that wages need to be raised, first by mentioning the issue in his 2014 State of the Union address and then subsequently issuing an executive order in February 2014, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers. Despite the rhetoric that has kept this issue at the top of many minds over the course of the year, Congress did not move to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 in 2014. However, with the 2016 election cycle beginning as early as Fall of 2015, it is anticipated that this issue will continue to be at the forefront of political discussion over the course of 2015.

Minimum Wage Hikes Hit 21 States

Raising the minimum wage was certainly a hot topic in 2014 (even more so than in 2013). The issue sparked employees in several industries across the country to organize high-profile protests, asserting that minimum wages are not sufficient and a raise in the wage floor is due. President Obama agreed that wages need to be raised, first by mentioning the issue in his 2014 State of the Union address and then subsequently issuing an executive order in February 2014, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers. Despite the rhetoric that has kept this issue at the top of many minds over the course of the year, Congress did not move to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 in 2014. However, with the 2016 election cycle beginning as early as Fall of 2015, it is anticipated that this issue will continue to be at the forefront of political discussion over the course of 2015.

The Minimum Wage in 2015: Looking Ahead to State Increases, Other Changes

With the election season behind us and 2015 fast approaching, employers need to start looking ahead to the new year when, traditionally, a host of new laws take effect. As we discussed after the election, 2014 was a busy year for wage and hour laws, and 2015 will be no different. Four states—Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota—voted to increase their minimum wages beginning as early as January 1, 2015. Those are not the only states that will see changes to the minimum wage in 2015, though.

Amended Minimum Wage Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Last week, the Senate Executive Committee recommended for adoption an amendment to Senate Bill 68, Senator Kimberly Lightford’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in Illinois. The amended bill could receive a vote from the full Senate as early as Tuesday, December 2.

Voter Actions Undercut Federal Push for $10.10 Minimum Wage

John Thompson’s article “Voter Actions Undercut Federal Push for $10.10 Minimum Wage” was featured on TLNT on November 11, 2014.

Minimum-Wage Initiatives Further Disfavor Nationwide Action

Earlier this week, several states and localities voted in favor of increasing their minimum-wage rates. Right on cue, many (including U.S. Labor Secretary Perez) seized upon these results as ostensibly supporting an increase in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's rate to $10.10.

Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule to Raise Minimum Wage for Certain Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor issued final regulations on October 1, 2014 to implement Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. President Obama signed the Executive Order on February 12, 2014. The Executive Order raises the hourly minimum wage that covered contractors pay to workers performing work on covered federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. Beginning January 1, 2016 and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Labor will determine the amount of the minimum wage on covered contracts. The Executive Order applies only to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015. Below are highlights of the final rule.

WHD Publishes Final Rule Increasing Federal Contractors’ Minimum Wage

On October 7, 2014, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule establishing standards and procedures to implement Executive Order 13658, entitled “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors.” 79 Fed. Reg. 60634. Executive Order 13658 increases the federal contractor minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.

It's Official: $10.10 Minimum Wage For Government Contractors

The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) published final regulations implementing President Obama’s Executive Order, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on government contracts. The new minimum wage will take effect January 1, 2015, and will be adjusted annually, as it is indexed to the consumer price index for urban wage earners. The new minimum wage will apply to some, but not all, employees working directly on covered federal contracts, and it will apply to many others who do not work on the contract but work “in connection” with it.

Higher Minimum Wage Coming For Government Contractors

Our partner Tom Rebel has prepared an overview of the U.S. Labor Department's final regulations "Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors" under Executive Order 13658.

WHD Publishes Final Rule Increasing Federal Contractors’ Minimum Wage

On October 7, 2014, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule establishing standards and procedures to implement Executive Order 13658, entitled “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors.” 79 Fed. Reg. 60634. Executive Order 13658 increases the federal contractor minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.

Department of Labor Sends Final $10.10 Minimum Wage Rule to OMB for Approval

Back in February, we told you about President Obama’s Executive Order 13658 increasing the minimum wage for federal contractor employees. Late last week, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) submitted its Final Rule implementing EO 13658 to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

Touted Developments Contradict Rationales For Minimum-Wage Increase (Updated 09 14 14)

A White House report has extoled wage-rate increases by "state legislatures and governors; mayors, county executives and city councils; and business leaders" as supposedly being compelling reasons to raise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. A flood of public statements by the U.S. Labor Department (in apparent contravention of Congress's 2014 appropriations limitation) and numerous media discussions have been to the same effect.

Department of Labor Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Implement Executive Order 13658

Executive Summary: On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658 raising the minimum wage for the employees of some federal contractors and subcontractors to $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and proposed regulations in the Federal Register related to the Executive Order. The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations on or before October 1, 2014. Comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking must be received on or before July 17, 2014.

Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Hike Imminent

Last week, the Secretary of Labor announced a new proposed rule raising the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 an hour. This implements Executive Order 13658 ("EO") that was announced in February and is another move in President Obama's commitment to increasing the minimum wage. According to the Department of Labor ("DOL") press release, "[t]he proposed rule provides guidance and sets standards for employers concerning coverage, including coverage of tipped employees and workers with disabilities. It also establishes an enforcement process familiar to most government contractors that will protect the right of workers to receive the new minimum wage. The proposed rule includes an economic analysis showing that nearly 200,000 workers will benefit from the increase."

Your Guide to the Minimum Wage for Contractors and the DOL’s New Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On February 12, 2014, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13658 (“Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors”), with instructions to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to issue regulations by October 1, 2014 implementing the requirements of the order. On June 17, 2014, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register, proposing the addition of a new Part 10 to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Comments to the NPRM are due by July 17, 2014.

Proposed Federal-Contractor "Minimum Wage" Regulations Released (Updated 06 17 14)

The U.S. Labor Department has released its proposed regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, President Obama's directive to raise the minimum-wage rate for workers on federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour (subject to annual increases after 2015). We wrote about this initiative earlier in the year; we will not repeat those discussions here.

Proposed Federal-Contractor "Minimum Wage" Regulations Released

The U.S. Labor Department has released its proposed regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, President Obama's directive to raise the minimum-wage rate for workers on federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour (subject to annual increases after 2015). We wrote about this initiative earlier in the year; we will not repeat those discussions here.

One Step Closer to a $10.10 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors: Proposed Rule Implements EO 13658

On June 12, 2014, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced a proposed rule raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour starting on January 1, 2015, for workers on federal service and construction contracts. The proposed rule implements Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors,” which President Barack Obama signed on February 12. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) news release, in announcing the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Secretary Perez was “[f]ulfilling President Obama’s commitment to make 2014 a year of action to strengthen the economy and build the middle class.”

Federal Minimum Wage Bill In The Forefront of This Year’s Election Agenda

A bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is about to take center stage in the U.S. Senate as this year’s election agenda continues to take shape. Specifically, the Senate will take a procedural vote to determine whether it will debate S. 2223, the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, which Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) just introduced on April 8, 2014, and which has some 37 co-sponsors. Bypassing the usual assignment to committee for study and debate, S. 2223 was placed on the Senate calendar when it was introduced instead of being referred to the HELP Committee. For the Senate to be able to debate S. 2223, it will have to break a filibuster led by Senate Republicans, which will require 60 votes. Senator Harkin has indicated that almost every Democratic Senator will vote to kill the filibuster, which would leave the Democratic majority five votes short of overcoming the filibuster. If enough Republican Senators break ranks and vote to end the filibuster, then the Senate will debate S. 2223 and a simple majority will be needed to pass it. Opponents to an increase in the minimum wage point to a recent Congressional Budget Office study stating that an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour will result in a loss of 500,000 jobs.

Federal Minimum Wage Bill In The Forefront of This Year’s Election Agenda

A bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is about to take center stage in the U.S. Senate as this year’s election agenda continues to take shape. Specifically, the Senate will take a procedural vote to determine whether it will debate S. 2223, the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, which Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) just introduced on April 8, 2014, and which has some 37 co-sponsors. Bypassing the usual assignment to committee for study and debate, S. 2223 was placed on the Senate calendar when it was introduced instead of being referred to the HELP Committee. For the Senate to be able to debate S. 2223, it will have to break a filibuster led by Senate Republicans, which will require 60 votes. Senator Harkin has indicated that almost every Democratic Senator will vote to kill the filibuster, which would leave the Democratic majority five votes short of overcoming the filibuster. If enough Republican Senators break ranks and vote to end the filibuster, then the Senate will debate S. 2223 and a simple majority will be needed to pass it. Opponents to an increase in the minimum wage point to a recent Congressional Budget Office study stating that an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour will result in a loss of 500,000 jobs.

A New Fad – Raising the Minimum Wage

A centerpiece of President Obama’s current legislative agenda is raising the federal minimum wage. While many doubt a bill raising the federal minimum wage will be passed by Congress, President Obama’s call for such legislation has spurred many states and municipalities to act. In Pennsylvania, two state senators, Daylin Leach and Mike Stack, just introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $12.00 and prohibit businesses from paying workers who receive tips an amount less than the state mandated minimum wage. Likewise, Connecticut recently joined this arena when Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill that incrementally raises the state’s minimum wage over the next three years. Under the legislation passed in Connecticut, the minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2015 from $8.70 to $9.15 and thereafter incrementally go up until 2017 when it will be set at $10.10. If no other state acts between now and 2017, Connecticut will surpass Washington as the state with the highest minimum wage (the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is set to increase in 2016 to $11.50). However, Maryland and Hawaii are both considering similar pieces of legislation meaning Connecticut likely will not be the last state to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 or higher.

The BLS Minimum-Wage "Report" Means . . . What, Exactly?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report entitled "Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013" which claims that approximately 1.8 million hourly-paid workers made less than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's $7.25-per-hour minimum wage last year. It also asserts that another 1.5 million hourly-paid workers earned exactly this minimum rate.

Hidden Costs Of Minimum Wage Increases

A one-sentence California State Assembly Bill, less than 50 words in total, was recently signed into law. The legislation, Assembly Bill 10, increases California’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $9 per hour, effective July 1. Effective July 1, 2016, it will rise again, to $10 per hour. The 2014 increase will be the first increase to California’s minimum wage since 2008 and the 26th time in the Golden State’s history. California has come a long way since 1916, when minimum wage was $0.16 per hour.

Legal Alert: President Obama Signs Executive Order Raising Minimum Wage for Service and Construction Contracts

Executive Summary: On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage for employees who work on procurement contracts for services or construction to $10.10 per hour.

President’s Executive Order Increases Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

On February 12, 2014, President Obama increased the minimum wage for federal contractors and subcontractors by an Executive Order to $10.10 per hour. This announcement comes on the heels of 13 states and four cities that also raised their own state and local minimum wages in 2014. Effective January 1, 2015, the federal contractors’ minimum wage will be the highest minimum wage in the country.

Legal Alert: President Obama Signs Executive Order Raising Minimum Wage for Service and Construction Contracts

Executive Summary: On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage for employees who work on procurement contracts for services or construction to $10.10 per hour.

President Signs Federal Contractor "Minimum Wage" Order (Updated 02 20 14)

The White House Press Office reports that President Obama has now signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum-wage rate for workers on federal contracts, as he announced he would do in his recent State of the Union speech. His intentions are clearer than they were, but the document is not a model of intelligibility or precision; significant ambiguities and questions remain.

President Signs Executive Order on Minimum Wage Increase

On Wednesday, February 12, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers. The president issued the Executive Order, in part, based upon the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. 101 et seq. The Executive Order goes into effect immediately and applies, once the necessary regulatory notices are issued, to new “covered contracts” where a solicitation is issued on or after January 1, 2015. As for contracts and contract-like instruments issued between the date of the issuance of the Executive Order and January 1, 2015, it encourages agencies to take legally permissible and reasonable actions to ensure that individuals working on those contracts are paid at least $10.10 per hour.

Obama Signs Executive Order Creating Higher Minimum Wage for Employees of Government Contractors

As he promised to do in his State of the Union address, President Obama today signed an Executive Order establishing a minimum wage for federal contractors.

Legal Alert: President Obama Plans to Sign Executive Order Raising Minimum Wage for Some Federal Contract Workers

Executive Summary: President Obama announced in his State of the Union address on January 28 that he plans to sign an Executive Order requiring that workers on new federal contracts be paid at least $10.10 per hour, well above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

President Obama Announces Executive Order Raising Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

In his fifth State of the Union speech, President Obama announced that he planned to issue an executive order raising the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, up from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and higher than the $9.00 per hour rate the president sought last year from Congress. The White House released a fact sheet explaining the background for the decision and outlining some economic and broad legal arguments in support of the administration’s authority. The order will be modeled after legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representative George Miller (D-California) who introduced the “Fair Minimum Wage Act” last year. The proposed law would increase the minimum wage for all employers to $10.10 in three 95-cent increments and index it for inflation, as well as boost the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers to 70 percent of the minimum, or $7.07 at the outset.

Federal Minimum Wage Stagnant but 13 States Raise Their Minimum Wages

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor made raising the federal minimum wage one of its priorities. The federal agency sought to create a discussion about the minimum wage through social media and town hall meetings across the country. In addition, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez regularly blogged about his trips and conversations with workers throughout the country and the impact that raising the minimum wage would have on average households. Yet despite the efforts of the Department of Labor and Secretary Perez, Congress did not raise the federal minimum wage in 2013. As a result, the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour in 2014.

The Complex Economics of America’s Minimum Wage

In his State of the Union address last February, President Barack Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour.

What Do Undocumented Workers, Al Capone, and the Jerusalem Cafe Have in Common?

The answer is “nothing really,” but the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals successfully searched Al Capone’s vault to unearth the comparison in its recent opinion in Lucas v. Jerusalem Cafe, LLC. When Capone claimed that he should not be legally required to pay taxes on money that he received illegally, that defense did not work for him. Nor did the employer’s defense in Jerusalem Cafe, essentially arguing that it should not have to pay minimum wages or overtime if it was illegal to employ the undocumented workers in the first place. And, you know when an opinion begins with a sentence describing how workers “toiled” for an employer and later refers to the employer’s version of events as a “fantastic story”—as this appellate opinion did—that the employees will prevail in the end.

You Never Heard Of The "Training Wage"?! (Updated 04/19/13)

Pressure continues to mount for raising the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage in three stages from the current $7.25 per hour to (so far) $10.10 per hour. Under pending proposals, the rate would thereafter be subject to annual increases linked to rises in the Consumer Price Index.

Why Isn't The FLSA Minimum Wage $33 An Hour?

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently asked during a Senate committee hearing why the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's $7.25-per-hour minimum wage has not already increased over time to the level of $22 an hour. A professor appearing at the hearing opined that a case could be made for a current rate of $33 an hour.

New Year, New Minimum Wage?

It’s almost New Year’s, and that means a spate of new laws will go into effect. Before January 1, make sure you are familiar with any new employment laws in your locality.

All-Out Campaign Underway To Raise FLSA's Minimum Wage

We have previously reported on legislation introduced earlier this year to increase the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage. In the last several days, supporters have commenced a coordinated and intensive public-relations effort to generate the necessary political pressure for the passage of such a measure. This has culminated in the filing of yet more bills in the Senate and House.

Push For Minimum-Wage Increase Intensifies

During the week, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) introduced a bill to raise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage to $10.00 per hour beginning 60 days after enactment. Beginning one year after the new minimum took effect, the rate would be subject to annual increases indexed to rises in the Consumer Price Index.

READ THIS If You're Hiring Minors This Summer!

Employers who will be hiring minors under 18 years old should review in advance the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's prohibitions and restrictions applying to those workers.

Substantial Pay Increases, Paid-Leave Requirement Proposed

If a 35% spike in the minimum wage, a $590-per-week increase in the salary amount required for exempt "white collar" workers, an immediate 41% rise in the cash wage required for tipped employees, and a new paid-time-off requirement are prescriptions for an economic upturn, then help might be on the way. All are provided for in the voluminous "Rebuild America Act", S. 2252 (link to reproduction of available version below), recently introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Are Homeless Hotspots Entitled To Minimum Wage?

If you are a fellow tech junkie, you may already have heard about the flap over a marketer's use of homeless people as Internet hotspots at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive technology conference in Austin, Texas.

Delayed Pacific Islands Minimum-Wage Increase: Why Should You Care?

President Obama's signature recently put the finishing touch on a delay of previously-scheduled increases in the minimum wage for American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Why should we care about this quiet action affecting these far-off places? Because it highlights the impact that boosting a minimum wage has in the longer term.

What Is The "Youth Minimum Wage"?

We've had inquiries recently about whether the federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to pay less than its $7.25-per-hour minimum wage to certain younger workers. While there is such an exception, it is limited in important ways.

Another Big Change in Minimum Wage Coming.

Effective on Thursday, July 24, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage rises again from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour. This is the second step of the three-stage increase that became law last year. On July 24, 2009, the rate will jump to $7.25 per hour.

A Good Time To Audit Your Payrolls [Dealership Update].

For years, most states which had minimum wage or overtime laws had minimum wages which were equal to or lower than the federal minimum wage. They also typically recognized the same exemptions from overtime as the federal law. This made it relatively easy for dealers to comply with the wage-hour laws: just do what the federal law required and everything will be fine.

New Federal Minimum Wage Takes Effect.

Don't forget that the federal minimum wage will increase from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour, effective tomorrow (July 24, 2007). The increase will have little impact on most employers, however, considering that more than half of the states and the District of Columbia have established minimum wage rates that exceed the new federal rate. Employers that are subject to the new federal minimum wage should ensure that their payroll records reflect the change and that the proper posters are in place.

New, Legally Required Minimum Wage Poster Available for Free.

On Tuesday, July 24, the first of three increases in the federal minimum wage will take effect.

New Federal Minimum Wage Takes Effect July 24, 2007 (pdf).

$5.85 wage rate takes effect in July.

Graduated Minimum Wage Increase Effective July 24, 2007 (pdf).

The first minimum wage increase under the Fair Labor Standards Act in ten years has been approved by Congress and the President and will take effect within the next 60 days. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 was passed as part of the Iraq appropriations bill and signed by the President on May 25, 2007.

New Minimum Wage Law Signed First Increase In Ten Years (pdf).

On Friday , May 25, President Bush signed new minimum-wage legislation which Congress passed a day earlier. The federal minimum wage (currently $5.15 per hour) will rise in three steps as follows: