President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday mandating that all federal contractors be paid a minimum wage of $15. The new minimum is expected to take effect next year, upping the wages of more than 100,000 workers.

Biden’s order increased the current minimum wage of $10.95 which was ordered by former President Barack Obama in 2014. Biden’s order, as well at Obama’s, requires the minimum wage to rise with inflation. Biden’s order will increase the wages of tipped workers like shuttle bus drivers and seasonal recreational services workers, which were left out of Obama’s original order.

Biden hoped to increase the general federal minimum wage to $15 as a provision of the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 stimulus, but the amendment was shot down by the Senate Parliamentarian. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not increased since 2007.

“Change is possible. We urge Congress to follow President Biden’s courageous leadership and make sure all workers – not just federally contracted workers – are given the same opportunity to thrive by passing the Raise the Wage Act,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, a nonprofit organization advocating fair wages for tipped workers.


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