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Government contractors get a new minimum wage this year

You may not have heard, but government contractors got a raise this year. In February of 2014, the Obama Administration issued Executive Order 13658 which directed the Department of Labor to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors. Mostly it was to assist contractors who work in construction and service, two industries with typically low pay scales.

The purpose of the law is to increase the efficiency of federal contractors by lowering turnover rates and raising morale. People that work for low wages typically have a lower morale, which probably impacts productivity. This Executive Order, hopefully, will dispel some of that emotional morass and make the government run more efficiently.

The Department of Labor spent most of 2014 and 2015 studying the wage hike and accepting comments from the public. The rule, as it stands now, was officially published September 16, 2015.

The final rules promulgated by the Department of Labor took effect January 1st of this year and raised the minimum wage to $10.15. This raised the wage for worker's performing work on or in connection with "covered contracts." Generally, this means workers who are performing construction and services for the federal government such as on military bases or in government buildings. If you are a federal contractor, then you may want to speak to your employer about whether or not this new law affects you. 

If you are a federal contractor, and this includes people who work on military bases, and your boss didn't raise your minimum wage, then you may have a claim. If you are in this situation or one similar, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. This is a relatively new law so it could be a matter of miscommunication by your manager and all she or he will need is a reminder. Regardless, this is your new wage and you are entitled to it.

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