The mainstream media is awash with stories and editorials about minimum wage laws.
Perhaps we’re nearing tipping point — both common folk and politicians are realizing that our arcane minimum wage loss rules need to be up-leveled. People who labor hard should get fair compensation, and wages should keep up with inflation, at a minimum.
Some very interesting noises on this subject have been coming out of the Department of Labor (DOL). On June 12, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division announced that it will go forward with something called a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (NPRM), designed to hike up the minimum wage for federally contracted employees to $10.10 per hour to comply with President Obama’s Executive Order 13653.
The rules and stipulations of EO 13653 are complicated, but here’s the gist of who’s covered, when, how, why and under what circumstances.
President Obama’s order will apply for expiring and replacement contracts closed as the result of “solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015.” Several agreements will need to comply with this new $10.10 minimum wage:
1. The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) — procurement contracts for construction.
2. Service Contract Act (SCA) — service contracts.
3. Some concessions contracts — for instance, certain contracts that provide services to federal employees or their families.
Obviously, whenever a complex executive order comes down, a complex soup of exemptions and exclusions will create some chaos and confusion. For instance, contracts that must adhere to the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act will not be covered by Obama’s new executive order.
So who WILL be covered?
In general Obama’s Executive Order 13653 applies to workers who:
• Are entitled to the minimum wage per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
• Employees who, per the SCA, are allowed prevailing wages
• Mechanics and other workers (and their apprentices) who per the DBA, are allowed to collect prevailing wages.
Do you have questions about your minimum wage rights per EO 13653? If so, or if you need help with wage and hour issues, sexual harassment or discrimination, or retaliation, call Joseph & Kirschenbaum at (212) 688-5640 or email us at info@jhllp for a free consultation.