Biden Increases Minimum Wage

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Here’s what happened…

On Friday, Federal agencies implemented President Biden’s $15 an hour minimum wage.

Federal agencies were directed through an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) memo that provided guidance on adjusting the pay rates for employees to the new $15 an hour minimum.

The rule which was first announced by the Labor Department in November and will come into full effect on January 30, was referred to by the OPM as the “general policy.”

According to the OPM, the new rules put in place by the Biden-Harris administration will affect 70,000 workers, the majority being in the Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In the memo, the OPM revealed that it had established a working group tasked with developing recommendations on the $15 minimum wage rule but in the process discovered “the vast majority” of 2.2 million federal workers were already earning $15 per hour.

Despite this, Biden signed an executive order in April 2020, increasing the $10.95 minimum hourly wage to $15 an hour, which will apply to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and cover workers involved in covered federal contracts.

In a statement in April, Biden stated that increasing the minimum wage will enhance “worker productivity and generates higher-quality work by boosting workers’ health, morale, and effort,” adding that the move would reduce “absenteeism and turnover… lowering supervisory and training costs.”

This move comes as Democrats and organized labor continue to push for all American workers’ minimum wage to increase from the $7.25 an hour national minimum wage. But would require action from Congress, which has not been possible.