The minimum wage provision for federal employees, contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act, has been $7.25/hour since July 24, 2009. Under Executive Order 13658, federal contractors must pay a minimum wage rate of $10.95/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021. However, Executive Order 14026, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” signed by President Biden on April 27, 2021, will require payment of a $15 hourly minimum wage to federally contracted workers starting Jan. 30, 2022. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued the final rule to establish standards and procedures to implement and enforce the executive order. Highlights include an increased $15 minimum hourly wage for workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts beginning Jan. 30, 2022 for new contracts; indexation of the federal contract minimum wage in future years to an inflation measure; elimination of the tipped minimum wage for federal contract workers by 2024; a $15 minimum wage for workers with disabilities performing work on or in connection with covered contracts; and restoration of minimum wage protections to outfitters and guides operating on federal lands. Proposed rules had been issued for comment in July.
The president also supports a broader minimum wage increase to $15/hour — as announced in the Jan. 22, 2021, executive order and during his presidential campaign. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 introduced by House and Senate Democrats on Jan. 26, 2021, would increase the minimum wage rate to $9.50/hour in 2021, and would progressively increase the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025. It would be indexed to median wage growth thereafter. The legislation would also gradually phase out subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers and workers with disabilities.
- Minimum wage information (Department of Labor — Wage and Hour Division)
- Executive Order 13658, establishing a minimum wage for contractors: Annual update (Department of Labor — Wage and Hour Division)
- Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (House Education and Labor Committee)
- Raise the wage fact sheet (House Education and Labor Committee)
- The Biden plan for strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining and unions (Joebiden.com)
- Fight for $15 campaign (Fightfor15.org)
- DOL publishes final rule implementing President Biden’s $15 federal contractor minimum wage Executive Order 14026 (Jackson Lewis, 23 Nov 2021)
- Increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors (Federal Register, Nov. 24, 2021)
- $15 minimum wage for federal contractors will take effect Jan. 30, 2021 (New York Times, Nov. 22, 2021)
- Final rule: Increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors (Executive Order 14026) (Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Nov. 22, 2021)
- It’s been 12 years since the last federal minimum wage increase. Where efforts to raise the pay rate stand (CNBC, Jul. 16, 2021)
- The battle for a $15 minimum wage is already won (Employee Benefit News, May 21, 2021)
- Paying the minimum: Adjusting for a change in the United States federal minimum wage (Mercer, April 2021)
- Fact sheet: Biden-Harris administration issues an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $15 for federal contractors (White House, April 27, 2021)
- Executive order on increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors (White House, April 27, 2021)
- OECD backs Biden minimum wage hike, says it would boost pandemic recovery (The Hill, April 14, 2021)
- Advantages and disadvantages of raising federal minimum wage to $15 (The National Law Review, March 31, 2021)
- Democrats left scrambling on a $15 minimum wage now that it appears left out of COVID-19 stimulus bill (USA Today, March 2, 2021)
- Senate democrats to drop minimum wage plan in $1.9 trillion stimulus bill (CNBC, March 1, 2021)
- The budgetary effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (Congressional Budget Office, February 2021)
- Minimum wage increase booted from stimulus package (Ogletree Deakins, Feb. 26, 2021)
- House passes $1.9 trillion stimulus as Democrats work to salvage wage raise (New York Times, Feb. 26, 2021)
- Proposed federal minimum wage raise and its effects on retailers (Hunton Andrews Kurth, Feb. 22, 2021)
- What Walmart raises mean for President Biden’s $15 minimum-wage plan (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 2021)
- Biden privately tells governors: Minimum wage hike likely isn’t happening (Politico, Feb. 18, 2021)
- Biden indicates he’s open to negotiation on $15 minimum wage (Washington Post, Feb. 17, 2021)
- Biden continues to push $15 federal minimum wage (CNN, Feb. 17, 2021)
- US Department of Labor ends program that allowed employers to self-report federal minimum wage and overtime violations (Department of Labor, Jan. 29, 2021)
- Top Democrats introduce bill raising minimum wage to $15 by 2025 (House Education and Labor Committee, Jan. 26, 2021)
- Why the US needs a $15 minimum wage (Economic Policy Institute, Jan. 26, 2021)
- Top Democrats introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, raising pay for 32 million Americans (Business Insider, Jan. 26, 2021)
- National Restaurant Association statement on the introduction of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (National Restaurant Association, Jan. 26, 2021)
- Executive Order on protecting the federal workforce (White House, Jan. 22, 2021)
- Business to Biden: Prepare for a fight over tax and minimum wage (Financial Times, Jan. 20, 2021)
- Biden to call for raising federal minimum wage to $15 an hour (National Public Radio, Jan. 15, 2021)
- Biden risks delayed relief plan with fight over minimum wage (Bloomberg, Jan. 15, 2021)
- Biden: It’s ‘long past time to raise the minimum wage’ to at least $15 an hour: Here’s where things stand (Grow, Jan. 13, 2021)
- The federal government contract minimum wage increase is in effect (Peckar & Abramson, Jan. 8, 2021)
- Minimum wage could be Biden’s bipartisan breakthrough (The Hill, Jan. 3, 2021)
- Joe Biden wants a $15 minimum wage — here’s what’s standing in his way (Market Watch, Nov. 18, 2020)
Currently, 30 states and the Washington, DC have set their minimum wage higher than the federal level of $7.25/hour, and there is a trend to move towards a $15/hour minimum wage rate for most employees.
- State minimum wage rates (includes some city/county information) (Labor Law Center)
- Minimum wage by state and 2022 increases (Paycor, Nov. 29, 2021)
- How many states have a $15 minimum wage? (GovDocs, Sept. 21, 2021)
- Report: $15 hourly wage isn’t livable anywhere in the US (US News, Aug. 6, 2021)
- 24 US states will see a minimum wage increase in 2021 (US News, Aug. 2, 2021)
- State minimum wage laws: Includes the current wage rates for all states, and also a map and table indicating which states have rates higher than the federal rate of $7.25 per/hour. (Wage and Hour Division, updated July 1, 2021)
- Minimum wage increases for July 1: What you need to know (ADP, June 14, 2021)
- A state of the states on the $15 minimum wage (Minimumwage.com, June 4, 2021)
- Minimum wage tracker (The Economic Policy Institute, May 17, 2021)
- State minimum wages (National Conference of State Legislatures, April 20, 2021)
- Small businesses get a boost from a $15 minimum wage (Center for American Progress, Feb. 25, 2021)
- Minimum wage set to rise in 20 states, 32 localities as growing number adopt $15 an hour (USA Today, Dec. 31, 2020)
- 2021 state minimum wage increases (Ogletree Deakins, Dec. 22, 2020)
- State minimum wage increases for 2021 (map) (HR Daily Advisor, Dec. 10, 2020)
- Inventory of US city and county minimum wage ordinances (UC Berkeley Labor Center, Nov. 13, 2020)
States that have committed to a $15/hour minimum wage rate
Currently, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, DC have committed to increase the general minimum wage rate to $15/hour.
California’s minimum wage for employers with 25 or more employees is $14/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021 — it will be $15/hour as of Jan. 1, 2022. The increase for smaller employers is delayed by one year —$13/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021, $14/hour as of Jan. 1, 2022, and $15/hour as of Jan. 1, 2023.
Connecticut’s minimum wage rate increased to $12/hour as of Sept. 1, 2020, and it will progressively increase to $15/hour by June 1, 2023.
Delaware’s minimum wage is currently $9.25/hour and will increase as follows: $10.50/hour on Jan. 1, 2022; $11.75/hour on Jan. 1, 2023; $13.25/hour on Jan. 1, 2024 and $15/hour on Jan. 1, 2025.
Florida’s minimum wage rate of $8.56/hour will increase to $10/hour as of Sept. 30, 2021 — and then progressively increase to $15/hour by 2026.
Illinois’ minimum wage rate is $11/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021 — it will progressively increase to $15/hour on Jan. 1, 2025.
Maryland’s minimum wage rate for employers with 15 or more employees is $11.75/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021, and it will progressively increase to $15/hour by Jan. 1, 2025. The minimum wage rate for smaller employers is $11.60/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021, and it will progressively increase to $15/hour by July 1, 2026.
Massachusetts’ minimum wage is $13.50/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021 and will progressively increase to $15/hour by Jan. 1, 2023.
New Jersey’s minimum wage rate is $12/hour as of Jan. 1, 2021 and will progressively increase to $15/hour by Jan. 1, 2024.
New York’s minimum wage rate is $15/hour in New York City, $14/hour in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) and in Westchester county, and $12.50/hour in the remainder of the state by Dec. 31, 2020. The state plans to reach a $15/hour minimum wage rate statewide. The Commissioner of Labor will publish the annual increases on or before October 1, 2021.
Rhode Island’s minimum wage will rise to $12.25 as of Jan. 1, 2022 and will progressively increase to $15 by Jan. 1, 2025.
The District of Columbia’s minimum wage rate is $15/hour as of July 1, 2020.
Information from other states/cities on push for $15 minimum wage
Voters in the city of Tucson will consider a ballot measure on Nov. 2 that would establish a minimum wage in the city of $15 by Jan. 1, 2025. Under the proposal, the hourly wage would first rise to $13 on April 1, 2022; $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2023; and 14.25 on Jan. 1, 2024. Currently, the hourly minimum wage is $12.15.
Minimum wage increases to $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2025 and $15 on Jan. 1, 2026 is contingent on the General Assembly’s reenactment by July 1, 2024.
Company support for minimum wage increases
- Why Amazon supports a $15 minimum wage (Amazon)
- Walgreens latest to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour (Forbes, Aug. 31, 2021)
- $15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs (Click Orlando, July 27, 2021)
- Costco, Amazon and 16 other companies that raised their minimum wage to $15 (or more) (GO Banking rates, July 23, 2021)
- These 8 companies are increasing wages to attract more employees (The Ascent, July 3, 2021)
- Bank of America, Amazon, McDonald’s and the state of Connecticut are raising the minimum wage and offering bonuses to entice workers to accept jobs (Forbes, May 19, 2021)
- Under Armour increases its minimum pay rate to $15 per hour (Under Armour, May 19, 2021)
- Under Armour is raising its hourly minimum wage to $15 in the US in a bid to attract workers (Insider, May 19, 2021)
- Bank of America increases US minimum hourly wage to $25 by 2021 (requires all its US vendors to pay $15 per hour or more) (Bank of America, May 18, 2021)
- McDonald’s raises minimum pay at corporate-owned stores across the US, as the battle for workers heats up (Insider, May 13, 2021)
- Chipotle increases wages resulting in $15 per hour average wage and provides path to six figure compensation in approximately 3 years (Chipotle, May 10, 2021)
- Chipotle, looking to attract workers, will raise its average wage to $15 an hour (The New York Times, May 10, 2021)
- Costco increases its minimum wage to $16 an hour — there is an alarming downside that needs to be discussed (Forbes, Feb. 26, 2021)
- Best Buy provides updates on evolution of employee pay and sales performance: Increasing starting hourly wage to $15 on Aug. 2 (July 21, 2020)
- Target increases starting wage to $15; thanks frontline team members with recognition bonus (Target, June 17, 2020)
- Wells Fargo to raise minimum hourly pay levels in a majority of its US markets (Wells Fargo, March 4, 2020)