DOL publishes minimum wage rule for contractors

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By Simon Brody

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Using it's authority to carry out executive power over labor and employment matters, the Department of Labor's has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register raising the minimum wage for workers on some federal contracts to $10.10 per hour. The proposed rule will implement Executive Order 13658, which was announced by the president on this past February. The issuance gives more information on requirements and possible penalties under the forthcoming regulation.

The proposed rule provides guidance and sets standards for contracting employers concerning coverage, including coverage of tipped employees and workers with disabilities. It also establishes an enforcement process under which the DOL Wage and Hour Division may investigate and prosecute alleged violations including the ability to file suit to recover unpaid wages. Debarment of violating contractors is also an available remedy under the proposed rule.

Executive Order 13658 applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result from solicitations issued on or after Jan. 1, 2015, and to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after Jan. 1, 2015.

The order applies to four major categories of contractual agreements: contracts for construction; service contracts under the Service Contract Act; concessions contracts; and contracts entered into by the federal government in connection with federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, their dependents or the general public.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov.

Comments must be received over the next several weeks following the rule's publication in the Federal Register. The DOL has indicated that it will review comments received and issue a final rule by Oct. 1.

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