STATEMENT: President Biden’s Executive Order Raising the Minimum Wage and Expanding Paid Leave Will Improve the Lives of U.S. Working Families

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Joe Biden took action to put federal agencies on a path toward raising the minimum wage for federal employees and contract workers to $15 dollars per hour, providing them with emergency paid leave, and restoring essential collective bargaining rights and protections to federal employees. The order builds on previous actions taken by the Obama administration that created a wage floor and provided paid sick leave to federal contract workers and extended the protections to Americans with disabilities working on contracts awarded through the federal AbilityOne program. Following the signing of the order, Karla Walter, senior director of Employment Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The government should be a model employer. By taking the first step toward raising the minimum wage for federal workers to $15 per hour, President Biden will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of American workers. This order will also help close pay disparities for women and Black and Latino workers, who are more likely to be employed in government and the low-wage industries that our government contracts out, such as nursing care, building, and administrative services. President Biden’s action is a critical first step in delivering on his campaign commitments to raise wages for workers broadly and ensure that federal spending creates good jobs in the United States.

Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at CAP, added:

President Biden is also continuing to deliver on his promise to ensure federal workers have access to emergency paid leave, a critical workplace benefit to protect the health and economic security of workers and their families. Emergency paid leave has been proven to reduce the spread of coronavirus infections, allowing workers to stay home if they are sick, have been exposed to the virus, or are caring for an ill family member. With today’s order, millions more workers will soon have these important paid leave protections.

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