Employers With Federal Contracts Must Follow New Executive Orders On Increased Minimum Wage And Anti-discrimination
President Obama announced two executive orders which will have a significant impact on any employer who is a federal contractor. The first, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015, raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. The current federal minimum wage for all other employers is $7.25, unless the applicable state minimum wage is higher (the minimum set by individual states varies, with Illinois currently at $8.25 and the District of Columbia, the country’s highest, currently at $9.50).
As of the date of this publication, the second executive order which impacts federal contractors and their employees has not yet been finalized, but is expected to prohibit discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, 21 states, including Illinois, have their own laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but no such law exists at the federal level.