Biden’s power to set contractors’ pay raises goes to Texas court

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The Biden administration has the power to raise salaries for federal contractors, which will mean increased incomes and equality for those who do business with the government, a coalition of unions and advocacy groups has said. civil rights in federal court in Texas.

The Texas-led AFL-CIO coalition, which includes the National Employment Law Project, the Communications Workers of America, and the Economic Policy Institute, filed a friend-of-court brief on Monday asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to grant the government motion to dismiss. The Justice Department has asked federal court to launch a challenge from Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, which filed suit to block an executive order by President Joe Biden.

The order requires federal contractors to raise their minimum wage to $15. States said in the lawsuit filed in February that Biden’s directive is unlawful and shows “apparent little regard for the widespread havoc on the economy that will result.”

The arguments point to raising the minimum wage as industries across the country face labor shortages and multiple challenges to the executive order are pending in court, drawing lines on whether the increase will hurt or help the economy. About a fifth to a quarter of businesses in the United States receive federal government contracts, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.is Google, and General Motors Co.

In their brief, the coalition said President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump had issued wage orders and that it was within the president’s authority to raise wages for companies that do business with the government.

The groups wrote that it “aligns with decades of executive action taken to ‘promote economy and efficiency,’ which is required under the Public Procurement Act which gives presidents the power to issue ordinances. They argued that states disagreed with policy choices to set a higher minimum wage.

The Department of Labor argued that raising the minimum wage for federal contractors will increase employee productivity and reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. At least 327,000 contract workers fall under the new wage hike.

State prosecutions

The lawsuit follows another ongoing Republican-led challenge to an attempt to raise workers’ wages filed by Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina. The states allege the executive order was an attempt to circumvent Congress. A civil rights group has also asked the court to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Another group in the case of Arizona, however, sided with the states. Led by the Pacific Legal Foundation, the group argued that the pay rise is beyond the power of the executive to make major policy decisions.

They said the economic stakes are high and that “the wage rule will hurt both companies and their employees, as it is a brutal effort to impose economic policy that harms the various entities it affects. “.

Cases are Texas v. Biden, SD Tex., No. 6:22-cv-00004, amicus filed and Arizona v. Walsh, D. Ariz., No. 2:22-cv-00213.

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