Authored by Alex Passantino

‘Twas the week before Christmas, 2-0-1-5
When the poetry elves on the blog came alive.
Crafting their rhymes with a purpose so clear:
Presenting the wage-hour gems of the year.

In January, for new regs in this year our breath bated.
Then for six painful months, we speculated and waited.
And just as we geared up to celebrate Independence,
Out came a proposal that will create more defendants.

With a salary level that for 10 years has been flat,
They looked at New York’s and said “higher than that.”
More than double the old; and then they got clever …
The proposed sal’ry level will increase for forever.

Anticipated changes to duties caused quite a fuss
When DOL said “If you’ve got some ideas, just tell us.”
Of the Department’s proposal, employers were understandably wary,
So we wrote down some ideas on how to make it less scary.

Nearly 300 thousand comments they have to review,
It will be late into next year before they are through.

Next up on the list of your wage-hour joy,
Are the efforts to change what it means to employ:
ContractorsJoint employment. Fissured industry.
Interns. The “third way” and gig economy.

Economic realityRight to control.
They’re integral to your business? Now you’re in a deep hole.
So many angles, it can drive you berserk.
As agencies and courts figure out what is “work.”

And if divergent decisions bring you a sense of elation,
Then please focus attention on class certification.
Approvals, denials, and some decerts, too.
No matter the side, there’s a case for you.

But as summer approached, there arose quite a stir,
A case that’d explain what the class cert rules were.
A Supreme explanation, o my-o, o me-o
We’d learn about class via Bouaphakeo.

They’ve argued, but there’s no decision, not yet,
And a limited ruling on records might be all that we get.
But the cases keep coming. Their numbers broke the charts.
Whether giant class actions or cases broken in parts.

And the response to those filings? The employers’ retort?
A wide range of ways to get them out of court.

Some cases get mooted. Some cases do not.
At Genesis’s open question, SCOTUS might take a shot.
Does an offer of judgment that’s not been accepted
Mean the plaintiff cannot proceed with his class as expected?

Increasingly used as a litigation life saver
Arbitration agreements with a class action waiver;
And when asked if state laws could class waivers prevent, yo,
The Supremes laid the smack-down to dear Sacramento.

With all of these options, it comes as a surprise then,
That one resolution keeps on getting the Heisman.
For reasons that many cannot understand,
To settle wage claims courts think they must hold your hand.

That’s our year in review, we whipped you right through it.
Next year? The new regs and a mad dash to review it.
But before 2015 joins the past’s ranks,
You keep on reading our blog, and for that we give thanks!

THANKS TO ALL OF OUR READERS. BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

Authored by Alex Passantino

As we noted previously, on October 7, 2014, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) issued a Final Rule implementing a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractor employees pursuant to Executive Order 13658.

Executive Order 13658 generally requires that the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing “on or in connection with” covered contracts with the Federal Government shall be at least $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015, and an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor, beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter.

A number of the key provisions are discussed in detail below.  Highlights include:

  • The minimum wage applies to contracts that results from a solicitation issued on or after or awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.
  • The minimum wage applies to four general categories of contracts:  Davis-Bacon construction; Service Contract Act contracts; concession contracts; and certain contracts in connection with Federal property or lands.
  • Subcontracts should be analyzed in the same way as the prime contract, except that the dollar thresholds for coverage of the prime contract do not apply to subcontracts.
  • Workers performing on or in connection with covered Federal contracts are generally entitled to receive the minimum wage for all time spent performing on or in connection with covered Federal contracts.
  • Workers who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity and exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements are not entitled to receive the Executive Order minimum wage.
  • Workers performing “in connection with” covered contracts are also excluded from coverage of the Executive Order if they spend less than 20% of their work hours in a particular workweek performing in connection with covered contracts.

When Does the Minimum Wage Obligation Begin?

The Executive Order minimum wage requirement applies to a “new contract,” which is defined as a contract that results from a solicitation issued on or after January 1, 2015, or a contract that is awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.

It includes both new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts, but does not apply to the unilateral exercise of a pre-negotiated option to renew an existing contract by the Federal Government.  A contract that is entered into prior to January 1, 2015, will constitute a new contract if, through bilateral negotiation, on or after January 1, 2015:  (1) the contract is renewed; (2) the contract is extended, unless the extension is made pursuant to a term in the contract as of December 31, 2014 providing for a short-term limited extension; or (3) the contract is amended pursuant to a modification that is outside the scope of the contract.

What Categories of Contracts Are Covered?

Executive Order 13658 applies to four categories of contractual agreements:

  • procurement contracts for construction covered by the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA), except for those DBA-covered contracts with the District of Columbia;
  • service contracts covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA), except for those SCA-covered contracts with the District of Columbia;
  • concessions contracts, including any concessions contract excluded from the SCA by the Department of Labor’s regulations at 29 CFR 4.133(b); and
  • contracts in connection with Federal property or lands and related to offering services for Federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

Procurement Contracts for Construction

Under the Final Rule, any contract covered by the DBA and its implementing regulations is subject to the Executive Order minimum wage requirement.  This includes contracts in excess of $2,000 to which the Federal Government is a party, for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings and public works of the Federal Government and which require or involve the employment of mechanics or laborers.

The Executive Order does not apply, however, to contracts that are subject only to the Davis-Bacon Related Acts, such as the National Housing Act, the Housing Act of 1950, the Housing Act of 1959, the Federal-Aid Highway Acts, the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, and other grant, loan, and assistance programs.

Service Contracts

Both procurement and non-procurement contracts (in excess of $2,500) that are subject to the SCA and its implementing regulations are subject to the Executive Order minimum wage requirement.  With the exception of concession contracts, discussed below, contracts that are exempted or excluded from SCA coverage—such as a contract for professional services performed essentially by bona fide professional employees, with the use of service employees being only a minor factor in contract performance—would likewise be excluded from the Executive Order minimum wage requirement.

Contracts for Concessions

The Final Rule defines the term concessions contract to mean a contract under which the Federal Government grants a right to use Federal property, including land or facilities, for furnishing services. The term concessions contract includes, but is not limited to, a contract whose principal purpose is to furnish food, lodging, automobile fuel, souvenirs, newspaper stands, and/or recreational equipment, regardless of whether the services are of direct benefit to the Government, its personnel, or the general public. The Executive Order covers all concession contracts with the Federal Government, including those excluded from SCA coverage by regulations, such as concession contracts with the Federal Government to operate souvenir shops or to provide food or lodging in national parks.

Contracts in Connection with Federal Property or Lands and Related to Offering Services for Federal Employees, Their Dependents, or the General Public

This category generally includes leases of Federal property, including space and facilities, and licenses to use such property entered into by the Federal Government for the purpose of offering services to the Federal Government, its personnel, or the general public. This category would include a private fast food or casual dining restaurant that rents space in a Federal building and serves food to the general public, as well as delegated leases of space in a Federal building from an agency to a contractor whereby the contractor operates a child care center, credit union, gift shop, barber shop, or fitness center in the Federal agency building to serve Federal employees and/or the general public.

Contracts Not Subject to the Executive Order Minimum Wage Requirement

Exclusions from coverage include: (1) grants; (2) contracts and agreements with and grants to Indian Tribes under Public Law 93-638, as amended; (3) any procurement contracts for construction that are not subject to the DBA (i.e., procurement contracts for construction under $2,000); and (4) any contracts for services, except for those otherwise expressly covered by the final rule, that are exempted from coverage under the SCA or its implementing regulations. In addition, the Executive Order does not apply to contracts for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles, or equipment to the Federal Government, i.e., those subject to the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act.

Subcontracts

Covered subcontracts of covered prime contracts are subject to the requirements of the Executive Order.  In order for the requirements of the Order to apply to a subcontract, the subcontract must:  (1) qualify as a contract or contract-like instrument under the definition in the regulations; and (2) fall within one of the four specifically enumerated types of contracts.  In addition, the wages of workers under the contract must be governed by the DBA, SCA, or FLSA.  Notably, however, the dollar thresholds for coverage of the prime contract do not apply to subcontracts.

As a result, subcontracts for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles, or equipment between a manufacturer or other supplier and a covered contractor for use on a covered Federal contract (e.g., a contract to supply napkins and utensils to a fast food restaurant franchise on a military base) is not a covered subcontract.

Who Is Entitled to the Executive Order Minimum Wage?

Workers performing on or in connection with covered Federal contracts whose wages are governed by the FLSA, the SCA, or the DBA are generally entitled to receive the Executive Order minimum wage for all time spent performing on or in connection with covered Federal contracts.  Workers performing “on” covered contracts are those workers directly performing the specific services or construction called for by the contract’s terms.  Workers performing “in connection with” covered contracts are those workers performing other duties necessary to the performance of the contract.

There are, however, some limited exclusions from coverage for certain workers. For example, workers who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity and exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements are not entitled to receive the Executive Order minimum wage.  Moreover, workers performing “in connection with” covered contracts are also excluded from coverage of the Executive Order if they spend less than 20% of their work hours in a particular workweek performing in connection with covered contracts.

What Requirements Apply to Tipped Employees?

The Final Rule uses the FLSA’s tipped employee standards, but does so with the higher hourly rates required by the Executive Order.  Thus, the minimum cash wage (which is $2.13 under the FLSA) is $4.90 an hour beginning on January 1, 2015.  It will increase by the lesser of $0.95 per hour or the amount necessary to raise the hourly amount of 70% of applicable Executive Order minimum wage.

What Are a Contractor’s Obligations?

As is the case with the labor standards clauses under the SCA and DBA, contractors and subcontractors must include the Executive Order contract clause in any covered lower-tiered subcontracts.  They must notify all workers performing on or in connection with a covered contract of the applicable minimum wage rate under the Executive Order.

In addition, contractors and subcontractors must pay covered workers the Executive Order minimum wage for all hours worked on or in connection with covered contracts.  In situations where contractors are not exclusively engaged in contract work covered by the Executive Order, and there are adequate records segregating the periods in which work was performed on covered contracts subject to the Order from periods in which other work was performed, the Executive Order minimum wage does not apply to hours spent on work not covered by the Order.  Thus, contractors need to keep adequate records segregating time spent on covered work from non-covered work.  This is particularly important where the contractor is attempting to exclude from coverage a worker performing “in connection with” covered contracts because she spends less than 20% of her work hours in a particular workweek performing in connection with covered contracts.

The rule requires payments to be made no later than one pay period following the end of the regular pay period in which such wages were earned or accrued.  The pay period may not be of any duration longer than semi-monthly.  State, local, and other federal (e.g., DBA) pay frequency obligations must nevertheless be met.

Finally, the final rule prohibits the taking of kickbacks from wages paid to workers on covered contracts as well as retaliation against any worker for exercising his or her rights under the Executive Order or the implementing regulations.

Other Issues

The “Federal Government” includes nonappropriated fund instrumentalities under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces or of other Federal agencies, but does not include the District of Columbia, any Territory or possession of the United States, or any independent regulatory agency.

Where there is a covered contract not subject to the FAR, the contracting agency shall include the Executive Order minimum wage contract clause established by WHD in all covered contracts and solicitations for such contracts.  For procurement contracts subject to the FAR, contracting agencies must use the clause set forth in the FAR developed to implement this rule.

Where it is discovered or determined, whether before or subsequent to a contract award, that a contracting agency made an erroneous determination that Executive Order 13658 did not apply to a particular contract and/or failed to include the applicable contract clause, the contracting agency, on its own initiative or within 15 calendar days of notification by an authorized representative of the Department of Labor, shall incorporate the contract clause in the contract retroactive to commencement of performance under the contract through the exercise of any and all authority that may be needed (including, where necessary, its authority to negotiate or amend, its authority to pay any necessary additional costs, and its authority under any contract provision authorizing changes, cancellation and termination).

Complaints may be filed with the WHD by any person or entity that believes a violation of the Executive Order or its implementing regulations has occurred. The final rule contains a mechanism for WHD investigations and informal complaint resolution, as appropriate; it also specifies remedies and sanctions for violations of the Executive Order and its implementing regulations, including the payment of back wages and debarment. The Department’s final rule also includes an administrative process, including administrative hearings, to resolve disputes of fact or law.

Authored by Alex Passantino

Earlier today, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) announced that it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractor employees pursuant to Executive Order 13658.  Comments to the NPRM will be due 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

Last month, we noted that DOL had submitted its proposed rule to White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Although, as of this morning, OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ website indicates that it is still reviewing the rule, the Department has established a website containing information about the rulemaking, including the text of the proposed rule.

The text of the proposed rule provides answers to some of the questions that contractors have had since the Executive Order (E.O.) was issued.  Highlights of the NPRM include:

  • Employees who work in “support” of the contract, but who would not be subject to the SCA or the DBA, may be covered by minimum wage requirements of the E.O.
  • Application to subcontracts and subcontractors when a prime contract is subject to the E.O.
  • Coverage of private entities that lease space in a Federal building to provide services to Federal employees or the general public.
  • Application of the E.O. to nonappropriated fund instrumentalities under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces (e.g., the Army and Air Force Exchange Service) or of other Federal agencies, including concession contracts with those instrumentalities.

Contracts/Agencies/Contractors Covered

  • The E.O. applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the Federal Government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015 or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.
    • The “Federal Government” includes nonappropriated fund instrumentalities under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces or of other Federal agencies, but does not include the District of Columbia or any Territory or possession of the United States.
    • “Truly automatic” renewals of contracts or exercises of options devoid of any bilateral negotiations will fall outside the scope of the E.O.
      • According the NPRM, when a contracting agency exercises its unilateral right to extend the term of an existing service contract and simply makes pricing adjustments based on increased labor costs that result from its obligation to include a current SCA wage determination, but no bilateral negotiations occur (other than any necessary to determine and effectuate those pricing adjustments), the Department would not view the exercise of that option as a “new contract” covered by the E.O.
    • Any renewals or extensions of contracts resulting from bilateral negotiations involving contractual modifications other than administrative changes, however, would be “new contracts” subject to the E.O. if they are awarded on or after January 1, 2015, even if such negotiations occur during option periods.
  • The NPRM defines the term “contract” as “all contracts and any subcontracts of any tier thereunder, whether negotiated or advertised, including any procurement actions, lease agreements, cooperative agreements, provider agreements, intergovernmental service agreements, service agreements, licenses, permits, or any other type of agreement, regardless of nomenclature, type, or particular form, and whether entered into verbally or in writing.”
  • When a contract is subject to the E.O., then the prime contractor and all of its first or lower-tier subcontractors will be subject to the E.O.

Contractual Arrangements Covered

  • In general, there are four major categories of contractual agreements that will be subject to the minimum wage requirement:
    • procurement contracts for construction covered by the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA).  It does not apply to contracts that are subject only to the Davis-Bacon Related Acts (such as Federal Highway Administration grants for road reconstruction or Housing and Urban Development-funded construction by local housing authorities).
    • service contracts covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA).
    • concessions contracts, including any concessions contract excluded from the SCA by the Department of Labor’s regulations at 29 CFR 4.133(b).  Thus, “concessions contract” includes, but is not limited to, a contract whose principal purpose is to furnish food, lodging, automobile fuel, souvenirs, newspaper stands, and/or recreational equipment, regardless of whether the services are of direct benefit to the Government, its personnel, or the general public.
      • The proposed rule extends coverage of the E.O. to all concession contracts with the Federal Government, including those excluded from SCA coverage by regulations, such as concession contracts with the Federal Government to operate souvenir shops or to provide food or lodging in national parks.
    • contracts in connection with Federal property or lands and related to offering services for Federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.  The NPRM interprets this provision as generally including leases of Federal property, including space and facilities, and licenses to use such property entered into by the Federal Government for the purpose of offering services to the Federal Government, its personnel, or the general public.
      • In other words, private entities that lease space in a Federal building to provide services to Federal employees or the general public are covered by the E.O. and this part.
      • The NPRM provides examples of the types of entities that will be subject to the E.O. pursuant to this section:  a private fast food or casual dining restaurant that rents space in a Federal building and serves food to the general public; and delegated leases of space in a Federal building from an agency to a contractor whereby the  contractor operates a child care center, credit union, gift shop, barber shop, or fitness center in the Federal agency building to serve Federal employees and/or the general public.

Exemptions and Exclusions

  • Contracts for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles, or equipment to the Federal Government, i.e., those subject to the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, are not covered by E.O.
  • The NPRM contains certain narrow exclusions from coverage for the following types of contractual agreements: (1) grants; (2) contracts and agreements with and grants to Indian Tribes under Public Law 93-638, as amended; (3) any procurement contracts for construction that are not subject to the DBA (i.e., procurement contracts for construction under $2,000); and (4) any contracts for services, except for those otherwise expressly covered by the proposed rule, that are exempted from coverage under the SCA or its implementing regulations.
  • For example, the SCA exempts contracts for public utility services, including electric light and power, water, steam, and gas, from its coverage.  It additionally exempts employment contracts providing for direct services to a Federal agency by an individual. Such contracts would also be exempt from coverage of the E.O. and the NPRM.

Workers Covered

  • Workers performing on covered Federal contracts whose wages are governed by the FLSA, the SCA, or the DBA are entitled to receive the E.O. minimum wage for all time spent performing on covered Federal contracts.
  • The E.O. generally applies to the following categories of workers performing on covered Federal contracts: (1) employees who are entitled to the FLSA minimum wage; (2) service employees who are entitled to prevailing wages under the SCA; and (3) laborers and mechanics who are entitled to prevailing wages under the DBA (including apprentices).
  • The NPRM  specifically notes that the E.O. minimum wage protections apply to FLSA-covered employees who provide support on SCA- and DBA-covered contracts that is necessary for the performance of the contract, even if those employees are not covered by the SCA or DBA.
    • The NPRM provides the following example under the SCA:  a non-exempt accounting clerk who is covered by the FLSA and who exclusively processes invoices and work orders and responds to other administrative matters on an SCA-covered contract would be covered by the E.O. even though the non-exempt accounting clerk may not qualify as a “service employee” for purposes of the SCA.
    • The NPRM also provides a DBA example:  an administrative employee working on a DBA-covered contract or a security guard patrolling a construction worksite where DBA-covered work is being performed whose wages are governed by the FLSA would be a covered worker entitled to the minimum wage established by the E.O.  Coverage to FLSA-covered employees working on DBA-covered contracts will be extended regardless of whether such employees are physically present on the DBA-covered construction worksite.
  • The NPRM notes that the E.O. specifically provides that workers whose wages are calculated pursuant to special certificates issued under 29 U.S.C. 214(c) are entitled to receive the E.O. minimum wage.
  • The NPRM adopts the FLSA’s standards for tipped employees.

Interested parties will have until 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register to submit their comments.  After comments are received and reviewed by WHD, it will issue a final rule, which the E.O. requires to be completed by October 1.

Authored by Alex Passantino

The Department of Labor (DOL) has taken the next step in making a $10.10 minimum wage for government contract employees a reality.  Yesterday, DOL’s Wage & Hour Division submitted its proposed rule to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review the rule, and, once approved, the proposal will be published in the Federal Register for notice and comment by the public.

As readers may recall, during his State of the Union address back in January, President Obama announced that he would be issuing an Executive Order requiring employees on federal service and construction contracts to be paid no less than $10.10 per hour.  In February, the President issued that Executive Order, requiring that DOL issue final regulations by October 1, 2014.

The terms of the Executive Order provide for a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour beginning on January 1, 2015, and indexed to inflation each year thereafter.  In addition, there will be an increase to $4.90 (from $2.13) in the cash wage component to be paid to tipped employees, with an $0.95 annual increase until the cash wage amount equals 70% of the contractor minimum wage.

The Executive Order states that the minimum wage will apply to contracts, “contract-like instruments,” and solicitations for services (including services covered by the Service Contract Act) and construction (including construction covered by the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts).  Subcontractors and “lower-tier subcontracts” will be subject to the Executive Order by required contract clauses making payment contingent upon compliance with the minimum wage.

Some questions have been raised as to whether the Executive Order will apply to all employees of federal contractors or only those employees performing services on covered contracts (or contract-like instruments).  The Executive Order appears to answer that question, stating that the minimum wage must be “paid to workers . . . in the performance of the contract or any subcontract thereunder.”  Undoubtedly, this issue will be raised by the proposed rule, as well as many comments submitted in response to the rule.

Once OMB clears the rule, it is published in the Federal Register, and the comments have been submitted and reviewed, DOL will prepare a Final Rule, which will again be submitted to OMB.  Following that clearance, the Final Rule will be published and the regulation will be effective.  The FAR Council has 60 days following publication of the Final Rule to issue its own regulations implementing the contract provisions, which would apply to contracts with solicitation dates after January 1, 2015.

Co-authored by Alex Passantino and Jeremy W. Stewart

In advance of tonight’s State of the Union Address, the White House announced that the President will issue an Executive Order that will increase the minimum mandatory wage paid to employees of federal contractors covered by the Service Contract Act (for federal service contracts) (“SCA”) and the Davis-Bacon Act (for federal construction contracts and many federally funded/assisted construction projects ) (“DBA”) to $10.10 per hour.  Those wage rates are currently set by the U.S. Department of Labor pursuant to the express Congressional delegation of authority to do so in the SCA and DBA. 

In an effort to ensure that the participation of the federal government in a local labor market does not unduly affect the wages in that local labor market, both the SCA (first enacted in 1965) and the DBA (first enacted in 1931) require that the Secretary of Labor determine the “prevailing” wages in a locality.  DBA requires that the rates be established for “corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work in the city, town, village, or other civil subdivision of the State.”  SCA requires that the rates be established for the “various classes of service employees . . . in accordance with the prevailing rates for such employees in the locality.”  Both the SCA and the DBA have comprehensive and detailed regulatory frameworks intended to determine and develop the prevailing wages for a particular locality. 

Numerous legal — and far more political — battles have been fought over the proper manner and method by which those prevailing wages are determined.  With the anticipated EO, the President seeks to unilaterally override the Congressional mandate for locally prevailing wages and to dispense with the regulatory process for any and all workers earning less than $10.10 per hour.  The EO would establish a “national prevailing minimum wage” for hundreds of classifications across the country (and that would be supplemented by the DOL-determined local prevailing wages).

Although the President has great discretion in the area of procurement, an express override of the Congressional delegation of authority to the Secretary of Labor to establish locally prevailing wages arguably would be beyond the outer limits of that authority.  Without any statistically valid methodology or regard for the wage variations in local labor markets — or the concomitant impact of this decision on those local labor markets — the President’s Executive Order would raise wage rates for some classifications in a wide array of localities by up to nearly 40%.

The EO is, of course, part of a larger debate on whether to increase the FLSA’s minimum wage, which would require an Act of Congress.  Indeed, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which was co-sponsored by 33 Democrats in the Senate and 181 Democrats in the House of Representatives, was introduced to both houses of Congress, and anticipated a gradual increase to $10.10 over two years.  The bills have not made it out of committee in either house.  Expect a renewed focus on the minimum wage in the coming months.   

Whether this Executive Order will hold-up to judicial scrutiny, or if it will have the intended effect of putting pressure on Congress to increase the minimum wage across the board is unclear.  What is certain is that, for at least the time being, some employers will see a significant increase in the wages they must pay to certain employees working on federal contracts and uncertainty regarding the battle that may play out in the near- and long-term over this Executive Order.