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Obama Signs Minimum Wage Order, Adds Workers With Disabilities

February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (February 12, 2014) -- President Obama signed an executive order today raising the hourly minimum wage for federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10, including for workers with disabilities.

The President was fulfilling a promise he made in his 2014 State of the Union address in signing the order, which affects only workers paid under federal contracts. An across-the-board minimum wage increase would require action by Congress.

"Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs," the White House said. "Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections."

Among those workers with disabilities who could see a pay raise, the White House cited groundskeepers at military bases.

According to the White House statement, the Executive Order "will benefit hundreds of thousands of people working under contracts with the federal government who are making less than $10.10 an hour. It will also improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government’s investment.

"Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall," it said. "These gains improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government."