WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin cosponsored legislation to secure back pay for the federal contractor employees who went without pay during President Trump’s recent government shutdown. The Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act, led by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), would help low-wage federal contractor employees—including janitorial, food and security services workers—who have been furloughed or forced to accept reduced work hours as a result of the government shutdown.

“Thousands of federal contractors are back to work this week without the guarantee that they will get the pay they missed out on because of President Trump’s shutdown,” said Senator Baldwin. “Some of these workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and because of the shutdown, can’t afford to pay their bills or support their families. Majority Leader McConnell needs to bring this bill to the floor for a vote so we can make sure our federal contractor employees get the paychecks they need.”

The Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act, which is also supported by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would:

  • Ensure federal contractors get reimbursed for providing back pay, up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four.
  • Provide accountability in the equitable adjustment process by including ways for protection of taxpayer funds.
  • Contractors would submit evidence of costs for review and approval by the agency’s contracting officer.
  • Contractors are already required to keep records of employee pay practices, so this doesn’t create a new obligation for those contractors.
  • Cover employees employed under the Davis-Bacon Act (which governs federally-funded construction projects) and the Service Contract Act (which governs federal service contracts).

You can read a summary of the bill here.

An online version of this release is available here.

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