President Biden is advancing a series of regulatory changes aimed at increasing workers’ pay and gaining them other benefits, moves that opponents say could burden businesses amid an uneven economic recovery. The rule changes, most of which are still in progress, would affect workers such as federal contractors, tipped employees, and workers who are jointly employed, such as those with jobs at franchised brands.
In some cases, the changes seek to reverse Trump administration efforts. In others, the Labor Department is working to implement its own rules. These include the agency’s recent announcement that it had begun the process of raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour and ensuring it will continue rising to keep pace with inflation. The regulatory actions represent the administration’s “commitment to respecting and protecting workers’ rights, health and safety,” said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Mr. Biden has proposed other policies aimed at tilting the balance of power toward workers from employers, including raising the federal minimum wage for private-sector employees, increasing wages for caregivers, and making it easier for workers to organize labor unions. However, those changes would require congressional approval, a difficult undertaking in a narrowly divided Senate. Regulatory action allows the administration to see part of its agenda implemented without the need for Congress to pass legislation.
Amara Omeokwe, Wall Street Journal