January 16, 2019

Warren Joins Smith, Colleagues in Introducing the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act

Senators Want to Make Sure Federal Contract Workers Hurt by Shutdown Receive Their Paychecks

Text of Bill (PDF)

Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in introducing legislation to secure back pay for the federal contractor employees who continue to go without pay during the current government shutdown.

The Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act aims to help low- and middle-income federal contractor employees—including janitorial, food service, and security workers—who have been furloughed or forced to accept reduced work hours as a result of the government shutdown.  The legislation would ensure federal contractor workers can be reimbursed for providing back pay, up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four.

“The fact that thousands of hard-working Americans are suddenly without pay due to Republicans’ refusal to fund the government is simply appalling,” said Senator Warren. “I’m glad to join my colleagues in supporting legislation that will help protect Americans employed by federal contractors, along with their families and communities, from the serious damage caused by this ridiculous and unnecessary shutdown.”

The Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act is also supported by Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M). 

Senator Warren was also an original cosponsor of the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which will provide back-pay for the 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed are forced to work without pay as a result of the government shutdown. That bill was signed into law last week. While directly employed federal workers have historically received back-pay after the end of a government shutdown, employees of federal contractors have not, and the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act would help fix this problem for thousands of a low- and middle-income workers who are going without pay through no fault of their own.