OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a multistate coalition of attorneys general in filing three amicus briefs in support of minimum wage protections for federal contractors. The cases center around challenges to $15 minimum wage protections for federal contractors. In the friend-of-the-court briefs, the coalition highlights the importance of strong wage protections and urges the courts to uphold the current minimum wage protections for federal contractors.
“Everyone deserves fair and sufficient compensation for their time,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Strong wage protections respect the dignity of work and they are a critical part of enabling access to the American Dream. Here in California, we will continue to support fair pay and the rights of workers everywhere. I urge the courts in these cases to reject these challenges to the $15 federal contractor minimum wage.”
The coalition notes in its briefs in Bradford v. U.S. Department of Labor, Arizona v. Walsh, and Texas v. Biden that numerous studies and reports have shown that, by paying employees fairer, higher wages, employers improve the morale, productivity, and performance of employees; reduce turnover; and are able to attract higher quality workers. This, in turn, leads to improved services and better consumer experiences. In the context of consumer-centered services like those provided by seasonal workers on federal lands at issue in Bradford, a U.S. Department of Labor study indicated that wage increases improve worker performance and help increase safety. More broadly, increased wages generate several other important benefits, including reduced poverty and reduced income inequality for federal contract workers. This is particularly important for groups that face disproportionate income inequality, such as women, people of color, younger workers, and workers with fewer years of education.
In the friend-of-the-court briefs, the coalition asserts that: