Biden plans to sign executive orders boosting workers' rights and pushing for a $15 minimum wage for federal staff

Susan Walsh/APPresident Joe Biden.
  • President Joe Biden plans to sign two executive orders on Friday focused on workers’ rights.
  • One would ensure people can still claim jobless benefits if they turn down a job that risks their health.
  • The other would pave the way for legislation on Biden’s promise of a $US15 minimum wage.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden has planned a series of actions aimed at raising the minimum wage for federal staff to $US15 and boosting workers’ rights, Brian Deese, his National Economic Council director, told reporters on Thursday.

This includes two executive orders Biden is set to sign on Friday.

With one order, the Department of Labour would be asked to clarify that people seeking employment can continue to claim jobless benefits if they turn down a job because it puts their health at risk.

White House officials said the order would provide workers “a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health, and if they do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance,” The New York Times reported.

The other order would focus on rights for federal employees.


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Biden is set to ask agencies to review which federal workers make less than $US15 an hour and to develop recommendations to boost them to that wage.

That order would overturn three executive orders that President Donald Trump signed in 2018 that limited job protections for federal employees and weakened their labour unions.

Biden pushed for a $US15 minimum wage during his campaign, and it was a core component of his $US1.9 trillion stimulus plan announced last week.


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Biden has asked his team to prepare another executive order to ensure that federal contractors offer a $US15 minimum wage alongside emergency paid leave. Biden plans to sign this order in his first 100 days in office, Deese said.

The two executive orders Biden is set to sign on Friday also include measures to bolster food aid for people struggling with hunger during the coronavirus pandemic and to push for improved delivery of stimulus checks.

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