Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is supporting legislation that would ensure federal contractors are given back pay after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is supporting legislation that aims to help federal contractors by providing back pay to offset the financial damage they experienced during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
The Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act would reimburse federal contractors by providing back pay — up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four. It would also include ways to protect taxpayer funds and cover employees working on federally-funded construction projects or under federal service contracts.
Collins has publicly said she opposes government shutdowns and thinks they represent a “failure to govern.” In a written statement, Collins remarked on the efforts she is making in Congress to mitigate the impact of 35 days of unpaid work on federal employees.
“Last month, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation I co-authored to guarantee that federal employees would be paid retroactively once the shutdown ended,” said Collins. “Congress should now take the next step to ensure that federal contractors…are given back pay to help offset the financial injury they experienced due to furloughs and reduced hours.”
The act would help low-wage employees, like janitorial staff and food service workers, in particular.
Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Can Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act. 35 other Senators and more than 50 members of the House support the act.
Last month, Collins co-authored the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act with Sen. Cardin to make sure furloughed federal employees were paid as soon as the shutdown ended. This act was signed into law. Collins also introduced the Shutdown Fairness Act with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to ensure federal workers who are required to come to work every day are paid on time.