WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after federal contractors filed a lawsuit on October 7th to block implementation of President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Executive Order, which goes into effect on October 25th, will protect workers on federal contracts from wage theft and other labor law violations.  

“The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order is crucial for federal contract workers, many of whom earn low wages and face unfair and unsafe workplaces. Many workers have their pay stolen without any repercussions for their employers. The lawsuit filed to block the Executive Order turns back the clock for worker protections. The federal contractors involved in the suit would rather avoid responsibility for violating U.S. labor laws while their workers continue to get ripped off. We cannot allow this.

“Federal contract workers deserve full wages, a safe working environment, and the right to organize. This Executive Order will help ensure that companies with federal contracts are following U.S. labor laws. It’s time that the federal government serves as a model for all employers by enforcing workplace protections and putting workers first.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is dedicated to fighting for fair labor standards for every worker in the U.S. In 2014, the CPC sent a letter to President Obama after he signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, urging him to sign a Model Employer Executive Order. Previously, the CPC sent a letter for a Good Jobs Executive Order. In 2014, CPC fought back against wage theft by sending a letter to Secretary Perez asking him to collect data on contractors that engage in wage theft. Additionally, the CPC introduced four appropriations amendments in 2014 to ensure federal contractors do not steal their workers’ wages. Moreover, CPC members have continuously fought to raise the minimum wage and expand overtime pay.