River rafting company challenges Biden’s minimum-wage mandate in court

President Joe Biden has sparked widespread controversy regarding his executive orders requiring millions of Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, opponents of another controversial Biden mandate are taking their fight to court.

“Absenteeism and turnover”

According to Just the News, the Pacific Legal Foundation assisted Arkansas Valley Adventures — a Colorado-based river outfitting company — in filing the lawsuit earlier this month.

At issue in the dispute is a rule requiring all federal contractors to raise their respective minimum wages to at least $15 per hour by Jan. 30.

As Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh explained last month, the change was intended to “reduce absenteeism and turnover in the workplace” while simultaneously improving “employee morale and productivity.”

Attorneys arguing against the mandate, on the other hand, insist that the Labor Department acted outside of the scope of its authority by targeting businesses like Arkansas Valley Adventures that are not federal contractors.

“AVA is not a federal contractor and never has been, but the Department of Labor included all businesses that hold a special land use permit to operate on federal lands,” PLF explained in a press release on the matter.

“A seasonal workplace”

As the complaint notes, AVA is subjected to the new minimum-wage rule because it offers river rafting on federal property.

Because the company is “a seasonal workplace where rafting trips can take days,” however, PLF asserted that holding it to the Labor Department’s new standard makes no sense.

The requirement will force AVA “to cut the length of trips, cut the guides’ hours, or radically raise fees, all of which would hurt the livelihoods of owner Duke Bradford and his guides,” the statement continued.

Attorney Caleb Kruckenberg argued that the Biden administration’s wage policy is unconstitutional and violates the Administrative Procedures Act, concluding: “Only Congress can make law setting minimum wages. The president can’t establish a minimum wage through administrative fiat. The Constitution says that only Congress can make laws that bind the public.”

In a White House fact sheet released in April, however, the president defended his policy by claiming that a higher minimum wage for federal contractors “will improve the economic security of families and make progress toward reversing decades of income inequality.”

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