House Democrats backing push for $15 minimum wage paid their workers less

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As House Democrats plow ahead with their push for a $15 minimum wage hike, it appears some lawmakers have not been practicing what they preach.

President Biden included a provision raising the minimum wage to $15 in his $1.9 trillion economic recovery package, though he has recently cautioned not to expect it to make the final language of the bill.

But that isn’t stopping members of his party in the House of Representatives from opting to include it in their final language of the legislation before sending it to the Senate, where the more moderate body will almost certainly kill the measure.

Some of those lawmakers include Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Sharice Davids (D-Ks.), all of whom back a $15 federal minimum wage.

In job listings reviewed by The Post dating back to 2018, all four House Democrats have offered positions that paid below the minimum wage they claimed to be fighting for.

The listings were almost all placed on a campaign job list serve for positions in Democratic politics, sent to The Post by a source.

In Sept. 2018, just two months before the midterm elections, Malinowski’s team posted a listing for a communications fellow.

The position was a four-day-a-week fellowship that also included “staffing the candidate at events on work days and potentially over the weekend.”

The pay: a $500 per month stipend.

A spokesperson for Malinowski could not immediately be reached by The Post for comment.

Wild’s team posted a similar listing in March of that year, looking for full time campaign fellows.

The fellowship program, her team wrote in a listing, “is an intense 8-week program designed for college students and recent college grads.”

Like with Malinowski, fellows would be given a $500 stipend, though they were also provided housing. College credit was also available as a payment option.

Wild’s press representative could also not immediately be reached by The Post for comment.

As Davids was in the final month of her 2018 campaign to unseat incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Ks.), Kansas Democrats posted a listing to join the candidate’s field team as a paid fellow.

The job listing stated that the fellowship paid $1,500 to $2,500, depending on time commitment and experience level.

For the four week experience, candidates would make as little as $9.38 per hour to as much as $15.63 per hour, depending on how qualified they were for the position.

Reps for Davids could not immediately be reached for comment by The Post.

In addition to being in Congress, Pappas owns the Puritan Backroom, a restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire. The eatery is known as a must-visit stop as politicians campaign during the New Hampshire presidential primaries.

While Pappas maintains his steadfast support for the raising the minimum wage in Congress, some job listings for his restaurant appear to offer $12.50 per hour.

Asked about that during a June 2018 interview with New Hampshire Public Radio, Pappas said he paid “on average” over $15 per hour to those working in his kitchen, adding that waitstaff earn between $25 to $35 per hour, “based on the tipped income that they earn.”

He also noted that his small business provided paid leave, health insurance and other benefits to his employees long before being required to do so legally.

In July 2019, Pappas’ restaurant was outed for continuing to offer jobs at the $12.50 hourly wage when the congressman had changed his position to support $15.

Reps for Pappas did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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