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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

The Biden administration was prevented from inserting a $15 per-hour federal minimum wage in its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in February due to a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian. It was the closest the federal government has come to raising the minimum wage to a level that activists have been fighting for over the past decade.

However, an unusual set of circumstances have aligned that could push the private sector into creating a de facto $15 minimum wage without any government mandate.

The restaurant business was shaken on Monday when Chipotle announced it was raising its current average wage of $13 an hour by another two dollars, bringing it to around $15. The change should be in full effect by June.

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