Obama Orders Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

09.09.2015

By: Dina M. Mastellone

On September 7, 2015, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to offer paid sick leave to their full-time and part-time employees.  The new rule applies to contracts that are solicited or awarded after 2016 -- just as President Obama leaves office. Approximately 300,000 employees of federal contractors will earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, for a total of up to 7 days of paid sick leave each year.  In addition, employees who already have sick-leave benefits will have access to additional sick days. Other details of the new federal policy include carry-over of paid sick from one year to the next and reinstatement of paid sick leave for employees rehired by a covered contractor within 12 months after job separation. The Executive Order also allows employees to use the leave to care for themselves, a sick family member, a domestic partner or another loved one, or they could take the leave to recover from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. President Obama also urged Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act which would require businesses with more than 14 employees to similarly offer 7 days of paid sick leave.

The new Executive Order is the latest in a long line of orders signed by President Obama effecting workers which include requiring contractors to pay higher minimum wages, banning retaliation against workers who discuss their compensation, providing employees more information about their pay and protecting gay and transgender workers from discrimination.

For questions related to this Executive Order, pending legislation or compliance with local paid sick time laws, please contact Dina M. Mastellone, Esq., Director of the Human Resource Practices Group and Partner in the Employment Law & Litigation Group, at dmastellone@genovaburns.com.

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