Pending Executive Order Would Mandate Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

The Obama administration is preparing to release an Executive Order regarding federal contractors and paid sick leave. The Executive Order reflects a continued push by the President to regulate employee benefits offered by federal contractors and subcontractors.

A draft of the order, obtained by the New York Times last week, directs federal contractors to provide at least 56 hours (the equivalent of seven eight-hour workdays) of paid sick leave. Paid sick leave could be used to treat employee illnesses or injuries, obtain preventive care, care for family members, or recover from domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. As drafted, employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked, and unused leave would roll over from year to year, although federal contractors would not be required to allow employees to “cash out” unused paid sick leave upon termination of employment. The draft asserts that mandating paid sick leave would “increase efficiency and cost savings” by improving employee health and “[bringing] benefits packages at Federal contractors in line with leading firms, ensuring they remain competitive employers in the search for dedicated and talented employees.”

Department of Labor regulations implementing the Executive Order would be released no later than September 30, 2016, to apply to new federal contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017.

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