President Obama Mandates Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors
Last week on September 7, 2015, President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to offer their employees up to seven paid sick days annually, depending on the number of hours employees work. According to the White House, the order will benefit about 300,000 workers.
The Executive Order will:
- Give approximately 300,000 people working on federal contracts the new ability to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year. Additional workers will gain access to more sick leave than they had before. Beginning with new contracts in 2017, workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked (though contractors would be free to offer more generous amounts at their discretion)
- Allow workers to use paid sick leave to care for themselves, a family member, such as a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner, or another loved one, as well as for absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
- Improve the health and performance of employees of federal contractors and bring benefits packages offered by federal contractors in line with leading firms, ensuring they remain competitive in the search for dedicated and talented employees; and
- Protect the public health of employees of federal contractors, their customers, and clients by ensuring employees are allowed to stay home when they have communicable diseases.
The president also urged Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing similar benefits to private-sector workers. The majority of the current Congress opposes mandated paid sick leave, however, so any additional paid leave requirements in the near future will most likely be produced at the state or local level. To encourage states to establish paid family and medical leave programs, the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget includes over $2 billion in funds for this purpose.
Do you know how this will affect you?
For more information, see the White House press release here.