Executive Order Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

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Executive Order Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

September 10, 2015

President Obama signed an Executive Order on Labor Day to require federal contractors to provide their employees seven days of accrued paid sick leave.  The leave will be accrued at a rate of one hour for every thirty hours of time worked.

The order only applies to contracts awarded on or after Jan. 1, 2017, Paid employee benefits cannot be capped at less than 56 hours per year, and employees may carry leave over from year to year. Contractors are not required to pay out unused accrued sick leave when an employment terminates.

The leave required under the order is in addition to any obligations required under the federal Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act, and will not be credited toward a contractor’s prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligations. However, if an employer has an existing plan at the same or an additional benefit level, no additional hours are required.

Employees may use paid sick time for absences resulting from:

  • physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition;
  • obtaining diagnosis, care or preventive care from a health care provider;
  • caring for a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship who has any of the conditions or needs the care, diagnosis or preventative care described above; or
  • domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, if the time absent from work is for any of the purposes described above, to obtain additional counseling, to seek relocation, to seek assistance from a victim services organization or to take related legal action (including preparation for or participation in any related civil or criminal legal proceeding).

A seven day notice by the employee is required when the need for paid sick leave is foreseeable, or as soon as possible when the need is unknown. Contractors may require employees to provide medical certification when paid sick leave is used for absences of three or more consecutive days.

Click here to view the order.