Federal Contractors Beware – New Paid Sick Leave Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that about 40% of the U.S. private sector workforce does not have the benefit of paid time off for care of their own illnesses or those of family members.  This pressure on working families was the impetus for the Executive Order signed by President Obama in September 2016, which was intended to provide economic security to working families, improve employee health and performance and to protect the public at large.

Executive Order 13706 establishes paid sick leave requirements for certain employees who are employed by employers that contract with the Federal government (contractors and subcontractors).  If covered, employers must provide employees working in the U.S. on applicable contracts up to 7 or more days of paid sick leave annually, including in connection with physical or mental illness, injury or a medical condition, health care, family care and absences that result from domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Covered employees are to accrue paid sick leave time at not less than 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with no limitation on the total accrual of such leave at less than 56 hours. As of January 1, 2017, agencies were required to ensure that new contracts, contract-like instruments, replacements for expiring contracts and solicitations include provisions to this effect in their agreements that are further required to be incorporated in lower-tier subcontracts.

According to the Department of Labor, it is estimated that approximately 1.15 million workers employed by Federal contractors will get the benefit of paid sick leave.  As of the date of this posting, President Trump has not revoked EO 13706.

The EO 13706 can be viewed, in its entirety at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/08/executive-order-establishing-paid-sick-leave-federal-contractors.

A copy of the required DOL poster can be found at https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/wh1090.pdf.

Additional detailed information and answers to questions are available from the Department of Labor at https://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/eo13706/faq.htm.

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