Federal Contractors Required to Offer Paid Sick Leave to Certain Workers as of January 1, 2017
On Labor Day the President signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring certain federal contractors to provide minimum amounts of paid sick leave to their employees. Regulations will be forthcoming providing many of the details of the plan, but affected federal contractors will be required to provide at least seven (7) days of paid sick time off annually to eligible employees. Government estimates are that this will impact approximately 300,000 employees working for federal contractors who currently do not receive such paid time off benefits. A few points on this EO worth noting:
- Rate of Accrual: Employees will earn this paid time off benefit as they work (accrual system) at a rate of no less than 1 hour for every 30 hours of work.
- Carry-over: Employees will be able to bank the paid leave; if the employee is reinstated any previously forfeited benefit returns to the employee upon rehire.
- Usage: For occasions of the employee's own illness or medical condition, for obtaining a diagnosis or preventative care, and for the employee to care for a related family member's illness, condition or for preventative care or to assist with medical conditions or preventative care for persons involved in a domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
- Notice: Employers can require 7-days' notice of the need for foreseeable leave.
- Payout: No requirement to pay out accrued, but unused, paid time off.
- Anti-discrimination: No interference or retaliation against employees for asking for benefits under this policy.
Selecting Labor Day for this action was no doubt a random act of coincidence similar to the choice of the effective date of the EO, which is only days before the end of President Obama's term in office. The regulations themselves are slated to be issued no later than September 30, 2016.
A copy of the Executive Order can be obtained at - http://1.usa.gov/1LkisrK.
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