On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an Executive Order that requires federal contractors to provide their employees with paid sick leave. The requirement does not go into effect until January 1, 2017, and then only for contracts entered into on or after that date.
In most respects the new requirement is very similar to existing state and local paid sick leave laws. Employees who perform work under a federal contract or subcontract will earn not less than one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a minimum of 56 hours per year. The leave may be used for an employee’s own illness, care, or preventative care, or those of a family member or anyone who has “the equivalent of a family relationship” with the employee.
The new Executive Order also applies to time spent dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (such as seeking relocation or taking legal action). Accrued but unused leave will roll over into the next year with no limit on total accrual. The accrued leave does not need to be paid out upon termination of employment. However, if a former employee is rehired within 12 months of a termination the employer must reinstate the previously accrued leave.
When it comes to taking paid sick leave, employees should request the leave seven days in advance where the need for leave is foreseeable, and otherwise as soon as practicable. Employers may require that the employee provide certification of the need for leaves lasting three days or more. Employers are forbidden from interfering with the rights granted under the Executive Order, or discriminating against employees who take or attempt to take sick leave or assert their rights or support the right of others to take leave.
Employers are free, of course, to have more generous paid sick leave plans. Finally, nothing in the Executive Order shall excuse noncompliance with or supersede any other applicable federal, state, or local law.
Companies that need help assessing their preparedness to comply with this new Executive Order, paid sick leave in general (the list of states and local municipalities with paid sick leave mandates continues to grow), or any other aspects related to contingent labor compliance, can contact the PRO Unlimited team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-291-1099.
Readers may also want to check out our Fact Sheet on “Paid Sick Leave Mandates and Contingent Workforce Management.”
James Cahalan is the director of Global Compliance at PRO Unlimited and has written extensively on the topic of employment law.
Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.