On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order that requires Federal contractors and subcontractors to give their workers the ability to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year, including paid leave that allows for family care. According to the order, providing access to paid sick leave will improve the health and performance of employees of Federal contractors and bring benefits packages at Federal contractors in line with model employers, ensuring that they remain competitive employers in the search for dedicated and talented employees. The regulations that will be issued to implement the executive order will be issued by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, which also enforces the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Conditions for Earning Paid Sick Leave
According to the Executive Order, paid sick leave may be used by an employee for an absence resulting from:
- Illness, injury, or medical condition;
- Getting diagnosis, care, or preventive care from a health care provider;
- Caring for a child, a parent, a spouse, a domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship who has need for diagnosis, care, or preventive care, or is otherwise in need of care; and
- Domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Workers will be required to provide at least seven days of prior notice of the need to take leave if such need is foreseeable, or as soon as practicable if the need is not foreseeable. If the worker takes more than three consecutive workdays of leave, the worker has to certify the need for leave within thirty days from the first day of leave.
Accrual and Carryover Provisions
The executive order provides that covered workers must earn an hour of paid leave for every thirty hours of work. Employees are also able to carry over unused leave from year to year and unused leave will be reinstated for employees rehired by a federal contractor within twelve months after a job separation. However, the executive order does not require payment for unused leave upon job separation.
The executive order requires the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations by September 30, 2016.
The Department of Labor will enforce the provisions of this executive order, along with the protections for minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been deprived of your wage rights under FLSA. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.