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Paid Sick Leave Required for Federal Contractors

By: Nick Nykulak | 9/9/2015 | Category: Employment Law-Wage and Hour
On September 7, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order requiring all federal contractors to provide their employees with 7 days of paid sick leave annually.  The paid sick leave can be used by the employee for illness, treatment or preventive care, or for the care of a family member.  Under the Executive Order, an employee must receive at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  The total accrued sick leave by an employee cannot be less than 56 hours annually and employers are required to carry over any unused leave from year to year.  Unused sick leave does not have to be paid to the employee upon termination, but unused sick leave must be reinstated by the contractor if the employee is rehired.  A doctor’s certification can only be requested by the contractor if the employee misses three or more consecutive work days.     

The sick leave requirement shall be placed in new government contracts and solicitations as a condition of payment.  The paid sick leave obligation is in addition to a contractor’s obligations under the Service Contract Act (41 USC Chapter 67) or Davis Bacon Act (40 USC Chapter 31).  In other words, federal contractors cannot receive a fringe benefit credit against the prevailing wage it must pay for providing the employee with paid sick leave.  Any contractors already providing paid sick leave or paid time off can only take a fringe benefit credit for paid time off in excess of 56 hours.  

The Secretary of Labor is mandated to issue regulations by September 30, 2016 implementing the paid sick leave Executive Order.  If regulations take that long to issue, then theoretically, the implementation of this Executive Order will not occur until December of 2016, a month before a new President will take Office who may repeal the Order.    

If you have any specific questions or would like to speak with one of our experienced labor attorneys, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Nykulak or Alan Ross.

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