In September, President Obama issued an executive order requiring that certain federal contractors provide their employees with a minimum of seven days paid sick leave per year. On February 24, the Department of Labor issued proposed regulations implementing the order. The rules govern contractors of any size that work on federal construction, service, concession or property management contracts. The rules also apply to subcontractors at any tier removed from the prime contractor.
The proposal would provide one day’s paid sick leave for every 30 days an employee works. An employee would be exempt from this requirement if the contractor demonstrates that he or she spends less than 20 percent of their working time on the federal contract. While most federal contractors already provide paid sick leave benefits at or in excess of these requirements, DOL estimates that this mandate will extend paid leave to an additional 437,000 workers.
DOL is providing an abbreviated 30-day notice and comment period for the proposed rules. The executive order requires that the rules be finalized no later than September 30, 2016, with an implementation date of January 1, 2017. Several Republican presidential candidates have pledged to immediately repeal this and other labor-related executive orders if elected.