Federal contractors are now required to provide their employees with up to 56 hours of earned sick leave per calendar year. Specific terms of the Executive order include:
- Use of leave allowed to care for the employee or a family member
- Unused leave can carry over to the following year
- Every 30 hours of work equals one hour of paid sick leave
- No requirement for payment of unused leave at job separation
- For employers who separate and return to a work with a covered contractor within 2 months, accumulated unused leave is reinstated
- The law does not override any law or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater benefits than those awarded under the order
The order has proved somewhat controversial. Supporters say the order allows sick workers to stay away from the workplace, which decreases the chance of spreading illness. They also assert that these provisions will increase competition between federal contractors as they seek qualified workers. Opponents question the appropriateness of using a presidential order to expand worker protections. They also assert that the new regulations will increase business costs and lead to job loss.
Changes specifically apply to employees whose wages are governed by the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. The provisions of the order go into effect on January 1, 2017.
For questions about this new regulation or if you have questions about working for a federal contractor, contact our office to speak with an employment law attorney.