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14 Sep 2015


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Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Employees

On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order requiring businesses that contract with the Federal Government to provide their employees up to 7 days or more of paid sick leave annually (or no less than 1 hour of paid sick leave earned for every 30 hours worked).

The order will apply to prime contractors and sub-contractors at any level. 

The order goes into effect immediately.  Contracts already awarded are not impacted by this order.  New contracts must comply with this order.  The Department of Labor is tasked with developing and publishing regulations concerning this order by September 30, 2016.

For contracts or contract-like instruments covered by the Service Contract Act or the Davis-Bacon Act, this order shall apply only to contracts or contract-like instruments at the thresholds specified in those statutes.

For procurement contracts in which employees' wages are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, this order shall apply only to contracts or contract-like instruments that exceed the micro-purchase threshold, as defined in 41 U.S.C. 1902(a), unless expressly made subject to this order pursuant to regulations or actions taken under section 3 of this order.

This order shall not apply to grants; contracts and agreements with and grants to Indian Tribes under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93-638), as amended; or any contracts or contract-like instruments expressly excluded by the regulations issued pursuant to section 3(a) of this order.

Under the order employees must be allowed to accumulate at least 56 hours per year.

Employees may use the sick leave for:

(i) physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition;

(ii) obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventive care from a health care provider;

(iii) 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 any of the conditions or needs for diagnosis, care, or preventive care described in paragraphs (i) or (ii) of this subsection or is otherwise in need of care;or (iv) domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the time absent from work is for the purposes otherwise described in paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this subsection, to obtain additional counseling, to seek relocation, to seek assistance from a victim services organization, to take related legal action, including preparation for or participation in any related civil or criminal legal proceeding, or to assist an individual related to the employee.

Paid sick leave accrued under this order shall carry over from 1 year to the next and shall be reinstated for employees rehired by a covered contractor within 12 months after a job separation.

According to the order the paid sick leave required by this order is in addition to a contractor's obligations under 41 U.S.C. chapter 67 (Service Contract Act) and 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter IV (Davis-Bacon Act), and contractors may not receive credit toward their prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligations under those Acts for any paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the requirements of this order.

A contractor's existing paid leave policy provided in addition to the fulfillment of Service Contract Act or Davis-Bacon Act obligations, if applicable, and made available to all covered employees will satisfy the requirements of this order if the amount of paid leave is sufficient to meet the requirements of this section and if it may be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions described herein.

As a federal contractor employer you may only require certification issued by a health care provider for paid sick leave used for employee absences of 3 or more consecutive workdays, to be provided no later than 30 days from the first day of the leave.

When an employee leaves the organization the employer is not required to pay them for unused sick leave.

Executive Order

By Bill Williams













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