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Executive Order Establishes Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

Published:  September 28, 2015

This month, President Barack Obama issued an executive order, which applies to federal contractors and subcontractors, requiring paid sick leave for employees who perform work under a federal contract.  Although similar to Massachusetts law in some respects, the amount of time an employee may earn under this order is more generous.  In a nutshell, employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours per year (i.e. 7 days), which may be carried over from one year to the next.  Employees may use sick leave for:

  • An employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury, or medical condition, or for obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventive care from a health care provider;
  • Caring for the employee’s child, parent, spouse, 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 a mental or physical illness, injury, or medical condition, or for obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventive care from a health care provider; and
  • Reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Documentation from a medical provider certifying the need for sick leave may not be required until after an absence of three or more consecutive workday, and employees cannot be required to find a replacement. 

The Secretary of Labor is tasked with issuing regulations by September 30, 2016.  The executive order applies to solicitations, contract-like instruments, and contracts awarded after January 1, 2017. 

If you have any questions about paid sick leave, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.

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