On Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order (the “Order”) that requires federal contractors to grant at least seven days of annual paid sick leave to their employees. The Order gives an estimated 300,000 federal contractors new access to paid sick leave.
Under the Order, employees of federal contractors will earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work when the policy enters into force with 2017 federal contracts after a public comment period. The paid sick leave can be used for absences resulting from illness, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and can be used by the federal contractors themselves or for their family members. The Order is thus very similar to sick leave laws in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts that were enacted or amended in 2015. The president’s announcement was made in Boston and expressly praised Massachusetts’s new sick leave law.