Contractors are still reeling from the many executive orders coming from President Obama in the last year or so, including raising the minimum wage for federal contract employees to $10.10, requiring contractors to disclose labor law violations, demanding pay transparency and the reporting of compensation, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and more. Now, the New York Times has reported that President Obama has drafted an executive order to force federal contractors and subcontractors to issue paid leave to employees who are sick, are seeking medical attention, or need to care for a sick relative. The online article, which appeared in print today, can be found here. This proposed paid sick leave order is another action that will have a dramatic and costly impact on contractors.
The draft executive order is exceptionally broad in coverage. According to the New York Times, the draft executive order sets a minimum of 56 hours a year of paid sick leave (7 days). The leave would cover not only the employee’s illness, but also caring for a 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.” It would also apply to absences from work resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, if that time was used to seek medical attention, obtain counseling, seek relocation assistance from victim services organizations or prepare civil or criminal proceedings. In addition, unused paid leave will accrue, year after year.
At this point, no actual date for the issuance of the Executive Order has been announced, and the draft order itself apparently has been marked “deliberative and pre-decisional.” The New York Times reports, however, that the Labor Department was to have approved the Order and sent it to the White House as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, thereby indicating some urgency to the matter.
We will keep you posted on any further developments.