By Pamela Wolf, J.D. The Labor Department has entered the final stretch on regulations implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors (and subcontractors, including lower-tier subcontracts) to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave each year, including paid leave allowing for family care. The final rule was received by the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval on July 22. The statutory deadline for the final version is September 30, 2016. Under the EO, employees of federal contractors and subcontractors will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register on February 25, 2016, would provide in addition that a covered contractor may not limit annual paid sick leave accrual at less than 56 hours. Accrued sick leave would carry over from one accrual year to the next. Workers would be able to use the paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member, or for absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Employees performing in connection with covered contracts for less than 20 percent of their work hours in a given workweek would be excluded from the proposed rule’s requirements. The Labor Department expects that providing access to paid sick leave will improve the health and performance of employees of federal contractors and bring their benefits packages in line with model employers, which would ensure that federal contractors remain competitive employers. Access to paid sick leave would also generate savings and quality improvements that will lead to improved economy and efficiency in government procurement.
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