As we have detailed on several occasions over the past year, President Obama has used executive orders to implement sweeping new workplace policies for federal contractors and their employees. For example, the president has signed orders requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation for employees of federal contractors. This time around, the president has signed an Executive Order now mandating that federal contractors provide paid sick leave to their employees.
The new Executive Order provides that, as of January 1, 2017, all employees of federal contractors, as well as those of federal subcontractors, will accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for each 30 hours worked, with a minimum accrual of 56 hours per year. This Executive Order applies to new contracts or contract-like instruments, subject to certain limitations described in related federal laws or regulations. The Executive Order also specifically provides the following:
The Secretary of Labor is responsible for issuing regulations to carry out the directives of the Executive Order and must do so by September 30, 2016. The secretary is also responsible for obtaining compliance with and investigating violations of the Executive Order.
Though these requirements will not go into effect until the very end of the president’s term, it is important for federal contractors to be aware of them and to make sure that they are considering these obligations when bidding on federal contracts. If you have any questions regarding this Executive Order, or others impacting federal contractors, you should consult an attorney experienced with government contracts and regulations.