By: Katherine Muniz Sep 30, 2015

Preparing for the New Executive Order Ordering Paid Sick Leave to Federal Contractors

On Labor Day, 2015 President Barack Obama signed a new executive order requiring federal government contractors and subcontractors to provide their employees with the ability to earn up to 56 hours of paid leave annually.

The new order, which will be enforced starting 2017, is expected to give an estimated 300,000 working Americans access to paid sick leave for the first time. President Obama, who has made improving labor conditions a priority during his time in office, recently proposed an overhaul and expansion of overtime compensation earlier this year. 

The White House released a brief that outlines the following conditions and rules for the new sick leave executive order: 

  • Under the new order, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to seven days a year 
  • Paid sick leave accrual is unlimited and can roll over from one year to the next
  • Employees are not required to find a replacement for their job in order to use sick leave
  • If an employee can foresee the need for their leave, they must provide notice at least seven days ahead of time
  • The new rules apply to all contracts for services, construction or concessions, with limited exceptions, that are entered into on or after January 1, 2017
  • Employers are not required to pay out accrued sick leave for employees who separate from the company
  • Employers in states and cities with more generous paid leave laws are to adhere to those existing laws, not the new federal law

Regarding the use of sick leave, employees can take sick leave for the following reasons:

  • A physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition
  • Obtaining diagnosis, care, or preventative care from a health care provider
  • 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 who has any of the conditions or needs for diagnosis, care, or preventative care 
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the time absent from work is for the purposes otherwise described above, to obtain additional counseling, seek relocation, to seek assistance from victim service, to take related legal action, including preparation for or participation in any related civil or criminal legal proceeding 

While federal contractors and subcontractors have until 2017 to begin complying by the new rules, they will need to be proactive in preparing their business for this transition. FingerCheck’s flexible time clock software allow business owners to build sick leave policies that accrue at the rate outlined in the executive order, ensuring their operations are conducted in accordance with the new stipulations. Employers can also input specific rollover rules to ensure sick leave is carried over from one year to the next, as the order requires. FingerCheck can help you quickly re-frame your business policies so you can move onto more pressing matters that require your attention. 

FingerCheck’s flexible time clock software allows business owners to build sick leave policies that accrue at the rate outlined in the executive order, ensuring their operations are conducted in accordance with the new stipulations.

Employers can also input specific rollover rules to ensure sick leave is carried over from one year to the next, as the order requires. FingerCheck can help you quickly re-frame your business policies so you can move onto more pressing matters that require your attention.  

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Katherine is a New York-based digital writer who joined Fingercheck in 2015. She promotes Fingercheck through the power of the written word. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies with a focus on Journalism. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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