Federal Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave Starting in 2017

As MSEC reported last February, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees who work on certain federal contracts takes effect January 1, 2017. According to the DOL, the rule will allow these workers to use paid leave if they are sick, need to take care of a sick family member, or must see a doctor or take a family member to a medical appointment. Workers may also use paid sick leave for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

The final rule implements Executive Order 13706, signed by President Obama on Sept. 7, 2015. According to a DOL statement, when fully implemented, the final rule:

  • Provides up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to an estimated 1.15 million employees of federal contractors.
  • Gives employers some flexibility in adapting paid sick leave to their businesses. For example, employers can allow employees to accrue leave or grant it in a block.
  • Enables covered federal contractors’ employees, customers, and clients to stay home when they are sick, thus reducing the chance of disease transmission.

The final rule applies to all covered contracts solicited and awarded on or after Jan. 1, 2017.