On September 29, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the release of final rule RIN 1235-AA13, "Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors". The rule implements Executive Order 13706, which was signed by President Obama just over a year prior. According to the Department's press release, the final rule:
- Provides up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to an estimated 1.15 million employees of federal contractors, including an estimated 594,000 employees who currently receive no paid sick leave.
- Ensures that employers have choices in how to best adapt the paid sick leave requirement to their businesses. For example, employers can choose to allow workers to accrue leave over time, or to frontload leave for ease of administration.
- Includes flexibilities related to integration with employers’ existing paid time off policies and leave provisions in existing collective bargaining agreements.
- Improves the health and performance of employees of covered federal contractors and brings benefits packages offered by those federal contractors in line with leading firms, ensuring they remain competitive in the search for dedicated and talented employees.
- Protects the public health by ensuring that covered federal contractors’ employees, customers and clients are able to stay home when they are sick.
The final rule applies to all covered contracts solicited and awarded on or after January 1, 2017. The DOL also released fact sheets and FAQs on the rule, which are available here.