The sick leave situation

An overview of President Obama’s Executive Order relating to federal contracts

On Sept. 7, 2015, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13706, "Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors," which requires certain employers with federal government contracts to provide up to seven days, or 56 hours, of paid sick leave annually. The Executive Order set Sept. 30, 2016, as the deadline for the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations or a final rule implementing the order's requirements.

DOL's final rule became effective Nov. 30, 2016, and requires federal construction contractors and subcontractors to provide employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave allowing for family care. The final rule discusses the contractors and employees subject to the paid leave requirements, as well as rules for how paid leave will accrue, how the paid leave can be used, and how DOL intends to enforce the rule against federal contractors and subcontractors who violate the rule's requirements.

Applying paid sick leave

The requirement to provide paid sick leave only applies to contractors and subcontractors working on federal construction projects meeting two requirements. First, the prime contract must be new, which is defined as a contract awarded on or after Jan. 1, 2017. Second, the contract must be subject to the Davis-Bacon Act. A project is subject to the Davis-Bacon Act when it is owned by a federal contracting agency and the prime contract's value exceeds $2,000. (The Executive Order also applies to contracts covered by the Service Contract Act, concessions contracts, and service contracts in connection with federal property and lands.)