Executive Orders are becoming the hallmark of President Obama’s second term. His latest seeks to provide workers with paid sick leave. But it won’t affect all employers?
The latest order, which the DOL is currently reviewing, would require federal contractors and subcontractors to provide their employees with a minimum of 56 hours (seven days) of paid sick leave annually.
Workers could use the leave for their own illness or to take care of sick relatives.
Some of the other notable Executive Orders of Obama’s second term as president include:
- The order to rewrite the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions (for which the proposed rules just came out)
- The order for federal contractors to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and
- The “Fair Pay” order requiring federal contractors to report whether they’ve violated any one of 14 labor laws within the past three years.
Executive Orders allow the administration to impose regulations without Congressional action.
The paid sick leave order is part of a larger nationwide trend of states (like Connecticut, California Massachusetts and Oregon) and cities (Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and others) adopting paid sick leave requirements.
Paid sick leave is something President Obama has been very clear on: “Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave. It’s the right thing to do.”
Under the new Executive Order, employers that do business with the government would also be required to allow unused paid leave to accrue year after year, according to The New York Times, which obtained a draft of the order.
Some other important notes about the order:
- An employer can’t make taking paid leave contingent upon a worker finding a replacement
- The final regulations would consider a relative any individual “related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship”
- Leave could also be used to seek medical attention, as well as counseling and legal action relating to domestic violence and sexual assault, and
- Detailed regulations will be issued by Sept. 30, 2016.
The Executive Order comes on the heels of the DOL releasing data that showed 39% of private sector employees have no paid sick leave.