An executive order requiring federal contractors to allow employees at least seven days of paid sick leave will take effect Q3 2016.
The number of people working under contract for the federal government is so vast that the Congressional Budget Office last is unable to estimate the exact size, and when requested to do so by the House Budget Committee, an estimate places the expense at well over $600 billion for both labor, and contracted products last year. Just to compare with the private sector, the world’s largest private employer with over 2.2 million workers is Wal-Mart and their worldwide revenues equate to 30% less for the same time period. So it’s safe to say whatever the exact number is, it’s huge.
Here is some of the key language defining the basis on which a contractor's employee can receive paid sick leave. Specifically, paid sick leave earned may be used by an employee for an absence resulting from illness, or injury, or caring for any individual related by blood or affinity who is in need of care.
The goal in issuing the order was not just to ensure paid sick leave benefits for those specific workers, but to set an informal standard for all employers.
Similar private sector regulations currently exist in 9 states. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, and oddly enough a number of cities, outside of these states, share these regulations as well Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, in addition to the New Jersey cities of Newark, Jersey City, Irvington, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Trenton, Montclair, Bloomfield and New Brunswick.
Once the rules go into effect, federal contractors will need to maintain detailed records of actions related to paid sick leave requests and the granting of those requests via an online time clock, electronic time clock system, or other type of software
Penalties for employers who are found to violate the regulations' requirements will be similar to those imposed under the Family and Medical Leave Act and makes not having an electronic time clock system in place cost prohibitive.