As previously reported on this Blog, recent news reports indicated that President Obama would be issuing an Executive Order mandating paid sick leave for the employees of federal contractors. The President did just that on Monday (Labor Day). We have read the Executive Order and our analysis regarding its contents remains the same as when we reported on this issue last month. The Executive Order can be read here. The Executive Order is broad and much about the Order remains unanswered. We expect to have more answers to these questions when regulations are released by the Department of Labor on or around September 30, 2016. The requirements of the Executive Order will not go into effect until 2017.
We did notice one change from the draft Executive Order. In addition to “paid sick leave” including absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the time absent from work is for medical treatment/diagnosis, to obtain additional counseling, to seek relocation, to seek assistance from a victim services organization, to take related legal action, including preparation for or participation in any related civil or criminal legal proceeding, the final Executive Order also allows individuals to use paid sick leave to “assist an individual related to the employee . . . in engaging in any of these activities.” Recall from our prior post that an “individual related to the employee” is quite broad and includes “a child, a parent, a spouse, a domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”