Obama to expand sick pay for federal contractors with new executive order

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Sept. 7, 2015 at 7:04 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order Monday granting paid sick leave to hundreds of thousands of workers employed by federal contractors.

The order will require federal contractors to give employees up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. The policy, which begins with new federal contracts in 2017, will allow workers to use paid sick leave to care for themselves, family members and loved ones, and also applies to absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Labor Day announcement, which was expected during Obama's Monday trip to Boston, comes after similar orders requiring federal contractors to increase salaries and working conditions, including expanding overtime compensation, banning sexual-orientation discrimination and raising workers' minimum wage. Obama has long called on Congress to pass legislation expanding paid sick and family leave in the private sector.

"We have to do better, and we can do better," Valerie Jarrett, Obama's senior advisor, said Sunday. "It's good for business, it's good for our economy, and it's good for the American family."

The order will affect 300,000 American workers who are not currently eligible for sick leave.

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