The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has published a Final Rule establishing paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors. The Final Rule applies to new federal contracts and replacements for expiring contracts that result from solicitations on or after January 1, 2017. Under the new rule which takes effect on November 29, 2016:

  • Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on or in connection with a covered federal contract.
  • Paid sick leave is capped at 56 hours (seven days) in a year, but can be carried over to the next year.
  • Employees may use paid sick leave for (1) their own illnesses or other health care needs (including preventive care); (2) for purposes resulting from being the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; or (3) for the health care, preventive care or care related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking of the employees’ child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
  • The Final Rule allows for coordination with existing paid time off policies and labor agreements so that the federal paid leave is not added to sick leave programs that already provide up to 56 hours per year in paid leave.
  • Employers may require that employees provide certification from a health care provider if they use three or more days of leave consecutively.
  • While the employee may request the time off orally or in writing, if the employer is going to deny the request, the reason for the denial must be explained in writing.