Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13706, which was signed by President Obama on Labor Day 2015, establishing paid sick leave for Federal Contractors. In short, the Rule will apply to “covered contracts” – defined broadly and with limited exceptions in the Rule – which are newly solicited, awarded outside the solicitation process, renewed, extended, or amended on or after January 1, 2017, and it requires parties that enter into covered contracts with the Federal Government to provide “covered employees” – again, there are limited exclusions, including a temporary exclusion for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement – with up to 7 days (56 hours) of paid sick leave annually.
Even for those Federal Contractors that already offer paid time off to their existing workforces, now would be a good time to review your policies and procedures to ensure they satisfy the requirements of the E.O. and Final Rule. In addition to specific requirements related to leave accrual rates, certification and use, there are carryover provisions and other stringent administrative obligations, recordkeeping, contract clause and notice requirements, and anti-retaliation prohibitions. For compliance assistance, consult counsel.