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Obama Uses Executive Order to Ensure Contractors Get Paid Sick Leave

On Labor Day 2015 President Obama used an Executive Order to direct companies with Federal Contracts to provide their employees with at minimum 7 days of paid sick leave per year. The Executive Order comes into effect on January 1, 2017, for all contracts awarded on or after that date. The order also stipulates that employers must allow sick leave to carry over year to year for employees.

 

President's Order

The President’s Order Extends to Family As Well

The President’s order will extend to “a child, a parent, a spouse, a domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood or affinity where the relationship is equivalent to that of a family relationship”. This allows workers to take paid time off to help take care of a sick child or anyone they have a familial relationship with.

This Executive Order Follows with 4 States and 24 Municipalities but Goes a Step Further

While Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon have laws providing paid sick leave for state employees, the President’s Order provides more days of sick leave. The Order stipulates 1 hour of sick leave per 30 hours of work. Also, with the benefit of being able to carry sick days over year to year the President has surpassed State laws that usually limit the time to 40 hours able to be carried over.

 

Federal Contracting Guidelines

President Obama is Not Afraid of Using Executive Orders to Shake Up Federal Contracting Guidelines

Since taking office in 2008, President Obama has issued 12 Executive Orders that pertain to government contracting. His orders have caused 16 new regulations for Employers to adhere to and have been designed to improve worker’s lives. While his actions have begun to ruffle feathers in the Government Contracting arena, the President doesn’t seem to mind trying to make things equal for workers.

Republicans in Congress Oppose the President’s Efforts

As is the case with most of the President’s policies or orders, this one was met with opposition in Congress. Republican Senators say the order puts undue pressure on Government Contractors driving up their operating costs, and the cost of the goods and services they provide. The United States Chamber of Commerce is looking into lawsuits stating the President has overstepped his bounds with this order.

 

American Workers

This Executive Order Could Help over 300,000 American Workers

While most of the developed nations in the world offer Government workers paid sick leave, in America it has become a partisan issue. The number of workers this order will help is not in debate. With this order, the President has set in motion the means for over 300,000 workers to receive paid sick leave. It is estimated that over 44 million Americans do not enjoy the benefit of paid sick leave.

The President Hopes Executive Order Will Be The First Step in Better Quality of Life For American Workers

With experts saying the gap between the lowest and the highest paid workers in America at an all-time high, the President is hoping to use his powers to help close the gap. Benefits like paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage are what can help bring the American worker back to the forefront and help to close the wage gap. The hope is that the cost of implementing the new rule will be offset by the ability to retain employees that the new rules will provide.

As an aside, this employment law content was written to inform, educate and protect small businesses from compliance issues. If you have employees, you’ll need quality protection. If you’re operating in Broward County, try one of these labor law posters for complete employer compliance. They have a top notch legal team in-house that reviews their compliance posters routinely for total employment compliance.

 

Healthy Families Act

President Obama asks Congress to Pass the Healthy Families Act

Following his Executive Order granting paid sick leave, President Obama has asked Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act. The Healthy Families Act would make it so businesses with over 15 employees the work at least 20 weeks a year offer paid sick leave to employees. The act was sponsored by Rep. DeLauro Rosa (D-Connecticut) in 2013. In 2014, the bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

The President Feels the Order Will Improve the Well-Being of Employees

The President stated that this order will “improve the health and performance of Employees of Federal contractors in line with benefits packages of model employers, ensuring they remain competitive employers in the search for dedicated and talented employees. Obama also states that “Contractors shouldn’t have to decide between a paycheck and taking care of a sick child.

 

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Article provided by Neches FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland and Beaumont.

Neches FCU is a Texas credit union and has a courteous and attentive team of professionals ready to provide services to our members. When its doors open at any of the several service centers, the mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the imperative for every employee. They are respected for a personal, dynamic and upbeat work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where members are known by name.

Neches has approximately $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches FCU is considered by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in Texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

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