The Department of Labor has announced a proposed rule to implement a new executive order that would require employers that enter into covered contracts with the U.S. federal government to provide covered employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave allowing for family care.

The executive order, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, was signed by President Barack Obama on Sept. 7, 2015.

The proposed rule, which was published in the federal register on Feb. 25, describes the categories of contracts and employees covered by the executive order; the rules and restrictions regarding the accrual and use of paid sick leave; the obligations of contracting agencies, the Department of Labor, and covered federal contractors under the order; and the remedies and enforcement procedures to implement the Order’s requirements.

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“Nearly 44 million workers in the U.S. don’t get any paid sick leave from their employers,” said the Department of Labor in a news release. “That means when illness strikes, nearly 40% of private sector workers face a difficult choice: go to work to earn the full paycheck they so desperately need, or make a financial sacrifice – and risk losing their job – to stay home to care for themselves or a family member.

“While we have a ways to go to ensure every worker in America has paid sick leave, the executive order will provide additional paid sick leave to an estimated 828,000 workers. Nearly 437,000 of those currently receive no paid sick leave.”

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