At the end of September 2016, the Department of Labor released the final rules for federal contractors. The rules required employers to provide workers with paid sick leave.
The final rule only applies to employees working on or in connection with federal contracts. Nevertheless, it establishes a guidepost that reflects the trend for sick leaves regarding workplaces in general.
Under the following situations, workers can use paid leave:
- For their own personal illness (whether a physical or mental disorder, disease, condition or impairment)
- To take of a sick family member
- To see a doctor
- To take a family member to a medical appointment
- For handling issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
Statistics indicate the rule will:
Provide up to 56 hours of sick leave per year for approximately 1.15 million federal contractors’ employees, which also includes 594,000 employees who currently do not receive paid sick leave.
Employers can allow sick leave to accrue over time or front load sick leaves to make administration easier.
Employers are given flexibility in integrating existing paid time-off policies with existing collective bargaining agreements.
Sick Leave Carry Over
Sick leave days from one particular year carry over to the next year. However, the employer does not have to pay the worker for accrued sick leave that the worker did not use by the end of the job. If the employer rehires the same employee within 12 months (even if for a different contract), and sick leave had been accrued but not used, the accrued sick leave is reinstated.
Overall, the purpose of the final rule is to help improve workers’ health and performance while protecting public health as well by keeping sick workers at home.
The final rule goes into effect in January 2017.
Do You Have Questions about Sick Leave?
If you have questions about sick leave for employees, consult with an experienced employment litigation attorney.
Stephen Hans & Associates can answer your questions and help protect you against legal liability.