This week the DOL published its final rule requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees working on or in connection with federal contracts.  The sick leave required by the final rule would allow an employee to use accrued paid sick leave for their own illness, the need to care for a sick family member, to see a doctor or take a family member to a doctor’s appointment or when the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse or stalking.  Covered contractors must provide employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on a covered contract with a cap of 56 hours earned each year (i.e., 7 days).  Paid sick leave accrued but not used in a year, rolls over to the next year but rollovers hours may be capped at 56 hours.

The Department estimates that the final rule will provide or increase paid sick leave benefits to approximately 1.15 million workers.

Key provisions of the final rule include:

  • Prohibitions against interference, discrimination or retaliation in connection with use of paid sick leave;
  • Posting obligations of the paid sick leave rights;
  • Substantial recording keeping and retention requirements on paid sick leave accruals and usuage;
  • Requires segregation of medical records and records of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking obtained for purposes of administering paid sick leave program;
  • May only require medical documentation to substantiate the sick leave, under the final rule, for absences of 3 or more days;
  • Not required to pay out accrued paid sick leave on termination unless required under state law.

The final rule will apply to all federal covered contracts that are solicited or awarded after January 1, 2017.

A copy of the Final Rule can be accessed here.

A link to the DOL’s 3 minute video on the final rule is here.