Executive Orders Change Requirements for Federal Government Workers

Stephen Koppekin has specialized in resolving and negotiating employment issues for over forty years, using his vast knowledge of comparative economics, law, and dispute resolution to support him.  Stephen enjoys writing about the latest labor topics on his websites.

The Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors and Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Orders are bringing changes to contractor’s and subcontractor’s contracts in 2017. Signed into law by former President Obama, contractors and subcontractors that enter into or renew federal contracts this year should be aware of the new requirements to provide complete paycheck transparency and paid sick leave for covered workers.

Paycheck Transparency in Compliance with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

The paycheck transparency regulation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order requires that contractors and subcontractors must provide a pay stub to all workers under the contract. The pay stub can be given via the traditional paper method or electronically, as long as workers are able to access the electronic statements. In addition, if a significant portion of the contractor’s workforce is not fluent in English, the pay stubs must also be provided in the relevant non-English language.

The pay stub must be provided each pay period and include:

  • Total hours worked that pay period
  • Total overtime hours worked in that pay period, broken down by a workweek basis
  • Rate of pay for hours worked
  • Gross pay for the pay period
  • A list of deductions or additions from gross pay

The Department of Labor has determined that only six states and Washington, D.C. require pay stubs similar to those required by the Executive Order. These states are: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, and Oregon.

Paid Sick Leave in Compliance with the Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Executive Order

Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors require certain federal government contractors to provide paid sick leave to covered employees. These employees must be allowed to accrue and use paid sick leave while working on or in connection with a covered working contract.

Employees who are covered are entitled to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on or in connection with a covered contract. Up to 56 hours in one year can be accrued and can be used at any time. When and if accrued paid sick leave hours are used, employees can use as little as an hour at any time. If none of the accrued 56 paid sick leave hours are used, those 56 hours can be carried over from year to year while they work for the same contractor on covered contracts.

Covered employees may use paid sick leave while working on or in connection with a covered contract in the following situations:

  • Personal illness or other health needs, including preventive care
  • Care of family members or loved ones, including close friends, who are ill or need health care, including preventive care
  • Health care needs resulting from being the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking—or to assist a family member or loved one who is a victim of such acts

What Happens With the New Administration?

Since these Executive Orders were signed into law by former President Obama, it’s hard to tell if President Trump will void these orders or lessen the burden on employers. For now, employers need to take these Executive Orders into consideration when planning their budgets for the new year, since they will require additional costs. Additionally, employers should keep up with potential changes to these Executive Orders by frequently checking the Department of Labor’s website and staying updated on the news.

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