On Labor Day, President Obama announced a new executive order that requires federal contractors to grant paid sick leave to their employees. While the details are still trickling out, we know this much about the order:

  • Provides at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked;
  • Takes into account absences related to stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence; and
  • Takes effect in 2017.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), most private employers are required to give their employees leave, but they are not required to pay them. Some states, including Massachusetts where Obama announced the new plan, have enacted paid sick leave laws. South Carolina is not one of those states.

While this executive order may not apply to many South Carolina employers, this could be the first step towards legislation mandating paid sick leave for private employers. During the speech, Obama urged Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would do just that. Obama’s announcement is the latest development in his push to alter workplace regulation before leaving office. It follows in the footsteps of the Department of Labor’s proposal to change the overtime rules (see link to our other post), as well as raising the minimum wage for federal contractor employees.