On Sept. 30, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued a final rule requiring certain federal contractors to offer employees up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care. The paid sick leave required by the final rule is in addition to a contractor’s obligations under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). Therefore, a contractor may not receive credit toward its prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligation under the SCA and DBA for paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the requirements of the final rule.
The final rule is effective Nov. 29 and applies to covered contracts where the solicitation of the contract has been issued, or the contract has been awarded outside the solicitation process, on or after Jan. 1, 2017. For more information, read an analysis of the final rule by ABC’s general counsel, Littler Mendelson P.C.
ABC submitted comments in April 2016 asking DOL to withdraw the rule as proposed and in addition raised a number of concerns. In ABC’s comments, clarification was requested by the agency on whether contractors could allow employees to use paid sick leave accrued on federal projects on non-federal projects. The agency clarified that a contractor would not be penalized for allowing an employee to use the leave on non-federal projects.
Under the final rule, contractors must allow employees to use as little as an hour of paid sick leave at a time. In addition, contractors must allow employees to carry over up to 56 hours of unused paid sick leave from year to year while working for the same contractor on covered work.