Obama to sign executive order on paid sick leave

obamaPresident Barack Obama will sign an executive order Monday that will give hundreds of thousands of employees working for federal contractors up to seven days of paid sick leave annually.

The measure, which will affect approximately 300,000 people, applies to new contracts beginning in 2017, and gives workers one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Obama will make the announcement on the United State’s Labor Day holiday, alongside labor leaders in Boston, according to The Washington Post.

“The fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job,” the White House said in a statement.

“As a result, too many workers are unable to take the time they need to recover from an illness,” it said.

The president also plans to call on Congress to enact legislation that would require businesses with more than 15 employees to offer seven days of sick leave as well.

Obama has long held expansion of paid leave as a major priority.

During his State of the Union address earlier this year, Obama said that the United States was “the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.”

“That forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home,” he said.

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