Family Values @ Work

White House Drafts Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Days for Federal Contractors

White House Drafts Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Days for Federal Contractors

August 5, 2015

In response to the New York Times article on the Obama administration’s draft executive order that would guarantee paid sick days for employees of all federal contractors, Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work and one of the nation’s leading experts on paid sick days and paid family leave policies, released the following statement:

“Family Values @ Work applauds the White House for taking this bold step in guaranteeing paid sick days for thousands of workers, and we hope to see its enactment. The federal government should lead by example. Such a move is precisely its role: to create model standards for the rest of the country to follow and to make sure taxpayer dollars are used wisely.


“There is a growing body of evidence from existing paid sick days laws—which have now passed in four states and 21 cities nationwide—that shows such laws help workers maintain a living income and stable employment, ultimately boosting the health and well-being of American families and the economy.


“This story is particularly appropriate as today marks the 22nd anniversary of the implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which established the principle that having a family shouldn’t cost you your job. The FMLA, however, is unpaid and does not cover routine illness or preventative care. Guaranteeing affordable and accessible paid leave for all Americans—including time to recover from routine illnesses and receive preventative care—is way past due. This is exactly what a federal standard for paid sick days would address.”

Today’s news is yet another example of the undeniable momentum around paid sick days as cities and states across the country have taken paid sick days into their own hands. As recently as Monday, Pittsburgh passed its own paid sick days law, joining 20 other cities and four states. Paid sick days is also shaping up to be one of the top political issues in the 2016 election, as more and more elected officials and candidates are recognizing that it’s a winning economic issue—and winning political one.


Family Values @ Work is a network of coalitions in 21 states working to pass policies that value families at work such as paid sick days and affordable family leave.

Margy Levinson,, 646-335-0441 Leslie Patterson,, 646-200-5326



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