CPC Co-Chairs Statement on Executive Order Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

WASHINGTON– Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) today released the following statement on the Executive Order Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors:

“I’m proud to see President Obama take yet another step to ensure American workers are treated with the dignity and respect they earn and deserve on the job,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Faced with a Republican-led Congress unwilling to raise the minimum wage or create federal protections from wage theft, this administration acted to the full extent of its authority to at least provide those assurances for federal contract workers. Now President Obama is doing the same with paid sick leave. The simple fact is a mother shouldn’t have to choose between losing her job or caring for a sick child. Paid sick leave keeps American workers productive and protects families at their core.”

“Hard working people should not be forced to choose between taking care of themselves or their loved ones and being able to provide for their family,” said Rep. Ellison. “We should provide paid sick and family leave to every worker in America, and it’s great news that the federal government is moving forward with its plan to make paid sick leave a reality for employees of federal contractors.

“The Progressive Caucus has long advocated for the rights and needs of working people – from $15 and a union to paid sick leave. The Federal Government should set the example by being a Model Employer and demanding that federal contractors do the same.  We applaud the President’s action and will continue to fight for living wages, paid leave, health care, and respect for employees’ right to negotiate.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has encouraged President Obama to sign a Model Employer Executive Orderthat would reward good federal contractors and guarantee workers’ rights to collectively bargain. The order would also give preference for federal contracts to companies that provide living wage, paid leave, and health care for their employees. Earlier in the Obama Administration, the CPC successfully advocated for the Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Executive Order, and the Executive Order Establishing a $10.10 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, both of which ensure that federal contract employees are protected and treated fairly. The CPC’s 2017 budget, The People’s Budget, includes Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) Healthy Families Act which would set a national standard to provide all workers with up to 7 days of paid sick leave. This would help prevent the nearly $160 billion in lost productivity suffered by American business every year due to the spread of sickness in the workplace.