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Obama orders paid sick leave for workers at federal contractors

Staff writer ▼ | September 9, 2015
President Barack Obama used Labor Day to announce a new step toward increased benefits for workers and ordered companies doing business with the government to provide paid sick leave for their employees.
Barack Obama
Sick leave   A new step toward increased benefits
President announced with labor leaders in Boston and this order adds to a series of executive actions he took and comes as Congress resists legislation to change labor conditions and pay to cover all private-sector workers.

"Right now, about 40% of private-sector workers - 44 million people in America - don't have access to paid sick leave," Obama said in announcing the order.

"Unfortunately, only Congress has the power to give this security to all Americans," he added, "but where I can act, I will."

White House economists say that will lead to higher productivity in an era of stagnant wages, while nudging private companies and Congress to join in updating work conditions.