By Nolan Feeney
Updated: September 7, 2015 2:49 PM ET

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that gives an estimated 300,000 workers new access to paid sick leave.

Obama announced the executive order at the annual Greater Boston Labor Council Breakfast.
“Right now you have parents who have to choose between losing income or staying home with a sick child,” Obama told the group.

The order will require federal contractors to give their workers the ability to earn up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave each year, according to a press release from the White House. Employees will earn an hour of paid leave per every 30 hours of work when the policy begins with 2017 federal contracts. They can use that time to care for themselves as well as family members.

It’s the latest step in Obama’s labor agenda, which saw him expand paternal leave in January and expand overtime eligibility in June.

“You shouldn’t have to win the boss lottery to have access to paid leave, just as you shouldn’t have to win the geographic lottery in order to get a minimum wage that allows you to feed your family,” Labor Secretary Tom Perez said Sunday in a preview of the order, USA Today reports.

 

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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