In Boston Speech, Obama Unveils Executive Order for Paid Sick Leave

BOSTON (Washington Post) —

President Obama rallied union workers here Monday, announcing a new executive order that will require federal contractors to offer employees up to seven paid sick days a year, a move the White House said could benefit more than 300,000 workers.

Obama unveiled the new directive during a Labor Day speech in Boston, as he continues a year-long effort to pressure Congress to approve a progressive agenda.

“Right now you have parents who have to choose between losing income or staying home with a sick child,” Obama told a crowd of 765 supporters, including many labor union officials.

Under the president’s new executive order, workers on federal contracts would be eligible for paid leave if they are sick or caring for a sick relative, the White House said. They will earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of seven days a year, officials said.

The president sought to draw a contrast between his policies and those of Republican candidates for the White House. Republicans think “just wait, look up in sky, and see prosperity come raining down on us on top of whatever high-rise is in New York City,” he said. “That’s not how the economy works.”

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