Under the new executive order, The White House will grant 300,000 employees under federal contracts up to seven paid sick days per year.

President Obama issues a new executive order.

The president signed the order on Labor Day requiring federal contractors to grant employees with paid sick leave.

300,000 employees who do not currently receive such benefits now have the right to seven paid sick days per year. Workers will earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.

The White House said in a statement:

"Many parents are forced to choose between taking an unpaid day off work -- losing much needed income and potentially threatening their jobs -- and sending a sick child who should be home in bed to school.”

The White House also called on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, requiring private-sector employers with more than 15 employees to extend paid sick leave.

President Obama made the appeal in Boston, receiving applause after announcing he signed the executive order on Air Force One.

The statement will go into effect in 2017—as the President prepares to leave office.

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