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Obama to order government contractors to offer workers paid sick leave

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President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Monday in Boston requiring U.S. government contractors to offer seven days of paid sick leave a year to their workers, the White House said.

Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters on a conference call on Sunday that the United States was the only developed country that did not have a paid leave policy and that the executive order would benefit about 300,000 people working on government contracts.

“Everyday, the president sees the pressing need for policies to support working families,” said Jarrett. “There are letters that come his way from hardworking Americans, who live everyday with the anxiety that comes from being one ailment or one injury away from losing a job, losing their livelihood and ability to look after their families.”

Starting in 2017, workers on government contracts will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Contractors can offer more generous amounts at their discretion.

The executive order follows a series of measures by the White House to expand access to paid leave. In January, Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the government to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for other sick-leave eligible uses.

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Obama also called on Congress to pass legislation giving government employees six additional weeks of paid parental leave. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he could not say what the cost of implementing the seven-day paid leave rule would be to contractors.

“We believe the cost of implementing this rule is offset by the efficiencies that come with reduced attrition, increased loyalty, all of those things that have been documented in a number of studies of state laws that have been enacted,” Perez said on the call.

Obama will also use the trip to Boston to renew his call for Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require all businesses with 15 or more employees to offer up to seven paid sick days each year.

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According to the White House, an estimated 44 million private-sector workers, about 40 percent of the total private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick leave.

Obama will also announce new Department of Labor rules giving federal contract workers new tools to demand equal pay.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face rape charges in Nevada

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Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any charges over an alleged rape in the US state of Nevada a decade ago, prosecutors said on Monday.

The Clark County District Attorney's Office said it had declined to prosecute the Portuguese star because it "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that a sexual assault occurred.

Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, has claimed that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star reached a financial settlement with her following the incident but has denied allegations of sexual assault.

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‘They are lemmings’: Democratic strategist blasts Republicans as ‘the party of cowardice and complicity’

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In a CNN panel Monday, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona unleashed on the way Republicans are continuing to give President Donald Trump a pass on his racist attacks on four congresswomen of color.

In a press availability, Trump told reporters that the four women are changing the Democratic Party, saying no one knows how to handle them.

After playing the tape, one of the panelists off-camera could be heard saying, "He's such a liar."

"It’s so insulting that he even talks about these four young women of color as 'people who need to be handled,'" Cardona said of Trump's casual misogyny. "They are elected members of Congress. They deserve respect. What I think really drives this president crazy is that they are young, and they are women of color, and that they are doing things that really take him off of his message. And they are also exposing what many of us have already known — that he is a racist, that he has taken a playbook out of the handbook of white supremacists telling them to 'send her back.' And then — then using that at his rallies and saying he doesn’t agree with it."

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2020 Election

Georgetown Law professor: Top broadcaster ‘likely’ killed interview because Buttigieg is gay

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A prominent Georgetown Law professor says Cumulus Media likely blocked an interview one of its country music station hosts had conducted with Pete Buttigieg from airing because the Democratic presidential candidate is gay.

After Huffpost reported that Blair Garner had been told by Cumulus Media he could not air any part of his interview with Buttigieg, Cumulus – the number three broadcaster in the nation of AM and FM radio stations – claimed the decision was based on the “equal time rule.”

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