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Washington Returns to the Battle for Work Culture

Matt Kelly | September 8, 2015

On a certain level, it’s fitting that President Obama keeps pounding new corporate compliance requirements onto government contractors. After all, rewriting the social contract is at the heart of all this, and many more revisions are coming.

The latest new clause came from Obama himself: On Labor Day, he announced that all government contractors will be required to offer paid sick leave starting in 2017. (Cynical applause to the president for proposing a socially popular but business-unfriendly rule that delivers its full bite only after he leaves office.) Expect Obama to start hectoring Congress for a national paid sick leave law as soon as everyone in Washington gets back to work this week.

The president’s words will fall on deaf ears, of course, but that is part of his long-term political strategy: portray his administration as trying to...

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