President Obama signed an executive order Monday extending paid sick leave to an estimated 300,000 federal contract workers. The change—announced, appropriately enough, on Labor Day—will ensure workers employed by companies that receive government contracts have at least seven days of paid time off each year.


Among those hit hardest by a lack of paid leave: people in the service industry. And for workers preparing food or home health aides, going to work sick isn’t just bad for their health, it’s bad for everyone else’s health, too.

“Those are the exact type of jobs that you want people to stay at home because they have such high interactions with customers and co-workers,” Jessica Milli, a senior research associate at The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, recently told CNN Money .