Most employees in San Francisco (and throughout California) receive one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is now considering a prescription which would expand the availability of paid sick leave for domestic workers by establishing a system of “portable” paid sick leave.
The “Equal Access of Domestic Workers to Paid Sick Leave Through a Transferable System” ordinance would require any employer of domestic workers, including individual households, to provide their workers with paid leave through a transferable benefit system.
Under the current version of the proposed ordinance, a domestic worker includes a person who provides work or services in a residence to care for a child; serve as a companion or provide other non-medical care or services to a sick, recovering, disabled or elderly person; cleaning, cooking, providing food or butler service, gardening, organizing personal activities or performing other personal or domestic services in the home. A domestic worker also includes a person who, as part of their employment or contract, resides in the personal residence of the hiring entity.
A “rental entity” is defined as any person who, directly or indirectly or through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary services agency or contract employment agency or hire a domestic worker.
Under the proposal, a hiring entity must, regardless of the job classification of the domestic worker, provide paid sick leave funds. The domestic worker would then accumulate a right to paid sick leave in a similar way to other employees, that is to say not less than one hour of net pay, at the worker’s regular rate of pay, for every 30 hours of work for the hiring entities.
Entitlement to paid sick leave would accumulate in hourly increments, but funds would not transfer from the hiring entity to the domestic worker until the domestic worker requests the paid sick leave funds. The hiring entity would be responsible for any withholding tax or tax reporting obligations for the contribution at the time the paid sick leave funds are transferred. The employment agencies cannot interfere with or refuse the exercise of a right protected by this new ordinance, nor take any unfavorable measure against a domestic worker who exercises his right protected by this new ordinance.
If passed, the San Francisco Office of Economic Development and Workforce would be responsible for developing and administering the portable paid sick leave system with the goal of minimizing administrative burdens for the entity. who is hiring and the domestic worker. The system will track the hours worked of each covered worker for a hiring entity and net rates of pay and calculate the accrued entitlement to paid sick leave funds. The system will also coordinate the transfer of funds from one or more hiring entities to which the right to paid vacation has been acquired.
The ordinance will only come into force in 2022 if passed.