Domestic workers

New SF bill would give paid sick leave to domestic workers

Domestic workers like nannies and gardeners may soon start earning paid sick leave in San Francisco.

The new bill would put in place an app allowing domestic workers to register their hours with their employers. For every 30 hours worked with an employer, they would earn one hour of paid sick leave that could add up to a full day off with all employers.

This is something that San Francisco law has covered for years, but there has never been a way for domestic workers to prove they saved time.

“Employers don’t even know they have this obligation,” said Hillary Ronen, the city supervisor representing District 9 in San Francisco. “Many are individual owners and domestic workers. Whether they know it or not, it is impractical for them to use this benefit in the workplace to which they are entitled.”

“So if (the workers) got sick or their loved one, their child got sick, got COVID for some reason or another, they had no choice. And they were the only choice to either go to work or if they don’t. To go to work, they don’t eat, ”said Kimberly Alvarenga, director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition.

San Francisco is considering the new law as several other cities, including Philadelphia, have pushed for more rights for domestic workers.

San Francisco executives are hopeful that the idea of ​​accumulating time in a paid sick leave app will spread to other benefits and serve as a framework for other cities to follow.

“This concept of transferable benefits could really be extended, not only to include other benefits for domestic workers, such as potentially pension funds or health care or other types of benefits that other workers. get and they never got, ”Ronen said.

“The next phase will be this education and awareness for employers and the 10,000 domestic workers who work in the city of San Francisco,” said Alvarenga. “If we can accomplish all of these three phases, I think we’ll be on our way to being an example to others.”

The San Francisco measure has already been approved by the supervisory board and will likely be enacted. The application should be operational at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.