“I think these people have been taking care of people in San Francisco for a long time, and it’s about time we care for them,” said Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who co-sponsored the measure with Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
The measure addresses the fact that many domestic workers may work for multiple households, the Chronicle said.
It creates a a portable paid sick leave benefit, so workers would earn slivers of paid sick leave from each employer and then consolidate them. An employer would pay one hour of wages into the sick leave fund for every 30 hours of service from a domestic worker.
To take effect, the measure needs a second vote by the supervisors and must be signed by Mayor London Breed. It would then take several months for the city to hire a private company to administer the benefits program, according to the Chronicle.
Kimberly Alvarenga, executive director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition, said the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of domestic workers because “if they didn’t go to work, they didn’t get paid.”
“If they became ill with the virus, if a family members became ill with the virus, they had no choice,” Alvarenga said. “This ordinance will provide some equity so when they become ill, they can take a day to take care of themselves, children or family members.”