Paid Sick Day Mandate Could Go on Ballot
A measure requiring San Francisco employers to offer paid sick days to employees could appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Currently, no federal, state or local law mandates that businesses offer paid sick days.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on the proposed legislation at the request of Supervisor Chris Daly, who supports putting the measure on the ballot. According to the Examiner, there "seems to [be] enough support" from supervisors for the measure.
Under a draft plan, businesses with more than 10 workers would be required to offer as many as nine sick days per year per employee. Businesses with 10 or fewer workers would be required to offer as many as five sick days per year per worker.
The plan would cost city businesses an estimated $33.5 million annually, but businesses would save $42 million per year by reducing work force turnover, according to a report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The report states that about 116,000 workers in the city do not receive sick day benefits.
A coalition of employee advocacy groups working to put the measure on the ballot will meet with the city's Small Business Commission and Chamber of Commerce before drafting the final proposal.
Advocates of the measure say the plan will save money and create a healthier and more stable workforce. Rajiv Bhatia, director of occupational and environmental health at the Department of Public Health, said sick day benefits could prevent "thousands of avoidable hospitalizations that are costing the city millions of dollars."
Jim Lazarus, vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, said the proposal would hurt small businesses (Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner, 7/27).