San Francisco Sick Leave Law Takes Effect; First in U.S.
San Francisco on Monday became the first city in the U.S. to require all businesses to offer paid sick leave for all employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. San Francisco voters approved the measure in November.
Under the law, employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees must limit accrual to 40 hours per employee, and businesses with 10 or more employees have an accrual limit of 72 hours per employee.
Workers can use the leave for their own illness or medical appointments, or to care for a sick family member. Employees with no spouse or registered domestic partner can use the sick leave to care for a neighbor, friend or other designated person of choice.
City officials are considering a proposal by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd that would extend the deadline to June 5 for businesses to begin paying workers for sick leave. The proposal also would not assess financial penalties on employers for not tracking sick leave until after June 5.
Lawmakers in New Jersey and Washington state recently have introduced similar measures to require paid sick leave.
On a national level, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) next week will hold a Senate committee hearing on a similar federal proposal (DeBare, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6).
KQED's "The California Report" on Monday reported on the new law. The segment includes comments from:
- Restaurant employees who will receive sick leave under the law;
- An attorney who represents San Francisco employers; and
- A labor advocate who lobbied for the ballot measure that established the law (Varney, "The California Report," KQED, 2/5).