Saturday, February 17, 2007

San Francisco Providing Paid Sick Leave to Domestic Employees

Domesticworker Thanks to Daniel Mitchell (UCLA Management, Public Affairs) for posting this story on the LERA listserv concerning the impact of San Francisco's new paid sick leave law on domestic workers (via the San Francisco Chronicle):

San Francisco's new law requiring all employers to provide paid sick leave --  the first such law in the country  --  has sparked hot debate among owners of conventional small businesses such as restaurants and retail shops.

But the law also applies to another group of employers who are hardly aware of it  --  people who hire household help such as nannies, babysitters, house cleaners and elder care workers.

There are no reliable numbers for how many San Franciscans employ household help, partly because many people hire their nannies or cleaners off the books and don't file payroll tax forms for them.

The result of the informal, unregulated and off-the-books nature of household employment is that domestic workers often lack the basic workplace rights and benefits that other Americans take for granted.

As "relatively few San Francisco household employers seem aware that the law applies to them," it will be interesting to see if the City is able to effectively enforce this law for a segment of the workforce which has historically not been able to secure such benefits.  Perhaps it will take a few complaints being filed by domestic workers before household employers wake up and take notice of this paid sick leave law.


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