SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Mayor London Breed signed a public health emergency ordinance Friday, putting the new law into effect immediately and making over 200,000 San Franciscans eligible for two additional weeks of paid leave.
Supervisor Gordon Mar had proposed the extension and it was approved by his colleagues.
"While we take shelter, we must also take care of frontline and furloughed workers, and take action to help people stay both physically and economically healthy," said Mar. "Economic policy is public health policy. We are only as healthy as our neighbor, our grocery store clerk, our frontline essential workers, and if they can't afford to stay home when they need to, we are all worse off."
Employees of large companies located within the city are now entitled to two weeks of fully paid leave -- in addition to existing benefits -- if they are sick, need to take care of a family member, are unable to work because of shelter-in-place, are 60 or older, or have a compromised immune system.
"As the crisis progresses, we've heard more and more about domestic workers, grocery workers and warehouse workers who are falling sick or dying of COVID 19," said Kung Feng, Executive Director of Jobs With Justice San Francisco. "Now, two hundred thousand San Francisco workers have public health emergency leave to protect themselves, their families and the public. This is a live-saving measure."
Under the new law, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers will also be able to immediately access an additional two weeks of fully paid leave if they demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19, are recommended to self-quarantine, or otherwise do not meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's return to work guidance for healthcare providers.
All healthcare providers working for large private employers -- including Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Dignity Health, and Northeast Medical Services -- will be eligible for the new paid leave.
"Our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are working on front lines in the midst of a pandemic, and it is in the interest of public health to ensure that those workers do not have to go to work if they are sick," said Mar. "These workers are taking care of us when we need it most; and when they need it most, we need to take care of them."
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