Workers’ rights in the time of Covid-19

The Covid-19 public health crisis has exposed the ongoing crisis of inequality that Jobs with Justice and our networks have fought for decades. Our communities, ravaged by neoliberalism, have no safety net. With millions uninsured or underinsured and four in five people living paycheck to paycheck, both the virus and the shutdowns could have a devastating effect on the most vulnerable workers.

Now more than ever, we need just wages for all workers – to build healthy, resilient economies. Now more than ever, we need guaranteed sick leave and family leave for all workers – so we can take care of ourselves and each other. Now more than ever, we need Medicare for All, to guarantee healthcare to every member of our community.

As the “shelter in place” order comes into effect across the Bay Area, we are working to ensure existing and recently expanded SF and CA leave ordinances are enforced, while fighting for expanded sick leave and aid for vulnerable workers:

  • SF United in Crisis – As part of a coalition with SF Rising, unions, workers’ centers, disability rights groups and housing organizations, we are demanding that the City’s response meet the needs of our communities. Our platform includes a minimum of 14 days of paid sick leave for all workers, expedited enforcement of all workers rights’ laws, and direct financial support for vulnerable workers. Read and sign on to our full list of demands and share on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!
  • Enforce AB5 – Workers in the gig economy are at incredible risk during this pandemic and lack all rights to benefits and time off – sign this petition to enforce AB5 so that drivers for companies such as Lyft and Uber can get paid time off.

Your rights today:

  • SF Paid Sick Leave Ordinance – guarantees 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours per year. Sick leave may be used by sick or quarantined workers, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a child during school closures. As of March 16th, the Workers and Families First Program will provide for 40 additional hours of SF paid sick leave – however the funds must be applied for and distributed by employers and it is unclear how current funding levels could adequately cover all SF workers.
  • CA Sick Leave – the State of CA requires that employees be allowed to use accrued sick leave in the case of school closures. Employees are also entitled to 40 hours of unpaid job-protected leave during a school closure.
  • Unemployment Insurance – pays $50 – $450 a week for 26 weeks and covers loss of work or reduction in hours due to Covid-19, it additionally covers some workers who must stay home to care for a child during school closures. The one-week waiting period has been waived.
  • Disability – pays 60-70% of wages, from $50-$1,300 a week, and covers all workers who are sick or under quarantine – a doctor’s note is required. The one-week waiting period has been waived.
  • Paid Family Leave – pays 60-70% of wages, from $50-$1,300 a week, for 6 weeks and covers all workers who must care for a sick or quarantined family member – a doctor’s note is required. The one-week waiting period has been waived.
  • Workers’ Compensation – pays two-thirds of gross wages and medical treatments and will cover workers who contract Covid-19 in the course of their work.
  • Health Care Coverage – Employers are required to maintain health care benefits if you take leave to care for yourself or your dependents under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA). In the case of job loss, possible options include the extension of employer healthcare coverage through COBRA, enrollment inCovered California for CA residents, or through the Healthy San Francisco Program, which provides free or low-cost health care services to uninsured SF residents.
  • Moratorium on Evictions – On March 13th Mayor Breed announced a one month moratorium on evictions during the crisis.  

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