Prop. F: Paid sick days OK’d

San Francisco has become the first-ever city to require that businesses offer paid sick days to employees.

Proposition F forces businesses to provide paid sick days by February 2007.

Businesses with fewer than 10 workers must offer five paid sick days a year per worker and those with 10 or more workers must provide nine paid sick days, according to the measure. Workers, who must accrue the sick days, would be allowed to also take a sick day to take care of an ill family member.

About 116,000 workers in San Francisco are without sick day benefits, according to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The requirement would cost city businesses $33.5 million a year, the report said.

Young Workers United, a San Francisco workers’ advocacy group, had proposed the ballot measure and said the sick day mandate would compliment the city’s universal health care plan.

Business advocacy groups opposed the measure, saying it was put on the ballot without adequate input from business owners. Many complained that it is the latest measure to place an unfair burden on business owners and increases the costs of doing business in The City.

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