California Domestic Workers Coalition

Lorena Garibay

Evelin Alfaro has worked as a domestic worker in San Francisco for about 12 years, providing for her family doing a job that requires a great deal of physical labor. But when Alfaro fell ill, as humans often do, she found herself in the same position that other domestic workers find themselves in: having little to no access to paid sick leave. Alfaro ended up getting fired for missing work, and going to the doctor that day with no paycheck. 

In a historic move, San Francisco passed first-of-its-kind legislation on Dec. 14, 2021, granting paid sick leave to domestic workers. Yet as we approach the one-year mark of the passing of said legislation, questions remain as to how it will be enforced. The central tool that city officials and domestic workers hope will help facilitate the implementation of this ordinance is an app that will keep track of users’ hours worked, paid sick leave and funds.

The development of the app is currently in its second phase, according to city officials and members of domestic workers groups, and has yet to be implemented among the workers “We’re doing something very novel, hopefully we can create technology that would be accessible, but also usable,” said Lisa Pagán, strategic initiatives Director at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).