COVID-19 guidance for workers and employers

The City has passed new laws and updated its guidance to protect workers from COVID-19.

Labor laws related to COVID-19

COVID-Related Employment Protections

Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate if you have COVID-19. 

Worker Protections 

Employers must follow safety rules to protect their workers from COVID-19. This applies to:

  • Grocery stores
  • Drug stores
  • Restaurants
  • On-demand delivery services

Health plan benefits to families of city contractor workers 
Some city contractors providing essential services are required to provide health plan benefits to the families of their covered workers.

The directive specifically applies to employers who contract for:

  • Food service
  • Food delivery
  • Janitorial services
  • Cleaning services

Requirements include:

  • Benefits must meet the minimum standards established by the Health director
  • A covered worker is someone who works at least 2 hours per week on the essential services contract within San Francisco
  • There are some limited exceptions

To learn more, read the directive from the mayor or contact us at 415-554-7903 or

Sick leave and time off

The City and the State of California have made changes that allow covered workers access to additional sick leave and financial help. We’ve also updated guidance related to laws about sick leave and time off.
Additional paid sick leave hours 
You can get up to 80 hours of additional sick leave related to COVID-19 in California. It applies to covered workers who work for employers with more than 25 workers. 

COVID-19 Rights to Recovery Program
If you test positive for COVID-19 and don’t have available sick days or access to any other income, you may be able to get payments. There’s no application and your immigration status doesn’t matter. Call the COVID Resource Center at 628-217-6101.

Updated guidance about paid sick leave
Learn about updates to the City’s sick leave guidance during COVID-19. Read the revised paid sick leave guidance

Updated guidance about time off
Our new guidance relates to paid and unpaid time off for workers. Read our updates about Minimum Compensation

Other resources

California Employment Development Department (EDD)
If you missed work because you had COVID-19, or had to care for a sick family member, EDD can help with these and other issues related to COVID-19 and your job. 

San Francisco Office of Economic & Workforce Development (OEWD)
The OEWD offers guidance to employers and workers affected by COVID-19 

Changes to labor laws under COVID-19 

Last updated December 19, 2022