Know Your Rights

Wages and Benefit laws in San Francisco
  • Minimum Wage Ordinance
    • requires $15.59 per hour. As of July 1, the San Francisco minimum wage will be $15.59
    • covers any employee who works at least two hours in a week for an employer within the boundaries of San Francisco
  • Minimum Compensation Ordinance
    • for-profit requires at least $17.66 per hour; non-profit currently requires $15 per hour (as of July 1, it will be $16.50); public entities (i.e. IHSS) requires $16 per hour (as of July 1, it will be $16.50 per hour)
    • 12 paid days off per year for sick leave, vacation or personal necessity; and 10 unpaid days off for sick leave or illness of family member
    • covers an employee who works for a contractor or any subcontractor that has more than five employees and has contracts with the City and County of San Francisco that are cumulatively $25,000 or more
    • covers participants in a Welfare-to- Work program that requires a public assistance recipient to work in exchange for their grant
    • covers an employee who works 10 hours or more in a two-week pay period on any lease or concession at airport exceeding 29 days in a year or any sublease or service contract with that lease
    • the law takes effect when the contract or lease is renewed or modified.
  • Sick Leave Ordinance
    • covers anyone employed within the City, including part-time and temporary workers who work 56 hours or more within a year, and participants in a Welfare-to-Work program that requires a public assistance recipient to work in exchange for their grant
    • beginning on the first day of employment, one hour of sick leave accrues for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours at businesses with less than 10 employees and 72 hours for businesses with 10 employees or more, and carries over from year to year
    • time may be taken off work for illness, injury, medical condition, need for medical diagnosis or treatment, or other medical reason of the employee or their spouse, registered domestic partner or designated person, child, parent, legal guardian or ward, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild, whether biological, adopted, step-related, foster care, or a child of a domestic partner or child of a person standing in loco parentis.
    • an employer may require reasonable notification of an absence from work or reasonable measures to verify or document the use of sick leave
  • Health Care Security Ordinance
    • covers anyone who works in the City for 90 days or more in a year for an employer, and works at least 8 hours per week in the City
    • requires that an employer with 100 or more employees must make health care expenditures of at least $2.93 per hour worked; an employer with 20 or more employees, or nonprofits of 50 or more employees, must make health care expenditures of at least $1.95 per hour, up to 172 hours in a month, for providing health services by:
      • a) contributions to a health savings account
      • b) reimbursement to employees for expenses of health care services
      • c) payments to a third party for providing health care services, such as purchasing health insurance coverage
      • d) the direct delivery of health care services
      • e) payments to the City to be used to fund membership in a Health Access Program, “Healthy San Francisco,” for San Francisco residents or to establish reimbursement accounts for both residents and non-residents
    • the Health Access Program provides health care through SF General Hospital, the Department of Public Health’s clinics and community nonprofit agencies, and is open to uninsured San Francisco residents, regardless of employment status
    • an employer’s health care program that requires contributions by an employee does not meet the required health care expenditure if the employee declines to participate
  • Health Care Accountability Ordinance
    • Requires that an employer provide one of the following no later than the first of the month which begins 30 days from the start of employment:
      • 1) offer health benefits that meet minimum standards
      • 2) pay $5.40 per hour per employee to the City up to $216 per week or if the employee does not live in San Francisco (and does not work on City property), pay the employee $5.40 per hour up to $216 per week
    • covers employees of a contractor or subcontractor, a City property tenant or subtenant or their service contract or subcontract on a lease for use of City property for more than 29 consecutive days, that cumulatively have more than 20 employees (more than 50 for non-profits) in all the entities that they own or control, and the contract is $25,000 or more ($50,000 or more for non-profits) or have cumulative contracts for $75,000 or more with the City and County of San Francisco
    • covers employees who work on a City contract or property for 20 or more hours per week, for 130 days or more per year
  • Protections for Workers
    (regardless of immigration status or legal authorization to work)

    • It is against the law for an employer to retaliate, threaten or discriminate against a worker for asserting their rights under these laws or informing other workers of their rights. If an employer takes adverse action against an employee, it is considered a rebuttable presumption that the action was in retaliation.
    • If an employer is found to be in violation of the law, penalties include:
      a court order for reinstatement of any fired worker; paying with interest and penalties any back wages, sick leave or health care expenditures; paying a fine for each day in violation; terminating a contract or lease; being barred from entering into contracts or leases with the City for three years; revoking or suspending registration certificates, permits or licenses
    • A worker has the right to report a violation to the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement which keeps the worker’s identity confidential.

Download “Know Your Rights” Brochure (English)

Download “Know Your Rights” Brochure (Spanish)

When confronted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Be Ready for ICE

Make a Plan—Be Informed—Work Together

The San Francisco Living Wage Coalition

For assistance or to volunteer

(415) 863-1225

Make a Plan

  • Prepare a packet that contains important, emergency information. To find out what you need to include in the packet, go to resources section below.
  • Have someone you trust keep your emergency information in a safe place.
  • Designate a trusted adult to take care of your child. Give that person information on child’s schedule and location of schools and other places they might be.
  • Update all school, childcare, and after school contact information and release forms. Include the names of who may and may not pick up your children.
  • Designate someone who will bring evidence of your ties to the United States to the ICE office.
  • Prepare a financial plan to take care of bills and expenses if necessary.
  • Talk with your family about the plan.
  • Always carry a phone card. ICE does not provide free calls if you are in detention.

Who to call – carry or memorize these numbers

Attorney Name & Phone Number

If you need a lawyer, call (415) 282-6209 ext.115

Your Emergency Contact Name & Phone Number

School/Child Care


Friend with Important Documents


Bail Bond Agency

If ICE or a Police Officer Knocks on the Door

  • Ask them to slide a search warrant under the door or through a window.
  • Do not open the door unless the warrant has your correct name and address and a judge signed it in the past 10 days.
  • If they force entry, write down names and badge numbers. Tell them “I do not consent to you being in my home.” If they start to search, tell them “I do not consent to your search.”
  • Remain silent and do not talk to an ICE agent. Do not answer any questions, especially about your birthplace, immigration status, or how you entered the United States.
  • Do not lie, show false documents, hand over foreign documents or present an AB 60 license.
  • Do not sign anything without a lawyer

Be ready to make a record of a raid or entry at your home

If there’s a raid at your home, make a record of what happened to give to your attorney. This is a checklist for what you should record –

If you witness an ICE raid, call (415) 200-1548.

Know how to use the ICE detainee locator: This lists people in detention, who are 18 years or older.

If You Are Detained

  • Demand to make a phone call and speak to a lawyer.
  • Demand to make a phone call to your emergency contact to arrange for caretakers for your children.
  • Demand the right to be told the amount of bail and to call a bail bond agency.
  • ICE will assign you an alien registration number or A number. Write the number down and give it to your emergency contact along with the number of the detention center. They can use it to keep track of you.
  • Contact the person who is responsible for your family and your finances. Let them know that you are in detention.
  • Tell your assigned deportation officer that you need to be released to care for your children, or if they are taken to Child Protective Services, to contact their hotline right away.
  • Have the person who will care for your children pick them up from school or day care, or if picked up by Child Protective Services, to get them within 48 hours. Make sure the caregiver has the signed power of attorney and guardianship paperwork that you completed.

Materials and resources

These are some organizations dedicated to immigrant rights:

Have an Emergency File

Obtain passports for children under 16

You can apply for a passport for a child without parent or guardian present.

Make sure someone you trust can get your medical information

If you have a health condition and someone will need your records, you should sign a HIPAA release form:

Filing Complaints

Office of Labor Standards Enforcement

City Hall room 430
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, 94102
Tel: 415-554-6235 – English
Tel: 415-554-6292 – Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin

Also, we are available to assist you in filing a complaint or asserting your rights. Please contact us at:

San Francisco Living Wage Coalition
2940 16th St. #301
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 415-863-1225