S.F.: Paid Parental Leave Approved, School Employee Evictions Banned, Homeless Shelter Crisis Declared

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a number of important measures at its board meeting Tuesday. They include: becoming the first city in the nation to provide fully paid parental leave, the first to ban evictions of school employees during the school year, and the declaration of a shelter crisis for the city's homeless.

Paid Parental Leave

San Francisco is now the first place in the nation to require companies to give their workers six weeks of fully paid parental leave. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the measure.

The state currently allows workers who become new parents to receive 55 percent of their pay for up to six weeks of bonding time with their new child.

That money comes out of a worker-funded state insurance program. The proposal approved Tuesday will require employers in San Francisco with at least 20 employees to make up the rest.

"This is absolutely an issue of income inequality, where we have higher-paid workers who frequently have better access to parental leave than lower-paid workers that have little or no access," said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the legislation.

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Businesses with at least 50 employees must comply starting in January 2017. Businesses with at least 20 employees have until January 2018 to comply.

School Employee Evictions Banned During School Year

San Francisco became the first city in the nation to ban landlords from evicting teachers and other school employees during the academic year.

The measure gives extra tenant protections to San Francisco public and private school employees, including teachers, cafeteria workers and janitors.

The measure would bar property owners from evicting during the school year for reasons that aren't the tenants' fault, such as when a landlord wants to move into a unit.

Landlords could still evict tenants using the Ellis Act -- the state law that allows property owners to get out of the rental business.

"If you are an educator, the impact of an eviction is pretty significant in the sense that if you are evicted it means that you are pushed out. Not only out of San Francisco, but chances are the Bay Area," said Supervisor Davis Campos, who introduced the measure.

Supporters say the legislation is needed to stabilize local schools.

Some property owners say Campos' measure could discourage landlords from renting to school employees.

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Single-occupancy bathrooms in San Francisco government buildings and private businesses will soon be marked as gender neutral.

Supporters say the legislation will reduce harassment of transgender people, or seniors with a caregiver of a different gender who are sometimes denied access to facilities that correspond with their gender identity.

The Human Rights Commission and San Francisco Department of Building Inspections will supervise the law's implementation.

Homeless Shelter Crisis Declared

The board is also declaring a crisis in the city over a shortage of shelter space for the homeless.

The declaration, authored by Supervisor David Campos, makes it easier for the city to turn public land into shelter sites.

The emergency provision is typically used in the aftermath of natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.

Mayor Ed Lee has voiced opposition to the measure, saying that it lacks substance.

Danielle Venton, Guy Marzorati and Peter Jon Shuler contributed to this post.