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San Francisco Adopts Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

December 16, 2013 by

Beginning in 2014 San Francisco workers who are primary caregivers for a family member will have important new rights for employees to meet their caregiving responsibilities.  The City’s newly adopted San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance takes effect January 1, 2014.  It applies to employers with 20 or more regular employees.  Employees in California may want to consult an employment law specialist to help understand their job rights.  As laws and court cases change the employment landscape Beeson, Tayer and Bodine (BT&B) keeps current and informed of important changes that impact unions and employees.

A worker is eligible for the rights and protections created by the Ordinance if the employee works at least 8 hours each week and has worked for the employer for at least 6 months.  Eligible workers have the right to request a “flexible” work arrangement to provide ongoing care for certain individuals including:

  • a child (biological, foster child, step child, etc.);
  • a parent age 65 or older;
  • someone suffering from a serious health condition that is related to the employee as a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent.

A flexible work arrangement can modify the employee’s number of hours worked; start and end times; work location; and can include other accommodations like telecommuting.

The Ordinance also creates important employer responsibilities.  An employer must meet with the employee within 21 days of the employee’s request for a flexible work schedule and must respond to the request, in writing, within 21 days of the meeting.  The employer may only deny the request for legitimate business reasons which it must explain in writing.  If an employee’s request is denied, the employee may ask that the employer to reconsider its decision.  Employers must notify employees of their rights under the Ordinance, and are prohibited from taking adverse actions against employees who request a flexible work arrangement, or otherwise retaliating against an employee based on his or her status as a caregiver.

The Ordinance is enforced by the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and provides a significant benefit and set of new employment rights for caregivers.

As implementation of the San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance comes to fruition, we at BT&B are prepared to work with you to address your particular questions and needs.  Our law firm has been working with unions and employees for over 75 years to help them better understand and benefit from employment and labor laws that help protect employee rights.

The material on this website is provided by Beeson, Tayer & Bodine for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented. Some of the articles are updated periodically, and are marked with the date of the last update. Again, readers should consult with their own legal counsel for the most current information and to obtain professional advice before acting on any of the information presented.