San Francisco - Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

This new citywide law - in effect on January 1, 2014 -  gives certain employees the right to request flexible work arrangements and gives the employer the right to refuse for legitimate business reasons.

The ruling applies to an employee of an employer with 20 or more workers, who is employed in San Francisco, has been employed for six months or more by the current employer, and works at least eight hours per week on a regular basis. The employer doesn't include state or federal government or other local government entities.

Applicable employees have the right to request a flexible or predictable working arrangement to assist with care for:

  1. a child or children under the age of eighteen for whom the employee has parental responsibility;
  2. a person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the employee;  or
  3. a parent (age 65 or older) of the employee.

The request may include for example a change in the number of hours or times the employee is required to work, where the employee is required to work, work assignments, or work schedules. This could include a change in start/end times, part-time schedules, telecommuting, job sharing, and part-year schedules. 

Within 21 days of an employee’s request for a flexible or predictable working arrangement described above, an employer must meet with the employee regarding the request. The employer must respond to an employee’s request within 21 days of that meeting. 

An employer who denies a request must explain the denial in a written response that sets out a bona fide business reason for the denial and provides the employee with notice of the right to request reconsideration.

Bona fide business reasons for a denial may include, for example, "undue hardship" factors such as the cost of the change (e.g., the cost of productivity loss, retraining or hiring as a result, effect upon ability to meet customer or client demands, or the effect upon the remainder of the workforce). An employee must request reconsideration of a denial within 30 days as a prerequisite to reporting an alleged violation.

Read more: - Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) - San Francisco adopts new family friendly workplace ordinance

Sick Leave to Assist with Care for Family

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides workers job-protection and unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.

Federal Employees can use sick leave for family care and bereavement; annual up to 12 weeks (480 hours) for a family member with a serious health condition. 

Rulings in several US cities provide paid sick leave for employees to take care for sick family.

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