Reminder: San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Amended Ordinance Takes Effect July 2022


On July 13, 2022, San Francisco’s amended Loved ones Friendly Place of work Ordinance (FFWO) goes into outcome.  All businesses who perform business and have personnel working in the City and County of San Francisco or staff members who telework, will have to have to comply with the FFWO.  It presents employees the correct to request “flexible or predictable perform arrangements” to help with caregiving responsibilities.  The modification produces substantial changes to the existing FFWO – it enlarges the scope of an employer’s obligation below the ordinance, while also producing it a lot easier for staff to get modified timetable preparations so they can proficiently function and conduct their caregiving obligations with relative relieve.  Covered companies ought to get be aware of these adjustments to prevent scrutiny from the San Francisco Office of Labor Benchmarks Enforcement (OLSE) and costlier penalties.

FFWO’s Adoption and Intent

The FFWO presently provides selected staff who act as major caregivers the proper to request adaptable or predictable do the job preparations to help with caregiving responsibilities. The ordinance was adopted and accepted in Oct 2013, and has been in impact given that January 1, 2014. 

The Operative FFWO

Underneath the operative FFWO, when a protected employer[1] receives a prepared ask for from a lined personnel[2] for a flexible or predictable operating arrangement[3], so that they may possibly act as a caregiver[4], the lined employer is at present required to:

  • Meet up with with the requesting worker inside of 21 days of the request. 
  • Respond to the employee’s request in composing, both approving or denying the ask for in just 21 times (or for a longer period by settlement) immediately after meeting with the personnel.
    • If the ask for is granted, the employer should verify the arrangement in composing.
    • If the request is denied, the employer ought to deliver a “bona fide enterprise reason” for the denial and notify the worker of their rights to ask for reconsideration under the ordinance.
  • When requesting reconsideration (in just 30 days of the decision), the employer need to satisfy with the requesting worker inside of 21 days of acquiring it.  The employer have to then approve or deny the ask for in writing inside 21 times of conference the worker.  If the ask for is remaining denied, the employer should state its reasons for the determination.

The FFWO also features standard prohibitions from retaliation and interference recognize prerequisites and the prerequisite to maintain documentation similar to any employee requests produced (3 years from when the request was designed).  It also incorporates administrative enforcement and penalty provisions, which includes but not constrained to $50 penalties for every day on which an employee’s rights are violated.  The OLSE also has the authority to deliver a civil motion versus a violator and seek correct authorized and equitable aid to solution a suspected violation and get better the attorneys’ fees and expenses.

The Amended FFWO: Important Improvements Businesses Want to Be Aware Of

The amended FFWO will come to be operative on July 13, 2022.  Normally, it will make it less difficult for workforce to receive and sustain a “flexible or predictable performing arrangement” and expands the conditions of a protected worker to contain extra personnel.  Protected businesses should really be aware of the pursuing notable modifications to the amended ordinance to guarantee ongoing compliance:

  • Care for People Age 65 or More mature Expanded: Below the operative FFWO, a lined worker who seeks a “flexible and predictable operate arrangement” to support them with the treatment of a individual age 65 or more mature without the need of a significant overall health ailment, ought to be a parent.  With the amendment, an worker caregiver to any human being age 65 or more mature and in a loved ones relationship with the worker will now qualify for modified function preparations.
  • Coated Staff members to Contain Teleworkers Living Outside the house the Town: The amended ordinance will take into consideration a lined worker to include things like staff members who telework exterior of San Francisco, if their covered employer maintains an office or worksite inside of San Francisco exactly where the employee could operate, or was permitted to operate from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Included Staff Now Have a Appropriate to a “Flexible or Predictable Working Arrangement” Except if It Results in Undue Hardship to the Employer: The operative FFWO supplies coated staff members with the proper to ask for a “flexible or predictable working arrangement.”  Beneath the amended FFWO, covered staff members will have the suitable to a modified arrangement – in its place of publishing a composed “request.”  Employees will be needed to post rather, a penned “notice.”  On receipt of the “notice,” a lined employer will need to reply to it by:
    • Possibly (1) the employer may elect to meet up with with the worker in just 14 times (rather than the 21 times below the operative law), and/or (2) the employer have to react inside of 21 times of receipt of the “notice” (instead than having a optimum full of 42 times to render a selection underneath the operative ordinance).

The employer’s response have to be comprised of the following:

  • Settlement or
  • Disagreement with the proposed arrangement, but then should interact in an interactive method with the employee to establish an acceptable arrangement or
  • Deny the employee’s have to have for a modified perform arrangement (after exhausting the interactive approach), but only if granting it would lead to the employer undue hardship (i.e., substantial fiscal or operational strain).  The employer need to then reveal in a composed reaction, the causes for denial.  Aspect of the explanation ought to incorporate the identifiable charges directly brought on by the proposed arrangement (e.g., price tag of productivity loss, retraining or selecting, transfer of staff members, and so forth.).  Businesses are not expected to do so under the present ordinance.
    • On denial, employers need to however notify an employee of their suitable to request reconsideration, but have to also notify the worker of his/her right to file a grievance with the OLSE
    • The employer ought to supply a final choice to a reconsideration request in writing in 14 days following a meeting has happened (instead than 21 times under the operative regulation). 
    • If the request is denied, the employer will have to demonstrate the undue hardship it will encounter by approving the request, and then all over again notify the worker of his or her legal rights to file a criticism with the OLSE.

Businesses must specially notice that underneath the operative FFWO businesses have broad discretion in granting an employee’s ask for, so extensive as they have a bona fide business enterprise explanation.  Even so, the amended FFWO restrictions employer discretion because they will both have to concur to an employee’s proposed get the job done arrangement, or if it disagrees, need to have interaction in an interactive approach which really should finally final result in a modified get the job done arrangement, except if it will trigger undue hardship – a stricter regular to justify denial as opposed to a bona fide business motive

Whilst this will unquestionably develop a lot more burdens for the employer, it also strengthens a provision which will support to control any personnel abuse beneath the amended regulation.  Although the operative FFWO permits an employer to need verification of an employee’s caregiver position, the amended provision will enable businesses to call for an staff to attest or verify their caregiver position prior to agreeing to a flexible or predictable work arrangement.

  • Modifying an Accredited “Flexible and Predictable Get the job done Arrangement”:  Less than the operative ordinance, employers may perhaps unilaterally revoke an already present arrangement, so extensive as they give 14-days’ written recognize.  The amended ordinance will require both equally employer and employee to mutually concur to an altered arrangement by using the interactive system, only if the employer decides continuing the existing arrangement would lead to it undue hardship.  If the interactive system is unsuccessful, only then may perhaps an employer unilaterally revoke the current arrangement with 14-days’ published see.
  • Costlier Penalties: The penalty provisions are costlier less than the new amended ordinance.  The new penalty provision permits the OLSE to need violators to pay the charge of care the worker whose legal rights had been violated incurred due to violation if that expense is increased than the $50.00 penalty scheme now in effect.  Equally, the OLSE will also be ready to recuperate its complete charges for investigating and remedying the violation if people prices are higher than the recent $50.00 penalty plan.

Summary

Less than the amended FFWO, lots of included businesses will encounter larger difficulties in the form of fiscal expenditures in sustaining their functions.  For that reason, included businesses really should check with with expert legal counsel regarding compliance with the amended FFWO. 


[1] A lined employer is defined as any particular person or company who regularly employs 20 or extra workforce, irrespective of the employee’s location.

[2] A covered staff is described as any individual who routinely performs at minimum 8 hrs for each 7 days and is used within just the geographic boundaries of San Francisco by a included employer for at the very least 6 months.

[3] A adaptable or predictable functioning arrangement is described as adjustments to an employee’s work hrs, get the job done spot, and/or obligations (e.g., predictable program, telecommuting, reduction or adjust in get the job done duties, etc.).

[4] A caregiver is described as the main contributor to the ongoing treatment of (a) a baby (b) individuals with severe well being problems in a family relationship with the employee or (c) a father or mother(s) about the age of 65.



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