San Francisco Passes Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed an ordinance that allows employees within the city to request flexible working arrangements. The Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, which goes into effect January 1, 2014, is intended to keep families from migrating from the city by making it easier for workers to schedule their working day around care giving responsibilities.

According to information from board president David Chiu, the ordinance creates a “right to request” a change to their working arrangement in order to care for family members, and employers have a duty to consider such a request. This right is guaranteed for employees who have worked for a business for at least six months, although businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt. The ordinance also enforces a prohibition of caregiver discrimination.

The “right to request” covers both flexible scheduling and scheduling predictability. Flexible scheduling, according to Chiu, can mean a change in workplace start or end times, part-time scheduling, part-year scheduling, job sharing and telecommuting, while scheduling predictability means employers must offer adequate advance notice of schedules so parents can make arrangements for dependent family members.

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