Leave of Absence |
October 08, 2013

San Francisco Passes Ordinance Protecting Employee’s Right to Request a Flexible Schedule to Assist with Caregiving

On October 1, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance that would give employees the right to request flexible or predictable working arrangements to assist with caregiving. If Mayor Ed Lee signs the ordinance into law, it would help employees balance their responsibilities as workers and caregivers.

The ordinance would apply to San Francisco employers with more than twenty employees, and would require an employer to meet with an employee who made such a request, and to respond to the request in writing. Employers may deny a request if the denial is based on a legitimate business reason, such as specific, identifiable costs or disruptions to the business that the flexible schedule would impose.

The law would also prohibit adverse employment actions based on an employee’s status as a caregiver, as well as retaliation against employees who make requests for a flexible or predictable work schedule.

An employee may make a protected request for flexible or predictable work schedule twice every twelve months, unless the employee experiences a “major life event,” such as the birth or adoption of a child, or an increase in the employee’s caregiving duties for a person with a serious health condition who is in a family relationship with the employee.