Employment Law Alert & Webinar Invitation: San Francisco Expands Coverage of Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

On January 7, 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to its Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, effective February 14, 2014, clarifying that the Ordinance covers employers that regularly employ 20 or more employees, regardless of location. This significantly expands the scope of the Ordinance. For example, a company with one employee working in San Francisco now must comply with the Ordinance as to that particular employee if the company has at least 20 employees combined at all locations.

The Ordinance covers San Francisco employees who have worked for a covered employer for six or more months, and work at least eight hours per week on a regular basis. Eligible employees may request a flexible or predictable working arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities for: (i) a child under 18 years of age for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility; (ii) a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent with a serious health condition; or (iii) a parent age 65 or older.

The flexible or predictable working arrangement the employee may request can include (but is not limited to) changes to the start and/or end times for work, job sharing arrangements, working from home, telecommuting, changes to work assignments or other factors, or predictability in a work schedule.

The Ordinance requires that within 21 days of the employee’s request, the employer must meet with the employee, and within 21 days of the meeting, the employer must respond to the employee’s request in writing. Any denial of the request must be based on a bona fide business reason. Such reasons can include, but are not limited to: (i) the identifiable cost of the change in a term or condition of employment (such as the cost of productivity loss, retraining or rehiring employees, or transferring employees from one facility to another); (ii) a detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer or client demands; (iii) an inability to organize work among other employees; or (iv) insufficiency of work to be performed during the time the employee proposes to work.

The Ordinance also makes retaliation for an employee’s request for accommodation unlawful. The Ordinance provides that the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement can order “any appropriate relief” for a violation of the Ordinance.

In order to help employers ensure compliance with the law as to employees in San Francisco, Hixson Nagatani LLP will be holding a complimentary webinar. In this webinar, we will review all key aspects of the Ordiance and provide practical recommendations to ensure legal compliance. Time will be reserved for questions on the Ordinance and its Amendment, as well as for questions on other topics of general employment law interest.

Your presenters will be attorneys Brian Nagatani and Mary Wang, who are partners of the law firm Hixson Nagatani LLP. Hixson Nagatani LLP advises and represents businesses in a wide range of employment law matters. The firm provides advice and counsel on proactive steps that employers should take to ensure compliance and minimize legal risks. The firm also defends employers against actual and threatened employee claims, including litigation in state and federal courts, arbitration, and government agencies.

All attendees will receive detailed PowerPoint slides concerning the subjects addressed.

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Time: noon-1:00 p.m. PST

Registration Fee: No charge

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: REGISTRATION LINK

You may also forward this e-mail and link to others who may be interested.

IMPORTANT NOTE: WHEN YOU ENTER THE WEBINAR PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT, YOU WILL HAVE THE OPTION OF DIALING INTO A TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL OR USING AUDIO OVER YOUR COMPUTER. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU DIAL INTO THE TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL, AND ENTER THE AUDIO PIN THAT WILL BE PROVIDED (I.E., INSTEAD OF USING AUDIO OVER YOUR COMPUTER). AUDIO IS SOMETIMES DIFFICULT TO HEAR OVER THE COMPUTER UNLESS YOU HAVE STAND-ALONE SPEAKERS ATTACHED TO YOUR COMPUTER.

If you have any questions, please contact Yahaira Ortiz, Office Manager: yahaira@hnemploymentlaw.com; 408-486-9955.

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