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San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance Now “Friendly” to Teleworkers

by Jennifer Shaw and Erika Frank | | July 27, 2022

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) recently amended its Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) to address teleworking employees. Here’s the scoop…

Employers with 20 or more employees (regardless of location) that have a “business location” (i.e., any physical space) in the City and County of San Francisco must provide flexible or predicable work arrangements for employees with the following caregiving responsibilities:

  • A child or children for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility
  • A family member with a serious health condition
  • A family member who is 65 years old or older

As originally enacted, employees who worked at least eight hours each week were covered by the FFWO. Many employees subsequently lost FFWO coverage when they began teleworking due to COVID-19.
Beginning on July 12, 2022, teleworking employees who are assigned to a San Francisco business location are covered by the FFWO. When assessing where an employee is “assigned” to work, employers should consider such factors as:

  • The location of the employee’s computer, manager, teammates, or coworkers
  • The location of the employee’s personnel file
  • The location of where the employee worked before teleworking
  • The employee’s proximity to the business location

Let’s consider a few examples. Assume you have offices in San Francisco, Burlingame, and Hayward, and an employee working from home in San Mateo requests caregiving flexibility. The employee’s manager reports to the Burlingame office, and the employee sometime is required to report to the Burlingame office. The employee’s assigned office location is in Burlingame, and because Burlingame is outside of the City and County of San Francisco, the employee is not covered by the FFWO.

How about this one? In 2019, an employee worked at the San Francisco office. Due to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders, the employee began working remotely and eventually moved to Oregon. Although the employee physically is located in another state, the employee remains assigned to the San Francisco office, and is covered under the FFWO.

The OLSE website contains helpful information about the FFWO, including a required poster.

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