• San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights
  • January 10, 2015 | Authors: Jennifer G. Redmond; Alicia Marie Simmons
  • Law Firm: Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP - San Francisco Office
  • On November 25, 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed two ordinances that are collectively referred to as the San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights: (1) the “Hours and Retention Protections for Formula Retail Employees” ordinance and (2) the “Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Employees” ordinance. The San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights must be passed by Mayor Edwin Lee in order to take effect. However, even if the mayor were to veto the ordinances, the Board of Supervisors may be able to override the veto and enact the ordinances.

    The San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights becomes operative 180 days after its effective date. As defined in the ordinances, the effective date occurs 30 days after the date on which the ordinances are either signed by Mayor Lee or enacted by the Board of Supervisors.

    The San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights applies to “Formula Retail Establishments” with at least 20 employees in San Francisco and 20 or more locations globally. “Formula Retail Establishments” include businesses that engage in retail sales or services that are regulated as a “Formula Retail Use,” as defined under Section 703.3 of the San Francisco Planning Code.

    The San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights consists primarily of five measures:

    1. Advance Notice of Work Schedules. Employers must provide employees with at least two weeks’ advance notice of their work schedules. If changes are made to an employee’s schedule with less than seven days’ notice but more than 24 hours’ notice, the employer must provide the employee with one hour of pay for each shift change, at the employee’s regular hourly rate. If changes are made to an employee’s schedule with less than 24 hours’ notice, the employer must provide the employee with between two and four hours of pay (depending on the intended duration of the scheduled shift), at the employee’s regular hourly rate.
    2. On-Call Schedules. If an employee is required to be on-call and is not in fact called in to work, the employer must provide the employee with between two and four hours of pay (depending on the duration of the on-call shift). If the employer provides at least 24 hours’ notice that the on-call shift has been cancelled or moved to another date, then the employer will not be required to provide this compensation to the employee.
    3. Extra Hours for Current Employees. Employers must offer any extra work hours to current part-time employees before hiring new workers or subcontractors. Under the ordinance, the employer is obligated to offer extra work hours to a current part-time employee if (1) the employer reasonably determines that the employee is qualified to perform the work, and (2) the work is the same or similar to the work the employee has performed for the employer. The employer is required to offer only the number of hours that the employee requires in order to work 35 hours in a workweek.
    4. Equal Treatment for Part-Time Employees. Employers must provide equal treatment to part-time employees, as compared to full-time employees at their same level, with respect to (1) starting hourly wage, (2) access to employer-provided time off, and (3) eligibility for promotions, subject to certain qualifications.
    5. Sale of Business. If an employer is sold, the successor employer must retain for 90 days all employees who worked for the former employer for at least six months prior to the sale. This requirement does not apply to supervisory or managerial employees.

    Employers will also be required to post a notice of employees’ rights under the San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights.