The Power Of One: Accommodating Caregivers Under The San Francisco Family Friendly Ordinance

Bill Bogdan

Whether you employ 20 people in Vacaville, Virginia or on Venus, the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance will affect you if one of those employees:

  • is a caregiver of a child, parent over the age 65, or relative with a serious health condition, and
  • has worked for you at least 8 hours a week for the last 6 months in San Francisco.
Click image to download the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance poster (pdf file)

Click image to download the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance poster (pdf file)

The ordinance gives the right to that San Francisco employee to request a flexible schedule to accommodate caregiver duties. The employer has the right to deny that request for any bona fide business reason.

The employee may request a change in any condition of employment to provide flexibility or scheduling predictability to assist in caregiving responsibilities, including modified scheduling, job-sharing, and telecommuting. The employee must submit a written request specifying the arrangement requested, the effective date, the length of the arrangement, and an explanation as to how the request is related to caregiving.

The employer must meet with the employee within 21 days after the request is submitted. Within three weeks after that meeting, the employer must respond to the request in writing.

If the employer grants the request, the arrangement must be confirmed in writing. That arrangement can be revoked upon 14 days’ written notice.

An employer denying the request must issue a written response setting out its bona fide business reason for the denial. Those reasons can include the cost of the change, the detrimental effect on meeting customer demands, the inability to organize work among other employees, or insufficient work to be performed during the time requested. The written response must also set out the procedure for the employee to request reconsideration.

Neither the employee nor the City may contest the bona fide reason for the denial. An employer is however subject to liability for retaliating against the employee for being a caregiver or making a request, interfering with rights under the ordinance, or failing to follow the proper procedures in issuing issue the denial.

For more information and the mandatory poster, see

register-now-button-2Interested in learning more about the ordinance?

Attend our February 20 CLE seminar presented by the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Barristers Club, “San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance: What Local Employers Need to Know and Review of Other Local Employment Laws”


About the author:

bogdan-williamBill Bogdan is celebrating his 27th year of practice with Lynch, Gilardi & Grummer in the fields of employment and construction law. He is not yet licensed in Virginia nor on Venus.