Beginning January 1, 2017, employers with 50 or more employees who have employees in San Francisco will need to begin providing payments to eligible employees who take time off to bond with a newborn child. Employers with 35 or more employees become subject to the ordinance on July 1, 2017 and employers with 20 or more employees become subject to the ordinance on January 1, 2018.

The ordinance provides benefits to covered employees. A covered employee is someone who: (1) has worked for the covered employer for at least 90 days prior to the start of the leave period; (2) performs at least eight hours of work per week within the geographic boundaries of San Francisco; (3) at least 40% of the total weekly hours worked for the employer are within the geographic boundaries of San Francisco; and (4) is eligible to receive paid family leave compensation from the State of California under the Paid Family Leave law or an EDD approved voluntary plan. Covered employees are entitled to receive up to 6 weeks of supplemental compensation while on leave.

Employers who have existing plans which provide for salary continuation for employees taking time off for new child bonding may be able to take advantage of an exemption in the ordinance which excludes employers who already provide paid parental leave benefits. Employers should review their policies now to ensure that existing benefits are sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the exemption and to make necessary updates before the ordinance becomes effective.

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement maintains a site on its web page providing resources for the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.