The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed two ordinances, known colloquially as the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, to regulate: (1) employee hours, scheduling, and retention; and (2) treatment of part-time employees at certain standardized retail establishments in San Francisco.  The ordinances, codified as: Hours and Retention Protections for Formula Retail Employees Ordinance, San Francisco Police Code Article 33F, and Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Employees, San Francisco Police Code Article 33G, went into effect earlier this year.  Enforcement by the City of San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (“OLSE”) began July 3, 2015. The new laws, as amended on July 7, 2015, apply to “Formula Retail Establishments” with at least 40 retail sales establishments worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco. The term “Formula Retail Establishment” applies to retail sales or service establishments that maintain standardized physical features such as an array of merchandise, decor and color scheme, uniform apparel, signage, trademarks, etc.  Examples of such establishments include chain and big box stores, financial service businesses, movie theaters, and chain and fast food restaurants. Covered retail establishments must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Before hiring new employees, offer additional work hours (either in writing or by posting the offer in a conspicuous location) to qualified part-time employees who have performed similar work for the covered retail establishment, and afford those part-time employees 3 days to accept the offered hours;
  2. Provide new employees with a “good faith” written estimate of the number of scheduled shifts per month and the days and hours of those shifts;
  3. Provide employees with their work schedules 2 weeks in advance, and provide “predictability pay” if schedules change with less than seven days’ advance notice;
  4. Provide pay for on-call shifts when the employee is not called into work, subject to exceptions;
  5. Provide part-time employees with the same starting hourly wage, access to time off, and eligibility for promotions as full-time employees who perform at the same level; and
  6. Provide for continued employment of all employees for a period of 90 days if the covered retail establishment changes ownership, subject to certain conditions.

Employees covered by the ordinances include any person, including temporary and seasonal personnel, who in a particular week performs at least 2 hours of work for a covered retail establishment within the geographical boundaries of the City and County of San Francisco and who qualifies for state minimum wage, or is scheduled for an on-call shift of at least 2 hours, regardless of whether the person actually reports for the on-call shift.  Covered retail establishments must also maintain and retain records of scheduling (including schedule changes and notices) for at least 3 years.

Covered retail establishments must post a notice at the workplace to inform covered employees of their rights under the new laws.  The OLSE has published the required poster and guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and a Fact Sheet.  The OLSE is to prepare new versions of the poster and guidance to incorporate the changes required by the July 7, 2015 amendment to the ordinances.

Janitorial and security contractors of covered retail establishments must also comply with the ordinances.  Covered retail establishments must provide their janitorial and security contractors with a copy of the ordinances and include a provision in all service contracts for janitorial or security services requiring the contractor to comply with the ordinances.

Covered retail establishments should review their scheduling, on-call, and hiring practices to ensure compliance with the new ordinances.  Document retention policies and service contracts should also be reviewed for compliance.