San Francisco Clarifies Back to Work Ordinance Requirements
In July, San Francisco’s Back to Work ordinance went into effect. The ordinance requires employers operating in San Francisco to offer reemployment to eligible employees laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related stay at home and shelter in place orders issued by the City of San Francisco when they are rehiring for the same or similar classifications.
Recently, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the agency charged with enforcement of the ordinance has published a webpage for the ordinance, which includes model notices as well as a Frequently Asked Questions page.
The FAQ page clarifies several areas of the ordinance.
The FAQ states that eligible workers are those who were employed at a worksite located in San Francisco for at least 90 days during the prior calendar year and who were laid off due to the COVID-19 emergency on or after February 25, 2020.
The FAQs provide the following detailed information about employer obligations under the ordinance:
- Provide notice to eligible employees including those laid off between February 25, 2020, and the effective date of the ordinance. The FAQ provides for an unofficial safe harbor, which indicates that notice must be sent no later than September 6, 2020, for those layoffs that occurred prior to the effective date of the ordinance.
- Make reemployment offers to laid-off workers in order of seniority if the employer is hiring for the same or similar position.
- Provide notice to the Office of Economic and Workforce Development of layoffs of 10 or more employees within 30 days of when the layoffs begin. As with notice to employees, this notice includes layoffs that occurred prior to the effective date of the ordinance. Similarly, there is an extended period until September 6, 2020, to provide notice to the City.
- Retain records of all information e.g., layoffs and offers of rehire for two years.
- Reasonably accommodate and not discriminate against a worker with a family care hardship as defined in the ordinance.
Offers of Reemployment
The FAQs state an employer is not required to offer reemployment to a laid-off eligible worker if:
- The employer learns after the lay-off that the eligible worker engaged in any act of dishonesty, violation of the law, violation of a policy or rule of the employer, or other misconduct while employed.
- The employer and the worker executed a severance agreement due to a lay off between February 25, 2020, and July 3, 2020.
- The employer laid off an eligible worker between February 25, 2020, and July 3, 2020, and hired another person for the laid-off worker’s position prior to July 3rd.