San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (SF FFWO)

The ordinance provides employees the ability to request a temporary flexible or predictable work schedule to meet their caregiving needs. It requires employers to engage in a discussion with the employee to determine whether the company can approve the request. The ordinance gives employers the decision-making authority to grant or decline the request. The ordinance states that if bona fide business reasons exist, the employer is not required to approve the request. A bona fide business reason for denying a flexible working arrangement request may include, but is not limited to, identifiable cost of the arrangement, detrimental effect on PG&E’s ability to meet customer or client demands, inability to organize work among other employees or insufficiency of work to be performed during the time the employee proposes to work.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to request accommodation under this ordinance?

Management, administrative, technical or Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC) represented employees who have been employed by the company for six months or more, work at least eight hours per week on a regular basis and are regularly headquartered in San Francisco (as defined by the employee’s SAP record). Employees who temporarily work in San Francisco are not eligible.

I am an IBEW bargaining unit employee. Am I eligible under this ordinance?

No, the IBEW waived the provisions of this ordinance. You are encouraged to explore other options that may be available with your human resources representative.

I am a contract employee and work through a temporary agency. How do I request accommodation under this ordinance?

You should work with your employer/agency who will discuss any schedule change requests with PG&E.

Who is defined as a caregiver under the ordinance?

The ordinance defines caregiver as an employee who is a primary contributor to the ongoing care of any of the following:

  • A child or children (biological, adopted, or foster child; a stepchild; a legal ward; or a child of a person standing in loco parentis to that child who is under 18 years of age) for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility
  • A person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the caregiver
  • A parent (age 65 or over) of the caregiver

How is a family relationship defined?

According to the ordinance, a family relationship means a relationship in which a caregiver is related by blood, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnerships, as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62 or California Family Code Section 297, to another person as a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent.

How do I request an accommodation?

You must submit a request in writing to the Stay at Work/Return to Work Team. A request form is available below under the documents tab. Additionally, if your request is to care for a person with a serious health condition, verification of medical and caregiving needs is also required (this form is also available below under the documents tab). Completed requests should be submitted via email or fax to the Stay at Work/Return to Work Team (see contact information below).

What types of accommodations does the ordinance provide?

The ordinance provides for employees to request a temporary change (of up to 12 weeks for the first request) in current work schedule to a schedule that is flexible or predictable, such as:

  • The number of hours an employee is required to work
  • The times when the employee is required to work
  • Where the employee is required to work
  • Work assignments or other factors
  • Predictability in a work schedule

Will changing my work schedule to a part-time schedule have any impact on my pay or benefits?

Yes. If you change to a part-time schedule, your pay will be reduced based on the number of hours you work per week. Prior to making this change, you are encouraged to contact the HR Service Center at 1-800-788-2363 to discuss how this change may affect your benefits.

How long does PG&E have to respond to my request?

PG&E has 21 days from receipt of a complete request to meet with you. This meeting may be in person or via telephone. Thereafter, PG&E has 21 days from the date of the meeting to provide a written response to your request.

What is the maximum length of the accommodation?

All shift change accommodations are temporary. The maximum length that will be considered for these temporary changes is a total of 12 weeks. You may make two requests in a rolling 12-month period. The combined total of the requests cannot exceed 12 weeks. If you experience a major life event, you may make an additional request. The ordinance defines a major life event as the birth of a child, the placement with you of a child through adoption or foster care, or an increase in your caregiving duties for a person with a serious health condition who is in a family relationship with you.

Can I take vacation or sick leave as part of this ordinance?

Vacation or sick leave may be used in accordance with the PG&E’s time off policies.

How does the San Francisco ordinance affect my FMLA/CFRA eligibility?

There may be circumstances that qualify for both the SF Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance and the FMLA/CFRA. If you think your situation may qualify under both, you should apply for both. If you are eligible for FMLA/CFRA, your benefits will run concurrently.

What if I want to make a regular (permanent) schedule change?

Regular schedule changes are not covered under this ordinance. Please work with your supervisor to determine any regular schedule changes.

How will I know if my request is approved or denied?

The company will advise you of its decision regarding your request. If the request is not approved, the company must provide a bona fide business reason for not approving your request.

If your request is not approved, you may request reconsideration within 30 days of the decision. The company will reconsider the request.

If the requested accommodation is approved, you will continue to be held to all established performance, conduct and attendance standards.

What are some reasons PG&E may not approve my request?

The ordinance states that bona fide business reasons may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cost of the change in employment terms or conditions that may include the cost of productivity loss, retraining or hiring employees, or transferring employees from one facility to another
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer or client demands and/or to maintain established state-mandated service levels
  • Inability to organize work among other employees
  • Insufficiency of work to be performed during the time the employee proposes to work

What if I don’t need my flexible or predictable schedule anymore or want to cancel it?

You or PG&E may discontinue the flexible or predictable working arrangement by providing 14 days written notice to the other party. If the schedule is discontinued, you may submit a request for a different flexible or predictable working arrangement. Each time PG&E discontinues a flexible or predictable working arrangement, you may make an additional request than the allowable number per year.

How do I request reconsideration?

Follow steps outlined in Question 6 above. Be sure to include any additional information that supports the request for reconsideration.

Stay at Work/Return to Work Team Contacts:

Email: Internal: HR Ops Interactive Discussion; External:
Confidential Fax: Internal – 459-6124; External – 925-459-6124
Telephone Contact: Internal: 459-7270; External 925-459-7270