Overview of San Francisco “Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights”

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Posted by Legal Team On March 15, 2017

In 2015, a series of ordinances became operative in San Francisco. The ordinances address hours and retention of employees, and scheduling and fair treatment of retail workers. Together, the ordinances are known as the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights. The new laws apply to all chain stores with at least 40 other stores worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco, including janitorial and security contractors. Thus, it exempts mom-and-pop shops but should cover most major retailers in San Francisco.

It first requires that, if a covered establishment is sold, the new owner cannot fire workers for at least 90 days after the sale date, if the worker has been employed for six months or more. Additionally, the new owner must post a notice informing the workers of the change in ownership and their rights.

The Bill of Rights also requires employers to offer additional work to part-time employees before hiring a new employee. This part of the ordinance is designed to encourage employers to put more people on full-time status and thus eligible for healthcare.

Additionally, janitorial and security contractors for these stores must comply with the new rules. Essentially, the staffing agency must offer the same protections for these workers as if they were employed by the retail establishment. The goal of this ordinance is to prevent companies from avoiding their obligations by contracting out more functions.

The new Bill of Rights extends significant protections for numerous retail workers, a traditionally under-served and under-protected group of workers. If you are concerned that you were unlawfully dismissed in violation of your rights, then you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. There are multiple layers of protections for workers from federal law to local ordinances. An attorney can parse through the various laws and help you determine your exact rights.