San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City To Require Employer-Funded Paid Parental Leave

Mother Bottle Baby.jpgThis month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance that provides six weeks of parental leave for bonding with a new child at 100% of the employee’s rate of pay (subject to certain caps).  The ordinance which will take effect beginning January 1, 2017, will make San Francisco the first U.S. city to require employer-paid parental leave.

The new ordinance will go above and beyond the California state mandate, which currently provides covered employees six weeks of paid family leave at 55% of their pay for baby bonding or to care for a sick family member.  That paid leave is funded by the employee who is taking the leave, through regular payroll contributions to the California State Disability Insurance (“SDI”) program.  The new ordinance requires covered San Francisco employers to pay the remaining 45% of a covered employee’s wages during the six weeks of paid parental leave.

The law’s effective dates are staggered as follows:

Effective Date

Size of Employer

January 1, 2017

50 or more employees regardless of the employees’ location.

July 1, 2017

35 or more employees regardless of the employees’ location.

January 1, 2018

20 or more employees regardless of the employees’ location.

Covered Employers

In determining the size of a covered employer, the ordinance looks at the size of an employer’s total workforce, regardless of the actual location of the employees.  Accordingly, an employer may be subject to the ordinance even if it does not employ 50 (or 20) employees within the city of San Francisco.

The City and other governmental entities are not covered employers under the ordinance.

Covered Employees

Employees (including part-time and temporary employees) are eligible for the fully paid leave if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are employed for at least 180 days prior to the start of the leave;

  • Work at least 8 hours per week in San Francisco;

  • Work at least 40% of their weekly hours in San Francisco; and

  • Are eligible for California Paid Family Leave for baby bonding.

Notably, employee eligibility is based on the number of hours the employee works in San Francisco, regardless of his or her residence and regardless of the employer’s work location.

Union employees are not covered if (1) their collective bargaining agreement expressly waives the requirements under the ordinance in clear and unambiguous terms, or (2) the collective bargaining agreement was entered into before the ordinance’s effective date.

How Much Do Employers Need to Pay?

The new ordinance requires covered employers to pay 45% of the employee’s weekly gross wages, up to a maximum of $924 per week, for six weeks.  This cap is based on the California Paid Family Leave program’s 55% wage replacement provision, which is capped at $1,129 per week.  Between the two programs, covered employees should receive 100% wage replacement for a six-week parental leave, up to a total of $2,053/week.

What if the Employee Works for Multiple Employers?

If the covered employee works for more than one employer, the 45% supplemental compensation amount is apportioned between or among the covered employers based on the percentage of the employee’s total weekly wages received from each employer.  For example, if the employee earns $800 per week from Employer A and $200 per week from Employer B for a combined total of $1,000, Employer A pays 80% of the supplemental compensation and Employer B pays 20% of the supplemental compensation.

Can the Employer Require the Use of Vacation?

An employer can require employees to use up to two weeks of unused, accrued vacation to help meet the employer’s obligation under the ordinance.  This vacation time can be counted toward the six-week paid parental leave period.

Anti-Discrimination/Retaliation Provision

Employers may not interfere with, discriminate, or retaliate against employees for exercising their rights under the ordinance.  Terminating a covered employee within 90 days of their request or application for California Paid Family Leave, or taking adverse action against an employee within 90 days of their filing a complaint based on the new ordinance, will raise a rebuttable presumption that such action was taken to avoid the employer’s obligations under the law.

Notice and Posting

Employers will be required to post in a conspicuous place, at any workplace where a covered employee works, a notice informing employees of their rights under the ordinance.  The notice must be in English, Spanish, Chinese, and any other language spoken by at least 5% of the employees at the workplace or job site.

Employer Records

Employers must retain for three years records documenting the supplemental compensation paid to its employees, and make the records available to San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (“OLSE”) upon request.  Failure to do so will raise a rebuttable presumption that the employer has violated the ordinance.

Damages and Penalties for Violations

The ordinance provides for remedies through the OLSE and through the courts.  The OLSE or “a person or entity acting on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable state law” may bring a civil action in court for alleged violations of the ordinance.

If the OLSE (after an administrative hearing) or court determines that the employer has violated the ordinance, the employer may be required to pay:

  • the total supplemental compensation withheld,

  • penalties to the employee of $250 or three times the amount of supplemental compensation withheld (whichever is greater),

  • penalties of $50 per day to each employee whose rights were deemed violated (e.g., in the instance of a failure to post a notice, this may be several employees per workday),

  • interest, and

  • in the event of a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs.

Courts may also provide injunctive relief.  In addition, the OLSE may require the employer to pay the City penalties of $50 per day per “employee or person as to whom the violation occurred or continued.”

Takeaways

Paid leave is an area gaining increasing attention from state and local governments.  San Francisco’s new law comes on the heels of New York state’s enactment of a new paid family leave law and California’s Assembly Bill No. 908 which, beginning in 2018, will raise California’s current family leave pay rate from 55% to 60% or 70% depending on the employee’s wage rate.  The U.S. Department of Labor has also set requirements for federal contractors to provide their employees with paid sick leave.

While San Francisco has gone farther than any other jurisdiction in what it requires employers to provide to new parents, employers should expect similar legislation in more jurisdictions across the U.S. in the years to come.

Employers with employees who work in San Francisco are highly encouraged to review the new ordinance carefully and to consult with an employment attorney to begin exploring what steps they may need to take now to ensure they are able to comply with the law upon its enactment.

We will continue to monitor the increasing and various city, state, and federal laws surrounding paid leave and provide additional analysis and guidance on compliance.

Copyright © 2016, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

San Francisco Mandates Solar Power on New Buildings

The City of San Francisco announced today that it will now mandate solar photovoltaic or solar water panels on all new residential and commercial buildings of 10 floors or less. The City’s renewable energy ordinance makes San Francisco the first major city in the country to require solar panels on new construction.

Will San Francisco’s action spur Cal/OSHA to take a renewed look at workplace safety in the solar industry?  Indeed, as solar installations increase rapidly throughout the country, perhaps Federal OSHA will dust off its Green Job Hazards guidance in light of what appears to be a continued movement toward renewable energy sources and the inevitable increase in workplace hazards that occurs when industries rapidly expand.

Copyright Holland & Hart LLP 1995-2016.

Attend the 2nd Annual Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute West – December 2-3 in San Francisco

The National Law Review is please to give you information on the 2nd Annual Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute WestBank and Captial Markets Tax Institute Dec 2-3 San Francisco, CA - Register Now!

Register today!

WHEN

December 2-3, 2-14

WHERE

San Francisco, CA

Due to the success of last year’s first ever west coast Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute (BTI), we are proud to announce that BTI West will be coming back for a second year! For 48 years the annual BTI East in Orlando has provided bank and tax professionals from financial institutions and accounting firms in-depth analysis and practical solutions to the most pressing issues facing the industry, and from now on professionals on the west coast can expect the same benefits on a regular basis

The tax landscape is continually changing; you need to know how these changes affect your organization and identify the most efficient and effective plan of action. At BTI West you will have access to the same exceptional content, networking opportunities and educational value that have made the annual BTI East the benchmark event for this industry.

In an industry that thrives on both coasts, we will continue to offer exceptional educational and networking opportunities to ALL of the hard-working banking and tax professionals across the country. Join us at the 2nd Annual Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute WEST, where essential updates will be provided on key industry topics such as General Banking, Community Banking, GAAP, Tax and Regulatory Reporting, and much more.

Only one week until the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit – April 28-29, San Francisco

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the upcoming Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit hosted by IQPC.

Trademark

When

Monday April 28 & Tuesday April 29, 2014

Where

San Francisco, California, USA

Trademark law may not be changing, but its application certainly has and will continue to do so. Brands are increasingly global, which opens up new possibilities for companies… but also new trademark issues and potential pitfalls. The online experience adds to this global focus and changes the interaction between brands and consumers dramatically.

IQPC’s Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit will address the topics that you grapple with on a daily basis, including:

  • How business and infringement concerns guide strategic registration and vigilance
  • Methods of enforcing your mark, including a “soft approach,” ICANN dispute resolution, cancellation and opposition
  • Litigation and enforcement management
  • Evolving company domain name strategy

Perhaps the biggest benefit of attending, however, is the practical, frank conversation about the legal and business choices involved in protecting and maintaining your brand. Attend the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit to work through these issues with your colleagues.

Do not miss your opportunity to network and engage with top in-house and outside counsel working in the area. Register today!

NOTE: IQPC plans on making CLE credits available for the state of California (number of credits pending).  In addition, IQPC processes requests for CLE Credits in other states, subject to the rules, regulations and restrictions dictated by each individual state.  For any questions pertaining to CLE Credits please contact: amanda.nasner@iqpc.com.

Register today for IQPC's Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the upcoming Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit hosted by IQPC.

Trademark

When

Monday April 28 & Tuesday April 29, 2014

Where

San Francisco, California, USA

Trademark law may not be changing, but its application certainly has and will continue to do so. Brands are increasingly global, which opens up new possibilities for companies… but also new trademark issues and potential pitfalls. The online experience adds to this global focus and changes the interaction between brands and consumers dramatically.

IQPC’s Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit will address the topics that you grapple with on a daily basis, including:

  • How business and infringement concerns guide strategic registration and vigilance
  • Methods of enforcing your mark, including a “soft approach,” ICANN dispute resolution, cancellation and opposition
  • Litigation and enforcement management
  • Evolving company domain name strategy

Perhaps the biggest benefit of attending, however, is the practical, frank conversation about the legal and business choices involved in protecting and maintaining your brand. Attend the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit to work through these issues with your colleagues.

Do not miss your opportunity to network and engage with top in-house and outside counsel working in the area. Register today!

NOTE: IQPC plans on making CLE credits available for the state of California (number of credits pending).  In addition, IQPC processes requests for CLE Credits in other states, subject to the rules, regulations and restrictions dictated by each individual state.  For any questions pertaining to CLE Credits please contact: amanda.nasner@iqpc.com.

Register for the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit – April 28 & 29, San Francisco, California

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the upcoming Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit hosted by IQPC.

Trademark

When

Monday April 28 & Tuesday April 29, 2014

Where

San Francisco, California, USA

Trademark law may not be changing, but its application certainly has and will continue to do so. Brands are increasingly global, which opens up new possibilities for companies… but also new trademark issues and potential pitfalls. The online experience adds to this global focus and changes the interaction between brands and consumers dramatically.

IQPC’s Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit will address the topics that you grapple with on a daily basis, including:

  • How business and infringement concerns guide strategic registration and vigilance
  • Methods of enforcing your mark, including a “soft approach,” ICANN dispute resolution, cancellation and opposition
  • Litigation and enforcement management
  • Evolving company domain name strategy

Perhaps the biggest benefit of attending, however, is the practical, frank conversation about the legal and business choices involved in protecting and maintaining your brand. Attend the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit to work through these issues with your colleagues.

Do not miss your opportunity to network and engage with top in-house and outside counsel working in the area. Register today!

NOTE: IQPC plans on making CLE credits available for the state of California (number of credits pending).  In addition, IQPC processes requests for CLE Credits in other states, subject to the rules, regulations and restrictions dictated by each individual state.  For any questions pertaining to CLE Credits please contact: amanda.nasner@iqpc.com.

Join IQPC for their Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit – April 28 & 29, San Francisco

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the upcoming Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit hosted by IQPC.

Trademark

When

Monday April 28 & Tuesday April 29, 2014

Where

San Francisco, California, USA

Trademark law may not be changing, but its application certainly has and will continue to do so. Brands are increasingly global, which opens up new possibilities for companies… but also new trademark issues and potential pitfalls. The online experience adds to this global focus and changes the interaction between brands and consumers dramatically.

IQPC’s Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit will address the topics that you grapple with on a daily basis, including:

  • How business and infringement concerns guide strategic registration and vigilance
  • Methods of enforcing your mark, including a “soft approach,” ICANN dispute resolution, cancellation and opposition
  • Litigation and enforcement management
  • Evolving company domain name strategy

Perhaps the biggest benefit of attending, however, is the practical, frank conversation about the legal and business choices involved in protecting and maintaining your brand. Attend the Trademark Infringement & Litigation Summit to work through these issues with your colleagues.

Do not miss your opportunity to network and engage with top in-house and outside counsel working in the area. Register today!

NOTE: IQPC plans on making CLE credits available for the state of California (number of credits pending).  In addition, IQPC processes requests for CLE Credits in other states, subject to the rules, regulations and restrictions dictated by each individual state.  For any questions pertaining to CLE Credits please contact: amanda.nasner@iqpc.com.