San Francisco Employers – Highlights

In addition to State and Federal Employment Regulations, San Francisco requires most Employers in the City to fulfill five additional employment actions:

  • Minimum Hourly Wage Ordinance (MWO) – All Employers.
  • Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) – All Employers
  • Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) – 20+ Employees
  • Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) – 20+ Employees
  • Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) – 20+ Employees
  • Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) – 20+ Employees


1. Minimum Hourly Wage Ordinance – All Employers

All employees who work in San Francisco more than two hours per week, including part-time and temporary workers, are entitled to the San Francisco minimum wage.

Effective Date
Minimum Hourly Wage Rate
July 1, 2016
July 1, 2017
July 1, 2018
July 1st Each Following Year
CPI Increase

Additional Information can be found at

2. Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) & CA Paid Sick Leave – All Employers

These regulations cover every worker (even temporary) who earn one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked.  The San Francisco Ordinance (effective 2007) varies slightly from the CA law (effective 2015); the following bullet points highlight areas for a San Francisco employer to be in compliance with both laws.

  • Sick leave may be taken when an employee or their spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, grand parent/child, sibling, ward, or designated person is ill or needs time off for a medical reason.
  • Unused sick leave carries over year-to-year up to a cap (if established), but need not be cashed-out or paid to a terminated employee.
  • Employers may take “reasonable measures” to prevent sick leave abuse – having an attendance policy is advisable to prevent abuse.

Companies with employees of 9 or less, may cap the paid sick benefit at 48 hours.
Companies with 10 or more employees, may cap the paid sick benefit at 72 hours.

Additional Information can be found at

3. Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO)

Employer Requirements by Number of Employees:

  • Number of Employees
  • Small Business w/ 0-19 Employees (Nonprofits 0-49 Employees)
  • Medium Business w/ 20 to 99 Employees (Non Profits 50-99 Employees)
  • Large Business w/100+ Employees
  • 2017 Expenditure Rate
  • Exempt
  • $2.64 per hour payable
  • $1.76 per hour payable

An Employee is covered when they work at least 90 days and at least 8 hours per week.

The Employer Spending Requirement of the HCSO is satisfied by providing health care expenditures on behalf of covered employees per the above table. The employer can fulfill this obligation in a number of ways to include group health care coverage or direct payment to the City.

The law has been amended at June 17, 2014 to provide consistency with the Affordable Health Care Act and Covered California.

For more information

4. Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO)

San Francisco Employers with 20 or more employees (anywhere) are required to consider employees’ requests for flexible or predictable work arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities – the employer has the right to refuse to accommodate a request for legitimates business reasons. Timely and clear communication is essential in managing this ordinance.

For more information

5. Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO)

San Francisco Employers with 20 or more employees (total worldwide) are required to review an individual’s (employees and applicants) qualifications before inquiring about that person’s arrest and conviction records(s) and related information. In summary, the ordinance requires that employers limit the use of criminal history information and follow certain procedures and restriction when inquiring about and using conviction history information. (City Contractors and Housing Providers are also covered under this ordinance per specific instructions).

For more information

5. Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO)

San Francisco Employers with 20 or more employees (total worldwide) must provide eligible employees who are new parents and have been employed with the employer for 6 months or more and work 8 hours or more per week, Supplemental Parental Leave Compensation for up to six weeks, for the purpose of bonding with their new child in the first year of the child’s life, or the first year after adoption.
Supplemental Compensation is available only to employees who are eligible for and receiving CA Paid Family Leave benefits for the purpose of bonding with child; the employer’s contribution limits are defined in the ordinance.

For more information
Please contact me with any questions you have about your obligations as a San Francisco, CA employer.

Rita Casey, Ph.D.

Serving Clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and Nationwide by Phone and Email.
Phone: 415-461-2023

Human Resources Consulting Services for Small Businesses in San Francisco, CA and across the US.
If you need a part time human resources expert, call (415) 461-2023.

Copyright © 2015 Rita Casey, Ph.D. All rights reserved.