By Daniel Kim and Michele Haydel Gehrke

Two proposed San Francisco ordinances could mean more hours and more money for San Francisco’s part-time and minimum-wage employees. San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar’s recent proposal will give additional rights to part-time employees, including more hours, and a new ballot initiative for November proposes to raise the minimum wage rate in San Francisco.

Special protections for part-time employees?

The San Francisco Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee is currently evaluating a city-wide ordinance that would provide additional protections for part-time employees. Eric Mar, a San Francisco Supervisor, recently proposed a new city ordinance covering the first half of what has been named the Retail Workers Bill of Rights. The proposal is sponsored through the San Francisco chapter of Jobs With Justice, an alliance of numerous coalitions relating to workers’ rights.

The proposed ordinance would:

  • Require certain retail businesses to provide more work hours for part-time employees before the business hires additional workers.  
  • Require employers to compensate employees for four hours, at their regular rate of pay, if
    • an employee is required to be “on-call,”
    • an employee’s shift is cancelled with less than 24-hours’ notice, or
    • if they end up working for less than four hours.
  • Prohibit retail stores from discriminating against an employee as to rate of pay, time off, or eligibility for promotion based on the employees’ part-time status.

The ordinance also provides that if a company is bought or sold, then it must retain part-time employees in their positions for at least 90 days.

The ordinance only applies to “formula retail” businesses, defined as any retail store, fast-food business, restaurant, hotel, or bank with 11 or more similar stores nationwide. This definition includes about 1,250 businesses in San Francisco and about 100,000 employees.

Action on the proposed ordinance is expected in the next 30 days.

Increase in minimum wage?

Additionally, San Francisco supervisors recently voted to place a measure on the November ballot that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, up from what is already one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country—$10.74. The measure would increase the minimum wage gradually over the next several years until it reaches $15 an hour, in 2018.

The proposed minimum wage rates are:

Effective Date                        Rate

$12.25 per hour                       May 1, 2015

$13 per hour                            July 1, 2016

$14 per hour                            July 1, 2017

$15 per hour                            July 1, 2018

We will update you on these legislative developments in the fall.

Edited by Julie Yap