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  The Employee Guide:  TIPS
Throughout this guide we describe two approaches to implementing the FFWO:

     The first (“Compliant Approach”) explains the minimum needed to request a schedule change
     The second (“Collaborative Approach”) meets the FFWO minimum and strengthens outcomes

All covered employers must implement FFWO. On a voluntary basis, they can choose the more inclusive and mutually beneficial approach outlined in the second track.



The timeline for requesting, reviewing, deciding on and potentially appealing decisions on requests is at the heart of the new law. Indeed, while there is broad latitude for final decisions by businesses, there is no room for violating the deadlines stipulated in the FFWO. They are:

         ► Identifiable cost, including:
                Productivity loss
                Retraining or rehiring cost
                Cost of transferring employees

         ► Negative impact on ability to meet customer or client demand

         ► Inability to organize work among other employees

         ► Insufficient work during proposed schedule


Collaboration begins with the simple assumption that potential changes can be approached as win-lose or win-win. In employer-employee matters, win-win outcomes are most desirable. The path to satisfactory schedule changes is paved with the set of skills and standards we call “Mutual Respect.” These are described in some detail here. Some of them follow as tips:

Avoid assumptions Often our schedules are like long-term habits. We assume they are permanent or at least very hard to break. It takes patience to see and appreciate new ways of working. The best results in this process will come from constantly re-examining our assumptions and giving a manager or supervisor room to do the same.
Always pay attention No matter how compelling your need or logical your proposal, it is crucial to pay attention throughout this process. There shouldbe clues about attitudes, concerns and intentions well before the meeting to discuss a proposal. Don’t miss them.

Listen attentively & speak directly We can fall into the trap of not listening carefully to the precise concerns a manager might have about a proposal or impact on the business. It is powerful to quiet the inner dialogue so we can actually hear what’s being said. And what we say should be organized and focus on the concerns of the other person. Long appeals about ”me” are unlikely to be productive.

Provide feedback consistently It is important at each stage of the process to seek feedback on the content and the progress of your proposal. Don’t rely on impressions or your best guess about where things stand. Only corrective feedback can move a questionable request from “maybe” to “yes.”

Resolve conflicts respectfully A request for schedule change can represent a smooth or disruptive process – but at worst it may be a business conflict. Treat it that way. Don’t make it personal, whatever your motivation for the change. Be respectful throughout, ready to take the first constructive step .

Do what you promise Write complete proposals, meet deadlines, come to meetings prepared, make agreed-upon modifications. How you deliver in the request press says something about how will work on your new schedule.
Flex Request Resources

The pioneering SF nonprofit New Ways to Work began introducing flexibility into organizations four decades ago.

Today New Ways sponsors Collaboration@Work, a project supporting superior implementation of the new “Right to Request” ordinance.

It collaborates with employers, government and employees to build a more flexible San Francisco.

SF-FFWO Website
The City’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement enforces the new law. This official site hosts the law, forms and official information.

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