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  The Employer's Guide:  TIPS
As an employer doing business in San Francisco, you have the overall responsibility for implementing the requirements of the new ordinance. You can choose to meet its minimum requirements as outlined on this site – or you can take advantage of this opportunity to introduce employee- and business-beneficial flexibility across your organization.

Throughout this guide we describe two approaches to implementing the FFWO:

     The first (“Compliant Approach”) explains the minimum needed to process 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


It takes more than a well-implemented request process to produce superior business results. As a legislative process, the FFWO rightly does not concern itself with how flexibility and predictability are made assets rather than liabilities within business organizations.

The collaborative process starts with employees and managers developing that schedules that can benefit both. It then picks up where the request process leaves off: making new ways of working work. There is a considerable body of experience in businesses of all sizes and types implementing flexible schedules. (There is much less with scheduling predictability.)

Drawing on our broad and deep experience helping companies make flexibility work, we have the following tips for San Francisco employers.

Assess Consider how diverse schedules can lead to better staffing, greater recruitment profile, retention of valued employees, enhanced customer service – and full compliance with the FFWO

Declare Make clear through statements and support the organization’s commitment to mutually beneficial forms of flexibility and address manager and employee concerns

Propose Finalize a proposal form and process and provide guidance and training, if necessary, to assure its creative and fair implementation

Tools You can develop your own implementation tools – possibly reinventing the wheel -- or draw on proven supports such as those suggested below:

Monitoring – Given the multiple steps, deadlines, options and frequency
              of applications, the FlexMonitor software offers excellent processing and
              storage capacity

Guidelines – One-stop websites offer company perspective, proposal
              process and guidance and extensive best practice assistance on making
              each schedule work

Training – Online training for employees and managers on the common
              flexible schedules can make the difference between success and
              marginal outcomes

Evaluate The FFWO sets in motion an ongoing process, and it is important to pay attention to what’s working and what additional steps might be needed to maximize the outcomes
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.

■  Employee Requests 

■  Manager Reviews 

  Employer Options  



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