Family Friendly Workplaces

Workplace arrangements that offer flexibility and predictability in where, when, how, and what work is performed by employees hold the potential to benefit workers at all levels, especially those with caregiving duties. Numerous research studies have indicated that family friendly workplaces are smart investments because they work in the best interest of the employees as well as the employers.

Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition: A collaboration of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and employers, created to improve the working conditions and health of new parents, that offers resources, information, and model policies through a toolkit. The Coalition and community partners have also developed the Healthy Mothers Workplace Awards for Excellence in Maternal Health and Equity to recognize San Francisco employers with policies that support the wellbeing of their workers. Employers complete a self-assessment of their policies related to parental leave, lactation accommodation, and work-family balance and are honored at an annual ceremony.

► San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance *
Parental leave for bonding time with a new child provides documented benefits such as reduced postpartum depression and increased participation in the labor force for women; cognitive, social, and developmental benefits for children; and greater involvement of fathers in caring for children later in life and more equitable sharing of household work between men and women. Despite these benefits, the United States is one of the only nations in the world that does not provide paid time off for parents to bond with a new child, and only 13% of private-sector workers in the US have access to any paid leave through employment.

California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides employees who contribute to the State Disability Insurance fund six weeks of partial (60-70%) wage replacement each year for leave to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. However, research has found that many parents, particularly low-wage workers, do not use PFL despite paying into the system because they cannot afford it. Enacted in 2017, The San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance requires covered employers to provide supplemental compensation to eligible employees who are receiving PFL benefits to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child to bring them up to 100% of their weekly wages for up to 6 weeks.

♦ Employer’s Guide to San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance:

1. Give Notice to Employees

  • Post notice created by OLSE.
  • Include a description of the right to Supplemental Compensation under the SF Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) in employee handbook.

2. Give Employee SF Paid Parental Leave Instructions and Form (SF PPL)

  • Instructions and form are available here. Provide a copy to new employees and as soon as employee asks about parental leave or tells you they’re expecting a newborn, adopted or foster child.

3. Determine Employee’s Eligibility

  • The employee is eligible if they: (1) commenced work for you at least 180 days before leave period, (2) works at least 8 hours per week and 40% of total weekly hours in San Francisco, (3) has applied for and is eligible for CA Paid Family Leave (PFL).

4. Calculate & Pay Supplemental Compensation

  • Calculation instructions are available here.
  • To calculate, you will need employee’s Normal Weekly Wages and EDD Weekly Benefit amount. This information should be on the SF PPL Form and EDD Notice of Computation, which the employee receives from EDD. ​

♦ ​Employee’s Guide to the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance:

1. Apply for CA Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits

  • Online or paper application through Employment Development Department (EDD) by first completing your Benefit Programs Online Account.
  • Be sure to check the box allowing EDD to disclose your benefit amount.

2.  Complete SF Paid Parental Leave Form (SF PPL Form)

  • Form is available on the OLSE Website and should be provided by your employer.
  • If you have multiple employers, complete a form for each employer.

3. Submit SF PPL Form & EDD Notice of Computation to Employer

  • When you apply for PFL benefits, the EDD will send you a Notice of Computation that includes your weekly benefit amount.

4. Notify Employer When You Receive First PFL Payment

  • If requested, provide your employer with the EDD Notice of Payment (also known as the Electronic Benefit Payment Notification).

For more details on how to comply with the ordinance or how to file a complaint against your employer, contact the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at 415-554-4190 or pplo@sfgov.org.

► San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance
Research finds that breastfeeding has tremendous health and economic benefits, including fewer illnesses and infections for babies, reduced risk of maternal postpartum depression, and increased participation of mothers in the workforce. Yet breastfeeding rates tend to drop nationally after mothers, who are the fasting growing segment of the workforce, return to work. With supportive lactation accommodations, breastfeeding parents can return to work without compromising their health nor the health and economic needs of their family. Breastfeeding parents are also more likely to continue working when supported with lactation accommodation and achieve greater workplace productivity. Despite the positive impact of breastfeeding, many working parents lack workplace breastfeeding support.

Enacted in 2018, the San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace addresses these inequities and creates stronger standards for lactation accommodation. It requires all employers with an employee in San Francisco to provide a clean and private space and adequate break time for the employee to express milk for their child’s and own health and wellbeing.

♦ The San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace requires:

  • Break time of the duration and frequency necessary for the employee to express milk. The timed needed varies from person to person and may change over time for the same employee. The travel time to and from the lactation location shall not be included as part of the employee’s break time.
  • Lactation space that is not a bathroom and is near the employee’s work area, shielded from view, and free from intrusion. When multi-purpose rooms are also used for lactation, the use of the room for lactation will take precedence over others uses. Lactation spaces must:
    • Be safe, clean and free of toxic or hazardous materials;
    • Have a surface and a place to sit;
    • Have access to electricity; and
    • Have access to a sink with running water and a refrigerator nearby.
  • Written lactation accommodation policy that clearly communicates the rights of breastfeeding employees and the process for addressing an employee’s lactation accommodation needs. The policy shall be included in an employee handbook, if one exists, and provided to all employees prior to parental leave. An employee’s request for lactation accommodation may be provided orally, by email, or in writing, and need not be submitted on a specific form. Employers are required to respond to requests in writing within five business days.

For more details on how to comply with the ordinance or how to file a complaint against your employer, contact the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at 415-554-6406 or lactation@sfgov.org.

► Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance: 
The Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) is a City and County of San Francisco ordinance that was passed by the Board of Supervisors and came into effect on January 1, 2014. The ordinance applies to all public, private and nonprofit establishments in the city with 20 or more employees. The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) oversees the enforcement of this ordinance. Please click
here for OLSE information.

♦ The Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance gives gives employees, who have worked for 6 months, the right to request flexible or predictable work arrangements to assist with caregiving responsibilities for:

  • A child or children for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility
  • A person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the employee
  • A parent aged 65 or older

Visit our Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance page to find resources and more information.

► Resources:

♦ Paid Parental Leave Ordinance: 

  • PPLO Forms and Documents, Find all necessary forms, and instructions here.
  • Register to view a webinar designed to help businesses implement PPLO, access webinar slides here.

Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance: