Five months after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned employees from working from home, San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu is proposing a family-friendly workplace rule that he says would help families balance work and home life. Employees who are parents and caregivers could request a flexible work schedule, including job sharing, telecommuting, or part-time employment. But business owners and other critics say the government shouldn’t intrude on how they run their companies. Should San Francisco be the first city in the nation to enact a flexible work provision?

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San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and supervisor for District 3, and lead author of "The Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance"
Mark Klaiman, owner of Pet Camp, and co-chair of the small business advisory council of the S.F. Chamber of Commerce

  • Carter

    You should have asked Jason Fried to take part in this discussion. He has a great TED talk (I know, TED is for pretentious elitists, but still) where he explains why little work actually gets done at work:

  • geraldfnord

    I think this feasible, and unless working conditions are excellent in desirable places like the Bay Area in prosperous times, they will not reach ‘good’ elsewhere and -when. Make the pie higher!

    (A rich man should feast, for if he lives but on bread and other poor fair he may well assume that the poor can live on stones.)

  • Skip Conrad

    How would a city mandated flexible work schedule be impacted by the city’s sanctuary policy?

  • amyj1276

    As we (the U.S.) are one of only three countries that don’t require paid maternity leave or paid sick leave and have the least affordable or available child care, as well as the fact that Americans have the lowest work-life balance and work the most number of hours next to Japan, this is a great step in the right direction. I fully support Supervisor Chiu’s proposal and am thankful that there are legislators who are working for the people. The idea that this isn’t business friendly is bunk. Businesses have been crying about how people-friendly policies are anti-business since the New Deal. Funny enough, the sky hasn’t fallen and businesses’ productivity continues to increase as people-friendly policies increase.

  • Sanfordia113

    our family is going to flee the City. The primary reason: Crime.

    This is a terrific proposal from Supervisor Chiu. Now just do something about the criminals and vagrants.

    • Carmen from Calif.

      And MUNI

  • Ben

    Well, what about all the employees (teachers, day care center employees) for whom shifting hours will drive up the cost of the services they provide, which is ultimately passed on to the people this initiative is supposed to help? Just like Healthy San Francisco, this will only be a cost free benefit for a very short time until the marketplace adjusts and passes the cost back to everyone, whether they use the service or not.

  • Carmen from Calif.

    It’s always the single person that gets screwed.I chose not to have kids and live in S.F-No Nanny State

  • Kp

    Supervisor Chiu and other supervisors should concentrate on fixing the Muni, compared to getting involved with businesses and how they work with their employees.

  • Amanda Smith

    Wasn’t the original purpose of this intended to make the city of San Francisco a more family friendly place? Something to encourage families to remain in San Francisco instead of moving elsewhere? If so, shouldn’t the requirement be restricted to San Francisco residents and not apply to people who work here but live elsewhere?

  • John Fournet

    How will the legislation affect City and County of San Francisco employess? Will they be eligible?

  • Eleanor Ellis-Lee

    This sounds well meaning but poorly thought out. If employers are required to provide flexible hours at all times, employers would just end up having to hire more part-time employees and making full-time employees into part-time employees just in case they need half days.

  • Brenda Salguero

    I think it’s great! There have been many studies done on flexible work schedules and I think that we should have laws that enforce it. I know at least of one co-worker (granted it was Orange County) who was fired, partially because she often had to work odd hours due in order to pick up, drop off, take care, etc. her children. I think there is a deep stigma even here in wonderful San Francisco.

  • Jenni

    Considering that women are statistically more likely to be the ones leaving or pulling back on their careers to deal with aging parents or childcare dilemmas, I don’t see how one could NOT support the progress of family support in the workplace.

    Business arguments of “hindering growth” reminds me of employers who initially pushed back against health care or vision requirements, or provision of simple benefits – initially they may seem inconvenient or costly, but it’s nothing when compared with the benefits of loyal, happy, balanced workers. Especially when you factor in the additional working women who would have not been other to participate in the workplace otherwise.

  • Rich Gunn

    is political grandstanding: Supervisor Chiu wants to achieve national recognition
    with local legislation that won’t change a thing; businesses are providing
    flex work schedules because the competition for great employees demands this.
    This is superficial legislation that benefits no one except Supervisor Chiu.

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