San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) continues to raise the cost of doing business at the foot of the Golden Gate by requiring employers to provide some of the most generous benefits to employees in the United States. The OLSE has amended certain of its rules regarding employer obligations, and will begin enforcing these changes (adopted by San Francisco voters and the City’s Board of Supervisors) as of January 1, 2019. Below are some of the highlights employers should consider as they make their way in the new year:

  • Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) increases the minimum dollar amount employers must spend on health care on behalf of all covered employees (those who have been employed for more than 90 days and who regularly work at least eight hours per week in the City of San Francisco). As of 2019, San Francisco employers with 20–99 employees worldwide must spend $1.95 per hour, and those with 100 or more employees worldwide must spend $2.93 per hour. Businesses with less than 20 employees remain exempt from the HCSO.

The 2019 “Exemption Threshold” (minimum amount for managerial, supervisory, and confidential employees to be exempt from the HCSO) has increased to $48.46 per hour or $100,796 per year.

  • Adding teeth to its 2018 ordinance requiring employers to provide breaks and locations for lactation, the OLSE has stated that it will begin issuing determinations and imposing administrative penalties on employers for violations of the Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance. All employers must provide employees in San Francisco with breaks and a location for lactation, along with a written policy that explains how employees make a request for a lactation accommodation.
  • San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance was amended, effective October 1, 2018, and now applies to employers with five or more employees worldwide. As a reminder, this ordinance prohibits covered employers from asking about arrest or conviction regards until after a conditional offer of employment, and it applies to positions in which the employee works at least eight hours per week in San Francisco.

These and other San Francisco ordinances include mandatory posting requirements, which are updated and available for download on the OLSE’s website.