Updated 12/1/2016 – Updated Proposed Rules & Extended Deadline for Submitting Comments

On 12/1/2016, the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) released revised proposed rules to the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO).  The update includes a revision of the Definitions and Rule 7.  To allow the public time to review and comment on the revised proposed rules, the deadline for submitting written comments has been extended to Monday, 12/12/2016 at 5:00 pm PST.  Written comments may be submitted via e-mail or mail to:


Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
City and County of San Francisco
City Hall, Room 430
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4685



Updated 11/18/2016 – OLSE Releases Proposed Rules

The OLSE has released proposed rules interpreting the San Francisco PPLO.  These proposed rules are available on the OLSE PPLO website.

The OLSE is currently soliciting public comments on the draft rules.  Comments may be submitted either by:

  • Sending written comments via e-mail to pplo@sfgov.org by Friday, 12/2/2016 at 5:00 pm PST; or
  • Appearing in person and testifying at the public hearing, to be held at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, 12/2/2016 at 1:00 pm



Updated 5/10/2016  – San Francisco Officially Passes Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

The San Francisco Paid Parental Leave ordinance was official signed into law on 4/21/2016 by Mayor Lee and will be effective 1/1/2017.  The OLSE has launched a Paid Parental Leave ordinance website that provides details about the law and they will continue to provide more information as it becomes available

Questions regarding the ordinance can be submitted to pplo@sfgov.org.




On 4/5/2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a new measure requiring San Francisco employers with 20+ employees to cover 45% of the cost of parental leave for up to 6 weeks.  If the legislation is passed, it will apply to employees who work 8+ hours per week within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Francisco.


Currently, employees receive up to 55% of their wages for up to 6 weeks through the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which is funded by employee contributions to the California State Disability Insurance program.  The proposed legislation will require employers to shoulder the remaining 45% of the employee’s wages and applies to both births and adoptions.  This will make San Francisco the first city in the U.S. to mandate fully paid parental leave.


Who is Eligible?

A Covered Employee under the proposed law is any person, including, but not limited to part-time and temporary employees, (1) who began employment with a Covered Employer at least 90 days prior to the start of the leave period, (2) who works at least 8 hours per week for the Covered Employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Francisco, (3) at least 40% of whose total weekly hours worked for the employer are within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Francisco, and (4) who is eligible to receive paid family leave compensation from the State of California under the California PFL law for the purpose of bonding with a new child.  If an employee’s weekly hours fluctuate, whether or not the 8 hour and/or 40% threshold requirements are met will be determined by taking an average of the individual’s weekly hours worked for the Covered Employer during the 3 monthly pay periods, 6 biweekly pay periods, or 12 weekly pay periods immediately preceding the start of the individual’s California PFL period.  Additionally, the proposed ordinance will apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement unless the agreement clearly and unambiguously waives the ordinance, or the agreement was entered into before the ordinance’s effective date, but only until the agreement is extended or expires.


When is the Law Effective?

If signed, the law will be gradually phased in depending on the size of the employer.  As of 1/1/2017, Covered Employers will include those with 50+ employees.  By 7/1/2017, the definition of Covered Employers will be expanded to those with 35+ employees, and by 7/1/2018, it will include employers with 20+ employees.  San Francisco employers with less than 20 employees are not subject to the law.  For purposes of determining employer size, all employees will be counted regardless of location, including those hired through a staffing agency or similar entity.


How Much is the Supplemental Compensation?

Currently, the California PFL program pays employees up to 55% of an employee’s gross weekly wages.  The proposed ordinance will require Covered Employers to pay the remaining 45% as Supplemental Compensation.  However, for employees that are receiving the maximum weekly benefit under the California PFL program, employers will calculate their maximum Supplemental Compensation by dividing the state’s maximum weekly benefit by the percentage rate of wage replacement provided under the PFL program.  For 2017, the maximum Supplemental Compensation is $960 per week.

What are the Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements?

The OLSE will make available a notice in multiple languages for employers to post at a conspicuous place at the worksite to inform employees of their new rights.  Employers will be required to post the notice in English, Spanish, Chinese, and any language spoken by at least 5% of the workforce at the worksite.  Employers will also be required to keep records documenting the Supplemental Compensation paid to employees for a period of 3 years, and upon request and appropriate notice by the OLSE, must allow the them access to such records.

Are There Penalties for Failure to Comply?

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the ordinance.  If employers fail to comply, the OLSE may order any appropriate relief, including payment of Supplemental Compensation withheld, as well as an additional amount to the employee that is the greater of $250 or the 3 times the amount withheld.  The Agency may also order an administrative penalty of $50 per day to each employee whose rights were violated.

Additional Information

Although the measure has been approved by the Board of Supervisors, it is still pending final approval before it will be officially adopted and implemented.  As such, there are many issues that still need to be defined and we will continue to provide additional guidance as it becomes available.


To access the text of the proposed San Francisco Paid Parental Leave ordinance, please click here.

The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Bonnie Mangels – Bonnie is the Corporate Counsel and Senior Compliance Manager for Sequoia. When not inundated in paperwork and legal briefs, her interests include arts and crafts, bunnies, and the Bay Area.