SF strengthens labor laws on predictive scheduling, equal pay 

In a move aimed to strengthen workers' rights, San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday approved new laws requiring predictive schedules for chain store retailers and for public contractors to begin reporting compensation to stamp out wage discrimination.

The pieces of legislation approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors builds on San Francisco's reputation for becoming the first city to advance certain workers' rights, including paid sick leave, mandating health coverage and raising the minimum wage.

"Abusive scheduling practices are causing a crisis of underemployment and instability for the people that serve our food, that stock our shelves and that sweep our floors," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who collaborated on the effort with outgoing board President David Chiu. "Scheduling practices affects how much the barista who makes our morning latte takes home in pay, whether or not they receive health benefits and their ability to balance their life and work."

The legislation, which was supported by Jobs With Justice San Francisco, is expected to impact about 40,000 workers in San Francisco.

"We heard from hundreds of part-time workers who can't tell their families in any given week when they will work, how much they earn, who are struggling to juggle multiple jobs," Chiu said.

The law impacts those businesses with more than 20 employees in San Francisco and more than 20 locations worldwide. That threshold was a point of contention.

Retail employers will now have to inform employees of the estimated number of hours and shifts they will work monthly, provide two weeks notice of work schedules, and any schedule change must be done with a seven-day notice or the employer must provide some compensation per shift changed.

The board additionally approved legislation introduced by Supervisor David Campos requiring city contractors to provide reports detailing worker pay and their gender beginning in January 2016. The requirement is expected to impact about 1,500 of the 14,000 public contractors.

"Wage discrimination is already illegal and has been illegal for more than 60 years," Campos said. "The reason the problem persists to this day is that to a great extent this is a secret. How people get paid is something that we are not supposed to talk about. Women continue to be short-changed so often."

Supervisor John Avalos introduced a proposal that will be debated in the coming weeks to extend the wage reporting requirement to companies who receive a tax break, which would cover technology companies like Twitter in the mid-Market Street area.

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