Past Event

What the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance Means for Your Business

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
9:00 am - 11:00 am

San Francisco Main Library
Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco

In October, the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) was enacted in San Francisco and will go into effect for all businesses with over 20 employees located in San Francisco on January 1, 2014. A response to the changing demographics of San Francisco families and the ever increasing challenge of balancing work and home life, this ordinance gives employers the right to request a flexible work arrangement and gives the employer the right to refuse for legitimate business reasons. This ordinance opens the door for a dialogue between the employee and employer about flexible workplace arrangements.

On November 13, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce co-hosted an educational forum for members of the San Francisco business community to learn about what this new ordinance will mean for them. 

Aimee Allison, Media and Community Affairs Director of the Department on the Status of Women, moderated a panel which featured the following knowledgeable speakers: David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Ann Lehman, Women’s Human Rights Specialist of the Department on the Status of Women; Donna Levitt, Division Manager of the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement; and Ana Victoria Fortes, Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. 

President Chiu introduced the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance emphasizing its necessity due to the changing face of the American family. The “Beaver Cleaver” family with a breadwinner dad and a stay-at-home mom is now a reality for only 1 in 4 families. In order to curb the alarming rates of families leaving the City, San Francisco must adapt to the evolving needs of its residents.
Following President Chiu, Ms. Lehman added that this law is not only good for the employees who will now be better able to balance the demands of work and home, but that it is also good for businesses. She spoke about the positive impact of similar “right to request” laws around the world as well as the increased productivity and profitability of American businesses that have adopted flexible work policies.
Ms. Levitt addressed employer compliance responsibilities focusing on the definitions of an employer and an employee, employee rights, and employer implementation.

Lastly, Ms. Fortes shared best practices for flexible work environments.

For more information on the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance please review the video of the day's forum which highlights both the panel discussion and Q&A session. Also available are the presentations of our expert panelists, Ann Lehman, Donna Levitt, and Ana Victoria Fortes, as well as the following resources:

Managing Workplace Flexibility in California Toolkit

Toolkits to Achieve Workplace Change

Flex Options Guide

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Building the Business Case for Flexibility

For specific questions regarding the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, please contact the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement:

FFWO website:
FFWO email:
FFWO helpline: 415-554-6424

View Ann Lehman's profile on LinkedIn


2018 Gender Equity Challenge Forum
April 18, 2018

Join leaders from business, government, and academia to turn discussion into action. Celebrate the companies that are innovating for equity. Learn about model practices to implement in your workplace.

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