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(a) Formula retail establishments are a major employment base in the City and County of San Francisco ("City"). As of September 2014, there were approximately 1,250 formula retail establishments in the City, accounting for 12% of all retailers. There are approximately 35,000 persons employed by these formula retail establishments in the City, accounting for approximately 5 to 6% of the City's total wage and salary employment. The City has a strong interest in ensuring that the jobs these formula retail establishments provide allow employees to meet their basic needs and achieve economic security.
(b) Erratic and on-call scheduling practices have become pervasive in formula retail establishments, particularly in stores and restaurants and bars, which together represent 83% of formula retail establishments in the City. Nationally, almost two-thirds of food service employees and half of formula retail store employees receive their work schedules one week or less in advance. The majority of these employees experience significant fluctuations in their work hours from week to week and month to month. According to a recent survey of employees at chain stores and large stores, only 40% of those surveyed have consistent minimum hours per week, one quarter of the employees are scheduled for on-call shifts, and the vast majority find out from a supervisor if they are needed for the on-call shift only two hours before the shift starts.
(c) Erratic scheduling practices also impact janitors and security guards who contract with formula retail establishments. A recent study by sociologists at the University of Chicago indicated that 66 percent of janitors nationwide experience fluctuating schedules, 50 percent report that their employer decides the timing of their work without their input, and 40 percent report schedule changes with less than one-week notice.
(d) Many formula retail establishments use computer software that automatically generates work schedules for their employees. The schedules generated by such software are frequently erratic and unpredictable, and provide employees with minimal notice of their upcoming shifts. Companies seldom encourage managers to adjust those schedules to accommodate the needs of their employees. A recent national study shows that although companies could use the software to provide predictable schedules and greater notice to their employees, few have done so. An August 2014 New York Times article described how Starbucks Coffee uses this software to create the schedules of its 130,000 baristas, often resulting in an unpredictable and erratic work schedule for employees. Soon after the article's publication, Starbucks announced that it planned to change its policy to give employees more advance notice of their work schedules and give managers more latitude to accommodate the needs of employees.
(e) Many employees of San Francisco formula retail establishments are impacted by unpredictable scheduling practices such as frequent and last-minute changes to their work schedules and use of "on-call" scheduling. In a recent survey of food retail employees in four regions of California – including the San Francisco Bay Area – 25% of employees reported employers requiring availability for on-call shifts, and almost half of employees reported having little or no input on their work schedules. Unpredictable scheduling practices and last-minute work schedule changes cause workers who are already struggling with low wages to live in a constant state of insecurity about when they will work or how much they will earn on any given day.
(f) Unpredictable work scheduling practices are detrimental to San Francisco employees and their families because they (1) lead to income instability, making it hard for employees to plan their finances and obtain economic security; (2) create work-family conflicts that make it difficult for employees to plan their child care, care giving duties, and transportation; and (3) prevent part-time employees from pursuing educational opportunities or holding a second or third job that such workers may need to make ends meet. Retail industry research in New York City found that more than half of family caregivers in the retail industry must be available for on-call shifts, forcing them to arrange for child or elder care at the last minute. Women are more likely than men to work part-time and experience unpredictability in their work schedules; one study found that women were 64% of the frontline part-time workforce among retail workers.
(g) As of September 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 7.3 million "involuntary part-time workers" in the United States. These individuals were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. According to Census data, since 2006, the number of "involuntary part-time employees" in California nearly tripled to 1.1 million employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than half of the retail workforce nationwide works full time, and the number of those working fewer than 20 hours per week has grown by 14% in the past decade. In 2012, nearly 111,000 employees in the City – approximately 23% of the City's workforce – were employed part-time. Employers sometimes treat part-time employees less favorably than full-time employees. For example, the majority of full-time employees nationally earn more per hour than their part-time counterparts.
(h) Half of formula retailers in the City each have more than 1,000 locations nationwide, whereas only 5% of formula retailers in the City have less than 20 locations nationwide. Given the number of employees working for formula retail establishments in the City, these businesses are well positioned to implement fair and predictable scheduling practices for their employees. Even some small local businesses in the City that do not meet the definition of "formula retail" have implemented predictable scheduling practices such as giving employees 14 days' advance notice of their schedules.
(i) The purpose of this Article 33G is to provide formula retail employees with more predictable, stable work schedules that are essential to their ability to earn a living and ensure a healthy and decent life for themselves and their families, and to ensure that part-time employees in formula retail establishments are treated fairly and equally compared to their full-time counterparts.
(Added by Ord. 241-14, File No. 141024, Eff. 1/4/2015, Oper. 7/3/2015)