Understanding the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinance

Chain stores with at least 40 formula retail establishments worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco, as well as their janitorial and security contractors, must follow legal guidelines that regulate scheduling, hours, retention, and treatment of part-time employees.

The Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances (FRERO) regulate hours, retention, and scheduling, and treatment of part-time employees at some Formula Retail Establishments.  The laws apply to Formula Retail Establishments with at least 40 stores worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco, as well as their janitorial and security contractors.

Hours
Covered employers must offer any extra work hours to current qualified part-time employees in writing before hiring new employees or using contractors or staffing agencies to perform additional work.
 

Retention
If a covered Formula Retail Establishment is sold, the successor employer must retain, for 90 days, eligible employees who worked for the former employer for at least six months prior to the sale. The employer must post a notice of the "change in control" and provide employees with a notice about their rights.

Notice of Work Schedules

  • Covered employers are required to provide new employees with a good faith written estimate of the employee’s expected minimum number of scheduled shifts per month and the days and hours of those shifts.
  • Employers must provide employees with their schedules two weeks in advance. Schedules may be posted in the workplace or provided electronically, so long as employees are given access to the electronic schedules at work.

Predictability Pay for Schedule Changes / Pay for On Call Shifts

  • If changes are made to an employee’s schedule with less than seven days’ notice, the employer must pay the employee a premium of 1 to 4 hours of pay at the employee's regular hourly rate (depending on the amount of notice and the length of the shift).
  • If an employee is required to be “on-call,” but is not called in to work the employer must pay the employee a premium of 2 to 4 hours of pay at the employee's regular hourly rate (depending on the amount of notice and the length of the shift).
  • Exemptions: Employers do not have to provide “predictability pay” or payment for on-call shifts if any of the following conditions apply:
    • Operations cannot begin or continue due to threats to employees or property;
    • Operations cannot begin or continue because public utilities fail; 
    • Operations cannot begin or continue due to an Act of God or other cause not within the employer's control (such as an earthquake); 
    • Another employee previously scheduled to work that shift is unable to work and did not provide at least seven days' notice; 
    • Another employee failed to report to work or was sent home; 
    • The employer requires the employee to work overtime; or 
    • The employee trades shifts with another employee or requests a change in shifts.

Equal Treatment
Employers must provide equal treatment to part-time employees, as compared to full-time employees at their same level, with respect to (1) starting hourly wage, (2) access to employer-provided paid time off and unpaid time off; and (3) eligibility for promotions. Hourly wage differentials are permissible if they are based on reasons other than part-time status, such as seniority or merit systems. Further, employees’ time off allotments may be prorated based on hours worked.  

Janitorial and Security Contractors
Janitorial and security contractors of Formula Retail Establishments covered by these ordinances must comply with most of the provisions of Police Code Articles 33 F and G, and Formula Retail Establishments must notify their contractors of these requirements.

Poster

Formula Retail Employee Rights Poster

covered employers must display at each workplace or job site. The poster is designed to be printed on 8.5" x 14" paper.

Legal Authority

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed two ordinances, together the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances, on November 25, 2014.

Resources

Contact us

If you have any questions about your rights or responsibilities, contact us: 415-554-6461 or email frero@sfgov.org

You can file a complaint if you believe your rights have been violated.

Last updated December 12, 2022