“Formula retail establishments” in San Francisco will have to offer part-time workers more hours before hiring new or temporary workers under a new city ordinance that goes into effect July 3, 2015.
It won’t be difficult for a store to determine if it falls under the new law, said James Evans, partner in Alston & Bird’s Labor & Employment Group. There are, however, questions about whether the ordinance also extends to distribution centers within the city.
Communication and staying up to date on legislation is crucial, said Evans, especially with the constantly changing landscape in different jurisdictions.
“When you have a patchwork of ordinances like this that affect worldwide or national companies, it could require them to change scheduling protocols not just in San Francisco but overall,” Evans said. “When you require change in one geographic area, you either adopt a separate set of software and planning tools for the particular area or you're going to apply that nationally.”
Or it could mean considering closing stores in San Francisco.
“When you look at the cost-benefit analysis, (stores think) ‘how much are we making at that store,’” Evans said, adding that pulling out of San Francisco is “certainly a possibility for those who aren't generating profits that would support the kind of costs (incurred by the new laws).”
Smaller businesses may have hard time complying with the new changes – assuming they are aware of them at all.
“Publication and education is important,” said Evans.