San Jose Lends a (Mandatory) Hand to Part-Time Employees
San Jose voters passed a ballot measure last fall that requires San Jose employers with 36 or more employees and who are subject to the San Jose Business License Tax or who maintain a facility in San Jose to offer additional work hours to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees, including subcontractors or temporary staffing services. The San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance, which became effective March 13, 2017, requires local employers to ensure their part-time staff have first consideration for additional hours and full- time jobs before an employer may hire from the outside. The driver behind the ordinance was to prevent employers from keeping workers below 30 hours per week and avoid providing mandatory health care and other benefits not normally available to part-timers.
The Ordinance is not clear on how the 36 employee threshold is applied, but it appears that this only applies to the number of employees the employer has actually working in San Jose. There is an exception for chain business and franchises, which includes the total number of employees at every location owned by the franchisee or chain, whether or not located in San Jose.
No sweat, you say? Of course, San Francisco led the way on this move with the Formula Retail Employees Ordinances in 2016. Currently, the California Assembly is proposing AB 5, the “Opportunity to Work” bill, which if passed, would apply similar scheduling requirements to all California employers with 10 or more non-exempt employees in the state. We’ll keep you posted.
Since very few of our clients are subject to this new San Jose Ordinance, we’ll not dive deep on the details. The website and ordinance can be found here. There is also a poster the City’s Office of Equality Assurance requires posting that may be found here.
Please contact your employment attorney or HR Consultant for more details if you believe the San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance may apply to your business.