SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, June 23, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors sanctioned the implementation of Supervisor Gordon Mar’s “Back to Work” ordinance. “This groundbreaking legislation is built on a simple idea: when they re-open, businesses should rehire, not replace, their laid off workers,” said Mar. The ordinance was passed by a 10-to-1 vote. The one vote in opposition to the ordinance was from Supervisor Catherine Stefani who argued that it would impede the reopening of businesses.

On Thursday, June 18, Mar tweeted: “141,000 San Franciscans filed for unemployment insurance since February 25, and we need bold policy interventions to ensure fair treatment in rehiring. This ordinance provides that, and provides laid off workers with information and access to support while they’re unemployed.”

According to documentation from the State of California’s Employment Development Department, the unemployment rate in San Francisco “was 11.9 percent in May 2020, down from a revised 12.1 percent in April 2020, and above the year-ago estimate of 1.9 percent.”

The ordinance will be applied to employers with 100 or more employees. Additionally, the legislation applies to businesses that laid off 10 or more employees within a 30-day period since February 25, when the city initially declared a local emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.