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San Francisco Supervisors Back Flexible Work Law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco legislation requiring businesses to consider requests for flexible work schedules from employees who serve as caregivers appears set to become law.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously backed the bill on Tuesday, and Mayor Ed Lee has indicated he will sign it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Under the law, workers would be able to ask their employers to allow them to telecommute, adjust their start times or job share in order to care for children, parents or other family members.

It would only apply to businesses with 20 or more employees, and a business could reject the request for a "good faith business reason," the Chronicle reported.

Supporters say the measure would also help employers. They point to studies showing flexible work schedules help businesses recruit and keep employees, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.

"I hope this legislation will nudge real changes in workplace culture and eliminate stigma and bias around workers who request flexible schedules," said Supervisor David Chiu, a sponsor of the legislation.

The law would also make it illegal to fire or demote employees based on their caregiver status or who, as caregivers, request flexible schedules.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce vice president Jim Lazarus has said the law would put businesses in the city at a competitive disadvantage.