Equal Benefits Ordinance: San Francisco, Calif.

Passed in November 1996
Effective on June 1, 1997

Applies to:

  • City contracts that exceed $5000;
  • Businesses’ operations with the city. However, if the actual work related to the city contract is being performed in another state, the law applies. Also applies to city-owned real property outside of the city if work related to the contract is being performed there. [The law as originally written required contractor to offer these benefits to all of its U.S. employees. A court decision narrowed the law’s scope.];
  • Does not apply to subcontractors; and
  • Does not apply to certain city trust or investment monies.

Exceptions & Waivers

The director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission can waive the requirements of the law if:

  • Contract is responding to an emergency.
  • There is only one prospective contractor.
  • Contractor is a public entity.
  • The EBO requirements are inconsistent with a grant or agreement with a public agency.
  • It is a specialized litigation contract.

All proposed waivers must be submitted to the director and the clerk of the board of supervisors. The general manager of the Public Utilities Commission may waive the requirements of the contractor is providing wholesale or bulk water, power or natural gas.


San Francisco Human Rights Commission

  • Can impose fine or penalty; and
  • Can prohibit the contractor or subcontractor from receiving a city contract for up to two years or until it has complied with the ordinance.

The city can pursue any other remedies available at law.


San Francisco Administrative Code, Ch. 12B, §12B.1


San Francisco Human Rights Commission
Phone: 415-252-2500
TTY/TDD: 800-735-2922
Fax: 415-431-5764