San Francisco celebrates new family-friendly work policies and 43 employers

WHAT: Healthy Mothers Workplace Celebration and awards ceremony recognizes governmental and community efforts to promote the health of parents and their babies. Media availability.


  • Representatives of 43 employers that earned Healthy Mothers Workplace Awards for 2016 (see list below)
  • Emily Murase, executive director, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women
  • Nancy Milliken, director, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, UC San Francisco.
  • Sharon Terman, senior staff attorney with Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center
  • Betsy Thompson, Regional Health Administrator, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Supervisors Malia Cohen, Katy Tang, AND Scott Wiener
  • Curtis Chan, medical director of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27
WHERE: 90 Seventh Street, Joint Auditorium of the Federal Building, San Francisco, CA

The Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition will honor 43 employers for their policies that support parental leave, lactation accommodation and work-family balance. These employers conducted workplace assessments and used the resulting data to create their own family-friendly policies and help the Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition provide valuable information to employers, policy-makers, and workers.

The coalition also will celebrate the passage of two local policies it supported: the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance signed by Mayor Ed Lee in April and the Lactation in the Workplace policy signed in July. Together, these policies support new families by guaranteeing fully paid parental leave of up to six weeks and ensuring access to breastfeeding by providing dedicated spaces at work.

The Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition includes representatives from the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center; SF Breastfeeding Promotion Coalition; SF Department of Public Health; SF Department on the Status of Women; UCSF; US Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health; and other organizations.

“As the presidential candidates present dueling family leave policies, we applaud employers here in San Francisco who are doing something today to improve the lives of their employees by supporting family bonding and early childhood health,” said Curtis Chan, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health for San Francisco Department of Public Health, a member of the coalition.

With increasing evidence that parental leave and family-friendly work policies positively affect the physical and mental health of parents and infants, some San Francisco companies and employers have improved their parental leave and accommodation policies. However, significant disparities persist, and many mothers are required to return to their full-time jobs within weeks of giving birth. For some babies and for some mothers, early separation may have significant health effects.

For various stakeholders who can promote the employment conditions of pregnant women and new parents, the Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition collaborates to provide valuable information, including:

  • A one-page document summarizing the various federal, state, and local policies that provide job protection and paid benefits for leave.
  • A toolkit of helpful information and resources on family-friendly work policies for employers.
  • The employer “Healthy Mothers Workplace” self-assessment to identify strengths and areas for improvement – for the individual company, and also for the sector and City as a whole.

More information about the coalition is available here. Between June and August, employers conducted self-assessments of their policies and practices, which the Coalition then reviewed. Forty-three employers earned recognition for “Bronze,” “Silver,” or “Gold” level of the Healthy Mothers Workplace Award of Excellence. Bronze awards go to workplaces that meet the coalition’s requirements, silver to those that exceed requirements, and gold to those that “set a gold standard” for family-friendly workplaces.

“San Francisco employers have stepped up to make their workplaces healthy spaces for moms and their families. I am so proud of the progress demonstrated by these employers, including City departments, who have made this a priority,” stated Dr. Emily Murase, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and member of the coalition. “It also helps tremendously to have the support of a Mayor who leads on these issues.”

Over the past four years, the Coalition has given 118 Healthy Mothers Workplace Awards of Excellence to 62 employers with 36,000 employees. At least six employers improved have their policies in order to graduate to a new award level since they began participating in the Healthy Mothers Workplace Award program.

Mayor Lee selected this initiative as one of San Francisco’s top innovations for the 2015 US Conference of Mayors. Winners receive certificates signed by Lee, Public Health Director Barbara Garcia, and Director on the Status of Women Emily Murase.

Award recipients:

  • A Better Way
  • Asian Art Museum
  • Bi-Rite Family of Businesses
  • Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco
  • California Child Care Resource & Referral Network
  • Child Care Law Center
  • Department of Labor, San Francisco Region
  • Environmental Science Associates
  • Farella Braun + Martel LLP
  • Folger Levin LLP
  • HelloSign
  • La Casa de la Madres
  • Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center
  • Miller Law Group
  • Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Pacific Catch
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Port of San Francisco
  • Portola Family Connections
  • Public Library of Science
  • San Francisco Adult Probation Department
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families
  • San Francisco Department of Human Resources
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health – MCAH
  • San Francisco Department on the Status of Women
  • San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department
  • San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
  • San Francisco Office of the District Attorney
  • San Francisco Real Estate Division
  • San Francisco Rent Board
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • San Francisco Police Department
  • Sanford Heisler, LLP
  • Square, Inc.
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • VLP Law Group
  • W.O.M.A.N. Inc.
  • Women’s Foundation of California
  • YWCA of San Francisco & Marin
  • Zelle LLP
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
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