UPDATE: As of December 5, 2022, temporary service rules for the City and County of San Francisco have ended. Find more information here.

City Attorney Chiu sues staffing company for misclassifying workers

SAN FRANCISCO (June 14, 2024) — City Attorney David Chiu announced today that he has filed a lawsuit against WorkWhile, a temporary staffing firm, for illegally misclassifying its workers and denying them guaranteed protections, wages, and benefits. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the People of the State of California, alleges WorkWhile’s model of treating its workers—including warehouse, hospitality and food service, last-mile delivery, food production, event service, and general labor—as independent contractors is illegal and has dire consequences for workers, law-abiding competing businesses, and the broader public.

“Misclassification remains one of the most insidious types of worker exploitation,” said City Attorney Chiu. “WorkWhile’s practice of misclassification violates labor and employment laws across a shocking number of industries. To add insult to injury, WorkWhile has the infrastructure to appropriately classify its workers, but chooses to deny its workers their rights and benefits. The company engages in systemic wage theft and brazenly shifts the costs of guaranteed employee protections onto their workers. We will continue to root out these practices and ensure workers are treated fairly under the law.”

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Climate Change

The San Francisco City Attorney and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the top five oil and gas companies, asking the courts to hold them responsible for the costs of the infrastructure necessary to protect their cities from the consequences of climate change caused by their massive production of fossil fuels.

Reproductive Rights

The City Attorney’s Office has worked with public and private partners to defend access to reproductive healthcare and ensure all people understand that abortion remains safe and legal in California. We worked with our City clients to launch a webpage to help people navigate abortion care in San Francisco. Learn more here.

Gun Safety

Five online suppliers that had been flouting both state and San Francisco law by selling illegal large-capacity magazines as “repair kits” to customers in California have agreed to a wide-ranging injunction that compels them to follow the law. The settlement agreement improves safety in California communities and ensures that rogue companies comply with the law.

Affordable Housing

In efforts to combat the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco, the City Attorney’s Office has taken broad actions ranging from filing lawsuits against unscrupulous slumlords and landowners like Academy of Art University to cracking down on affordable housing fraudsters.

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Accepting Internship Applications

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Law School and Paralegal Internship Program is a unique and competitive educational offering that draws applicants from across the nation.  Participants are chosen based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law, and they work closely with mentors on a wide range of meaningful cases.

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Report a Complaint

Consumer protection is a top priority of the City Attorney’s Office. We investigate and prosecute businesses that deceive or defraud consumers, and property owners that maintain properties in substandard conditions or violate housing laws. If you would like to report a complaint about a business or property owner, please find more information here.

Deputy City Attorneys Jon Givner and Andrew Shen

Political activities

The City Attorney’s Office’s annual political activities memo offers a useful overview of basic rules that city officials and employees must follow if they choose to take part in activities for political campaigns.  There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

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Good Government

Check out the extensive resources that the City Attorney’s Office offers to help ensure adherence to good government practices by city officials and employees. Most of these are also helpful for residents, to further their understanding of local law and government. There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

About the Office

Learn why the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been honored by the American Bar Association for “outstanding excellence,” and praised as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” by American Lawyer magazine.