"Our goal is to support all people using business as a force for good, and there are many ways to do that," says Katie Kerr, B-Lab's director of communications. Companies are evaluated on how they pay their employees, whether they offer them stock options or employee-ownership possibilities, and how they treat them in the workplace. It gets company's attention. Among the certified B Corp firms is King Arthur Flour, which offers its workers 40 hours of paid volunteer time and free and subsidized baking classes.
The most-trafficked page on the B-Lab website is the one that lists the best companies for workers. "People are really eager to work at those companies, particularly millennials," says Kerr
Eric Mar and David Chiu, San Francisco legislators: San Francisco's board of supervisors last month passed an ordinance, written by Democratic supervisors Mar and Chiu, which requires retail employers to post work schedules 14 days in advance and pay workers extra for last-minute changes. The ordinance also requires workers to receive at least four hours of pay if they show up for a shift and are sent home. The new law recognizes that employment conditions affect every aspect of a person's life, like child care, elder care, school, and more. Uncertainty about how much a worker will get paid week to week can lead to difficulties in paying rent or utilities, or even buying food.
The ordinance is being hailed by worker advocates as a model for other cities. Mar says he has met with mayors of several other cities about his experience in passing the law, which required negotiating with the business community. San Francisco, a politically liberal city, is already outside the norm when it comes to worker protections. It has one of the highest minimum-wage laws in the United States, at $10.74 per hour now and on its way up to $15 per hour by 2018. It also has passed laws mandating paid sick leave and cracking down on "wage theft," when employers encourage workers to work off the clock.
Mar is now concentrating on the implementation of these laws, particularly the retail workers rules. "It's really important as a supervisor that I work to ensure there is enforcement, that workers are educated and they know they have these new rights," he says. For his part, Chiu is headed to the state Assembly, where he hopes to convince legislators to pass a similar statewide law.
SAS Institute: This software-analytics firm is the gold standard in terms of employee relations. It has won numerous awards, including the No. 1 spot in Gold Standard's Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance. Workers and their families at SAS headquarters in Cary, N.C., have access to a gym with racquetball, volleyball, and basketball courts, a cardio and weight room, and a heated Olympic-sized swimming pool. There are outdoor tennis courts and walking trails, and even a meditation garden. The campus has a free on-site health care clinic with physicians, nutritionists, physical therapists, and psychologists. There is an on-site child-care center that offers summer camps for school-age children, all at a discounted price. Other on-site services include a hair salon, a nail salon, massage therapy, alterations and shoe repair, car detailing, and dry cleaning.