san francisco

Did See’s Candies Choose Workplace Discrimination Over Equality?

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We enjoy the taste of See’s Candies. Do not get us started on the peanut brittle, because OMFG, it’s good. But do we have to cancel our bi-weekly orders from the sweets shop because the company would rather shut down its store in San Francisco’s Union Square than comply with anti-discrimination laws?

The evidence isn’t fully fleshed out, but it appears See’s failed to comply or refused to show proof of compliance with San Fran’s Equal Benefits Ordinance — which requires lease-holders provide the same benefits to married employees as it does employees in domestic partnerships — and then chose not to renew its Union Square lease.

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See’s, meanwhile, denies any workplace discrimination. In a letter addressing the allegations, the company insists: “For years See’s Candies has provided domestic partner benefits including health insurance, with some of these benefits negotiated in labor agreements with unions representing See’s workers. These benefits continue to be offered today to union and non-union employees of See’s. Recently, our Union Square location lease was taken over by the City of San Francisco who has additional requirements for benefits beyond those offered by See’s. As any change to the benefits offered would require opening all related union contracts for negotiation, and the added benefits required were relatively minor and not consistent with our overall benefit plan, See’s attempted to seek a compromise with the City on its required benefit package. Unable to agree, and not wishing to renegotiate the union benefits offered to a single store in San Francisco, we elected to not renew our Union Square lease when it expired.”

Either way, See’s aficionados will have to get their stock at another location.

(Photos: Yelp, Cable Car Guy)