San Diego, CA Approves Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Increase


All Employers with San Diego, CA Employees


No later than July 7, 2016


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

NOTE: San Diego’s paid sick leave ordinance was amended shortly after becoming effective. Be sure to check out our Alert regarding the amended ordinance.

San Diego joins a number of other California cities in implementing its own paid sick leave and minimum wage ordinance.  The ordinance was approved by San Diego voters on June 7, 2016, and goes into effect once the election results are certified (expected to be no later than July 7, 2016).

San Diego’s paid sick leave expands upon the statewide paid sick leave (“PSL”) law in several areas. Key provisions of the PSL ordinance include:

  1. Eligibility – the ordinance applies to all employers of employees who work at least two hours in the city of San Diego in one or more weeks per year.
  2. Use – Employees must be allowed to use up to 40 hours of PSL per year (as opposed to the statewide minimum of 24 hours).
  3. Accrual – One hour of PSL earned per 30 hours worked. Accrued, unused PSL carries over to the next year, with no maximum accrual cap (a major departure from the statewide cap of 48 hours).  Further, there is no express option to front load PSL hours.
  4. Workplace Notices – Employers must conspicuously display a new poster published by the City of San Diego. (Note: At the time of publication, no poster was yet available.) Employers must also provide written notice to each new employee upon hire.
  5. Employee’s Notice – Employers may require documentation of absences lasting more than three consecutive workdays. Employers can also request that workers taking paid sick time provide reasonable notice when the need for PSL is foreseeable, or as soon as practicable when it is not foreseeable.
  6. Reinstatement of Benefits – If rehired within six months, the employee’s accrued, unused PSL will be reinstated.  If rehired after six months but within one year, an employee will be entitled to their previously accrued, unused PSL  under the statewide provisions for reinstatement.

Employers must carefully review their obligations to the statewide law and be sure to provide applicable employees the most generous benefits the laws allow them.

In addition to implementing the unique citywide PSL law, the ordinance also increases minimum wage beyond California’s current wage increase schedule.   When the ordinance goes into effect, San Diego’s minimum wage will increase to $10.50/hour (up from the current statewide of $10.00/hour), and will further increase to $11.50/hour on January 1, 2017 (up from the statewide increase to $10.50/hour).  Lastly, San Diego’s minimum wage will increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index each January 1st, to be announced each preceding October 1st.

Action Items:

  1. The City of San Diego has not yet published their final paid sick leave poster. In the interim, we suggest posting a copy of the ordinance.
  2. Adjust wage rates to be consistent with the increased minimum wage.
  3. Contact ManagEase at (888) 230-3231 for assistance in revising paid sick leave policies and procedures for compliance with the expanded regulations.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2016 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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