• San Diego Approves Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave
  • August 5, 2016 | Authors: Katherine A. Hren; Richard S. Rosenberg
  • Law Firm: Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt LLP - Encino Office
  • As we previously reported Click Here San Diego voters approved the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance ("SD Ordinance") on June 7, 2016. On July 11, 2016, the City Council approved the SD Ordinance, which means that employers covered by the Ordinance must pay the new minimum wage rate and provide paid sick leave effective immediately.

    Minimum Wage

    San Diego's minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour for work performed within the City of San Diego effective immediately. Subsequent minimum wage increases for San Diego are as follows:


    San Diego

    July 11, 2016


    January 1, 2017


    January 1, 2018


    January 1, 2019


    January 1, 2020


    January 1, 2021


    Proposed Amendments

    On July 11, 2016 the City Council also approved amendments to the SD Ordinance, which will be effective at a later date. The highlights of the proposed amendments are set forth below:
    • Providing that an employer may satisfy the accrual and carry over requirements by "front-loading" 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each 12-month period (the current version of the SD Ordinance does not permit "front loading").
    • Providing that an employer may cap an employee's total accrual of sick leave at 80 hours (the current version of the SD Ordinance does not permit an employer to impose any cap on accrual).
    • Providing that sick leave must be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay for the work week in which the employee takes such leave, which is consistent with California's Health Workplaces Healthy Families Act (the current version of the SD Ordinance requires payment at the "same hourly rate or other measure of compensation").
    • Adding strong anti-retaliation provisions, including a provision that establishes a rebuttable presumption that an employer retaliated against an employee if the employer takes an adverse action against the employee within 90 calendar days of the employee's exercise of protected rights.
    • Increasing damages and civil penalties for retaliation and increasing civil penalties payable to the City for retaliation.
    • Creating an Enforcement Office tasked with authority to conduct investigations and otherwise adjudicate complaints lodged concerning violations of the SD Ordinance.