San Diego’s Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Proposition Passes

By June 8, 2016Articles

Proposition I which by ordinance increases the city-wide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour in 2016 and $11.50 an hour on January 1, 2017 passed by nearly a 2-1 voting margin on June 7, 2016.  Pursuant to Section 39.0107 of the new ordinance, an employer must pay employees this minimum wage (which exceeds State minimum wage) “for each hour worked with the geographic boundaries of the City” of San Diego.  The ordinance’s definition of “employer” excludes a person receiving services under the California In-Home Supportive Services Program pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 12300.  An employee is defined as any person who works at least two hours during a week within the geographic boundaries of America’s Finest City.

Commencing on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage in San Diego will increase each year by a percentage equal to the cost of living increase, if any, of the immediately preceding year.  And whenever the California minimum wage exceeds the City’s, the City minimum wage will be automatically increased to equal it.

Proposition I also includes paid sick leave requirements for employees.  Under Section 39.0105, an employer must provide earned sick leave to employees equal to one hour of earned leave for every 30 hours worked within the geographic boundaries of San Diego.  (Record keeping and employer compliance may be a challenge and cumbersome for employers whose workforce includes individuals who also work during the day, week or month in other geographic areas outside of the city limits, such as San Diego County.)  Use of earned sick leave may be limited to forty (40) hours per year, but in conflict with our State sick leave laws, any unused sick leave under the ordinance must carry over to the following year.

The ordinance also does not exempt unionized employers who provide paid leave benefits under a collective bargaining agreement to its employees.  However, so long as an employer separately provides employees with an amount of paid leave, including paid time off, paid vacation or paid personal days sufficient to meet the ordinance’s sick leave requirements, including for the “same purposes” and under the “same conditions”, additional earned sick leave is not required for hours worked within the city limits.

To read the full text of Proposition I, click here:  Ordinance – Proposition I