SAN DIEGO PAID SICK LEAVE REQUIREMENTS, EFFECTIVE JULY 11 AND SEPTEMBER 2, 2016 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Employers Must Cough Up at Least Five Days of Benefits

As previously announced in Sick Pay Ordinance Epidemic Spreads to San Diego, New Measure Adds Yet More Uncertainty to Employer Obligations (June, 2016), San Diego voters recently enacted city-wide paid sick leave and minimum wage ordinance (Ordinance No. 20390).  See our blog Rising Minimum Wages, the California Trend Continues, San Diego Approves its first gradual Increases Effective, July 11, 2016 (August, 2016) for more information on this ordinance’s minimum wage mandate.

As of July 11, 2016, Ordinance No. 20390 requires that employers must provide paid sick time to all employees who work in San Diego for at least two hours in one or more calendar weeks of a year (Employees).  Click here to find out if a particular address is located within those city limits.

Also starting July 11, employers must provide employees with one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked within the city (“accrual method”). Employers may limit actual use of earned sick leave to 40 hours per year, but unused, accrued sick leave must be carried over to the following year.

Starting September 2, 2016, San Diego’s follow-up ordinance (Implementing Ordinance No. 20706) allows employers to cap an employee’s total accrual at 80 hours.  It also authorizes employers to “front load” 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each benefit year (“front loading method”) thus relieving the employer of any accrual and carryover requirements. Under the front loading method, the employer must reserve at least 40 new hours at the beginning of each benefit year. Ordinance No. 20390 defines benefit year as a “regular and consecutive twelve – month period, as determined by an Employer”.

New hires will be allowed to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 91st day of employment or after July 11, 2016, whichever is later.

In addition to the reasons specified under state law, San Diego allows employees to use paid sick leave when the employee’s place of business or child’s school/child care provider closes by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.

Employers must conspicuously post the city’s current official Notice in English, Spanish or any other language spoken by at least five percent of the workforce. Once the Implementing Ordinance takes effect in September, the city will update this notice.

Employers must also give each current employee and new hires written notification of their rights using San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Employee Notification Form.

Affected employers should ensure their sick leave policies and practices comply with these new standards.  San Diego’s online frequently asked questions page provides more information.

For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys: Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

August 18, 2016