In late June, Gordon & Rees LLP published an article regarding the approval by the electorate of San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance which became effective July 11, 2016. Please click here to view the article.

The provisions of the new San Diego sick leave law created significant difficulties for employers because it:

  • Required employers to provide employees with one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked in the City of San Diego and did not provide employers the option to front load a minimum number of hours of sick leave at the beginning of each benefit year as permitted by the State of California Paid Sick Leave law and the ordinances passed by other cities in California, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles; and
  • Prohibited employers from placing a cap on the accrual of sick leave, instead requiring that any sick leave not used in the year of accrual must carried over from year to year.

On July 26, 2016, the San Diego City Council amended the ordinance primarily to revise the foregoing limitations. The amended ordinance essentially provides the following:

  • Gives employers the option to front load a minimum of 40 hours of sick leave to an employee at the commencement of each benefit year; and
  • Provides employers the right to place a cap on an employee’s total accrual of sick leave at 80 hours rather than requiring the unlimited accrual of paid sick leave.

Finally, the amended sick leave ordinance provides that employers who provide greater paid time off, either through a contract, collective bargaining agreement, employment benefit plan, or other agreement, than that required by the Ordinance, is deemed to be in compliance even if the employer utilizes an alternative methodology for calculation of, payment of, and use of paid sick leave or other paid time off that can be used as paid sick leave.