San Diego Approves Amendments to Paid Sick Leave Law




As we previously reported (LINK1, LINK2)the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“SD Ordinance”) was approved by voters on June 7, 2016 and was effective July 11, 2016. Recently, the City Council amended the SD Ordinance to clarify a number of outstanding issues concerning the paid sick leave component of the SD Ordinance. Those amendments will be effective September 2, 2016.

Summary of Amendments

Highlights of the amendments that are effective September 2, 2016 are set forth below:

  • An employer now has the option of either accruing paid sick leave based on hours worked or “front-loading” 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each 12-month period.
  • An employer may now cap an employee’s total sick leave accrual at 80 hours.
  • 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 paid sick leave law, known as the Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act.
  • Strong anti-retaliation provisions were added, 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 (which includes but is not limited to the employee asking to take sick leave or actually taking sick leave)
  • Damages and civil penalties for retaliation were increased.
  • An Enforcement Office was created and will have the authority to conduct investigations and otherwise adjudicate complaints lodged concerning violations of the SD Ordinance.

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Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Nicole K. Haynes
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP


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