City of San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

The City of San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance, San Diego Municipal Code Chapter 3, Article 9, Division 1, became effective on July 11, 2016. It is applicable to employees who perform at least two (2) hours of work within the geographic boundaries of San Diego. 

The requirements of the Ordinance, including notices for posting and a template for use by employers to satisfy the employee notice requirement, can be found on the City of San Diego’s Minimum Wage Program’s webpage

In general, the Ordinance requires the following:

  • Effective July 11, 2016 through December 31, 2016; all employers must pay each employee not less than $10.50 per hour for each hour worked within the geographical boundaries of the City.  This amount increased to $11.50 per hour on January 1, 2017.  Beginning January 2019, the amount will increase based on the Consumer Price Index.
  • Employers must provide each employee earned sick leave, either through an accrual method (1 hour of earned sick leave accrued for every 30 hours worked) or through awarding no less than 40 hours of earned sick leave at the beginning of each benefit year.
  • Employers must carryover accrued unused sick leave to the next benefit year, but may cap total accrual of leave at 80 hours.
  • Employers may limit use of sick leave to 40 hours in a benefit year.
  • Employers must post in a conspicuous place, notices informing employees of their rights under the Ordinance.
  • Employers must provide each employee written notice of the employer’s legal and any fictitious business name, address, telephone number, employer’s requirements under the Ordinance and how the employer satisfies these requirements.
  • Employers must keep records of wages paid and accrual and use of earned sick leave for a period of no less than three years.
  • On a regular basis employers must provide employees with records detailing wages paid and sick leave earned and used.
  • Employers must allow employees to use earned sick leave for reasons outlined in the Ordinance including for their own medical care or for the medical care of a family member.

For information, including how to file complaints and to register for email updates, please visit the City of San Diego’s Minimum Wage Program’s webpage

For inquiries or questions, please contact the Minimum Wage Program at or 619-615-1565.

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