Minimum Wage Program

(Updated July 13, 2017)

The City of San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance,PDF icon San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) 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 in one or more calendar weeks of the year within the geographic boundaries of San Diego.  To assist in determining if a work location is within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Diego, employers and/or employees can find the community by PDF icon Council District or can enter the specific address of the work location in the interactive geographic boundaries map.

City of San Diego Minimum Wage Video in Spanish

Minimum Wage:

All employers must pay each employee, for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the City, wages not less than the minimum wage rate as shown on the following schedule:

Effective Date Minimum Wage Rate
July 11, 2016 $10.50
January 1, 2017 $11.50
January 1, 2019 and each following year Increase tied to Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Earned Sick Leave:
Employers must provide each employee earned sick leave.  Employees must accrue no less than one (1) hour of earned sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked within the geographic boundaries of the City; employers may cap the total accrual of sick leave at eighty (80) hours.  Any unused accrued earned sick leave must be carried forward to the following benefit year.
Employers may satisfy the accrual and carry over requirements if no less than forty (40) hours of earned sick leave are awarded to an employee at the beginning of each benefit year.  Employers may limit an employee's use of earned sick leave to forty (40) hours in a benefit year.  Employees may use earned sick leave for all the reasons described in Section 39.0106(a), which includes, but is not limited to, time for their own medical care or for the medical care of a family member.
If an employer provides, through a contract, collective bargaining agreement, employment benefit plan or other agreement, greater paid time off than the employee would have otherwise received under the provisions of the Ordinance, that employer may utilize an alternative methodology for calculation, payment and use of earned sick leave or paid time off.

Notice and Posting:

Employers must post in a conspicuous place at any workplace or job site where any employee works, the notices published each year by the City.    Additionally, every employer must also provide each employee, at the time of hire or by October 1, 2016, whichever is later, written notice of the employer's legal name, any fictitious business name, address, telephone number, the employer's requirements under the Ordinance, information on how the employer satisfies these requirements including the employer's method of earned sick leave accrual.  This notice may be provided through an accessible electronic communication in lieu of a paper notice.  To satisfy this requirement, employers may use the City prepared Employer to Employee Notice template.  


Employers are prohibited from engaging in retaliation against an employer for exercising any right provided by the Ordinance.  This includes but is not limited to the reporting of a violation to the employer or a government agency, the right to request minimum wage, or request and use earned sick leave.  Retaliation includes any threat, discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, reduction in employee hours, or any other adverse employment action against an employee for exercising their rights under the Ordinance.


If an employee believes their rights under the Ordinance have been violated, a complaint can be filed with the City of San Diego Minimum Wage Program by completing a Complaint Declaration Form.  The form is available below in various languages. Employees can also contact the Minimum Wage Program to obtain a hard copy of the Complaint Declaration Form.  

PDF icon English      PDF icon Spanish      PDF icon Chinese   PDF icon Vietnamese      PDF icon Tagalog

If additional information is needed, the employee/complainant will be contacted prior to any investigation.

Note:  Employees have the right to bring a cause of action against their employer in court or file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for violations of the City of San Diego Ordinance minimum wage and retaliation requirements. Other California Labor law violations, including overtime and meal/rest breaks, can also be filed with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.  Information regarding these processes and how to file claims can be found at the  State of California Department of Industrial Relations webpage.


Helpful information: