Santa Monica is the first municipality in Southern California to enact its own sick leave legislation, which will become effective on 7/1/2016.  The ordinance generally applies to all employees as long as they work at least two hours a week in the city.  All hotel workers in Santa Monica hotels are covered under the law regardless of how many hours they work.

Employers are required to offer paid sick leave at a minimum rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, including overtime hours.  Employers with 26+ employees must allow employees to accrue paid sick time to a maximum of 72 hours.  Employers with 25 or fewer employees must allow employees to accrue paid sick time to a maximum of 40 hours.  However, unlike California’s paid sick leave law, there is no annual accrual or use limit.  For example, if an employee reaches the cap and then uses some sick leave, the employee begins accruing paid sick leave again, up to the cap.  Additionally, all accrued and unused sick leave can be carried over from year to year.

Other than accrual caps, the Santa Monica ordinance mostly follows the California paid sick leave laws with respect to usage, notice requirements, and anti-retaliation.

The City of Santa Monica has established a working group to review the ordinance and make recommendations for amendments.  Recommended changes will be presented to City Council in March or April 2016 and updates to the ordinance will be posted at


Additional Information

Click here for the text of the Santa Monica Paid Sick Leave ordinance.


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Bonnie Mangels – Bonnie is the Corporate Counsel and Senior Compliance Manager for Sequoia. When not inundated in paperwork and legal briefs, her interests include arts and crafts, bunnies, and the Bay Area.