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City OKs 3 paid sick days for hourly employees

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SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego will offer up to three paid sick days a year to its hourly employees, beginning July 1, under a plan approved unanimously Monday by the City Council.

The benefit is the result of a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, that was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. It entitles people employed in California for 30 or more days in a year to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

The law affects more than 1,360 city employees — mainly library and recreational staff, and hourly lifeguards.

“These staff members are not allowed to take time off if they’re sick or if their child or parent becomes ill and requires care — or at least they can’t do that with pay,” Councilman Todd Gloria said. “As an employer, I believe we want these people who interact with the public every single day to be healthy.”

The public has a right to interact with city employees without risking illness, Gloria said.

City officials and municipal employee groups have already agreed to the implementation plan. The panel approved deals with five of the city’s six employee unions, amended civil service rules, and heard a report on the financial impact of the benefits from the San Diego City Employees Retirement System.

City officials have estimated an annual cost of around $471,000 to the budget, and a negligible impact on SDCERS.

Gloria said an implementation agreement with deputy city attorneys still needs to be signed by their union, which should happen this week, and then would be brought back to the council May 12.

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