Prop 1, passed by ballot measure in early June, raises San Diego's minimum wage and increases access to paid sick days
Today, Main Street Alliance members thanked the San Diego City Council for passing the minimum wage and earned sick days ordinance, celebrating the enormous raise for 170,000 hard working San Diegans. Francisco Garcia of The Building Workshop, Sarah Davis of Al Davis Furniture and Alma Rodriguez of Queen Bee's testified at the meeting to approve the budget committee’s recommendations on implementation and enforcement of the ordinance.
“Because hard-working San Diegans working full-time must be able to avoid homelessness, the council’s approval of this measure was necessary, and I strongly encourage that the implementing law is approved today,” says Sarah Davis of Al Davis Furniture. “An enforcement agency will level the playing field by ensuring honest businesses are not undercut by dishonest employers and ensure protections against bad actors.”
The San Diego minimum wage and earned paid sick days ordinance was originally approved by the City Council in 2014, but an opposition group successfully gathered referendum signatures to place the measure on the June 2016 ballot. The initiative, Proposition I, passed with more than 63% of the vote in June 2016.
According to Francisco Garcia of The Building Workshop, as the entire business community gets on the same page, it’s important to make sure they receive education to understand the implementation parameters, too.
“We want to ensure strong anti-retaliation penalties and stiff fines for repeat offenders and willful bad actors. Most San Diego employers are honest, and they play by the rules. We need to ensure that unscrupulous businesses are not allowed to skirt the law to gain a competitive advantage,” testified Mr. Garcia. He continued: “This is why we have to educate and inform and request that notices and postings be made available to both the employer and employees. This gives employees the right to review their pay records without fear of retaliation. Examples from other cities show that retaliation can take extreme forms, such as employer threats to an employee’s immigration status.”
The City Council’s Budget Committee will work in the recommendations from different members before presenting the final implementation and enforcement, and Main Street Alliance members will continue to push for implementation language that works for small business owners and the community.