Every day, it is more expensive to live in San Diego. Rents are increasing, buying groceries and dining out are more expensive, and entertainment costs more every day. But thanks to a new law in San Diego, Proposition I, the minimum wage has increased to $10.50 an hour as of July 7, 2016 (this represents a 50 cent increase over the state’s $10.00 minimum wage).

If you are thinking – I earn minimum wage, how can 50 cents an hour extra help if San Diego is so expensive? Well, the truth is that it can help quite a bit. It could mean an increase of $1,000 more in annual salary. And when it goes up to $11.50 per hour January 1, 2017, it will mean thousands of dollars more a year for minimum wage earners.

Additionally, Proposition I helps workers that don’t have paid time off (PTO) to take paid sick leave from work. Proposition I gives you up to 40 hours of paid sick leave every year that you can take to go to the doctor, to care for yourself when sick, or care for family members that are sick.

How can you earn these 40 hours of sick leave? Proposition I allows you to accumulate one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours that you work. For example, if you work 120 hours in one month, you will accumulate 4 hours of sick leave (120 / 30 = 4). You can use these hours when you are sick or have to go to the doctor and it is not necessary to accumulate the full 40 hours of sick leave before taking sick leave.

With a little bit more money in your pocket and time to care for yourself and others when sick, the City of San Diego is progressing to allow you to weather hard times with more money in your pocket to pay your expenses.