SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica will implement its new paid sick leave ordinance starting January 1, 2017, allowing employees more time off when needed.

The city enacted its own minimum wage and sick leave ordinance after it was proposed by the city council earlier this year. Starting 2017, businesses with 26 employees or more will provide 40 hours of sick leave while businesses with 25 or fewer employees will provide 32 hours of sick leave. Employees can use sick leave after the first 90 days of employment. In addition, employees can accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked.

“Santa Monica cares about the health and safety of its workers and part of that is giving hard working people the right to time away when they are sick,” said Santa Monica Tony Vazquez in a statement. “This is something many of us take for granted, but for a large group of workers, missing a day on the job hasn’t been an option until now. We worked closely with workers and businesses to develop a law that is fair.”

The paid sick leave hours will continue to increase for Santa Monica employees in 2018. Starting on January 1, 2018, businesses with 26 employees or more will provide 72 hours of sick leave, while businesses with 25 or fewer employees will provide 40 hours. Employers are allowed to provide leave up front or decide to be more generous with the hours they provide.

Aside from increased paid sick hours, the Santa Monica ordinance indicates that minimum wage rates will increase to $15 per hour for most businesses in 2020. The current wage for hotel employees has been $13.25 since July 1, 2016 and will match the current wage for Los Angeles hotel employees of $15.37 by July 1, 2017.

“Paid sick leave is not just a benefit but a right for all employees,” said Frank Gruber, former chair of the Santa Monica Minimum Wage Working Group in a statement. “I am very proud of these forward-thinking provisions in Santa Monica’s minimum wage law.”