Revised March 2017
Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave: New Arizona Statutes
Arizona's minimum wage increase, to $10 per hour, went into effect January 1;
paid sick leave kicks in on July 1.
In the November election, Arizona voters approved
Proposition 206 (the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative), which raised
the minimum wage in Arizona to $10 per hour and requires virtually all employers
to provide paid sick leave.
The minimum wage hike went into effect January 1, 2017,
and gradually increases to $12 per hour by 2020. The paid sick leave portion
of the law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017.
On March 14, 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a
legal challenge to Prop. 206. The court's ruling left intact the minimum wage
increases and paid sick leave requirements imposed by the new law.
Paid Sick Leave
Passage of Prop. 206 makes Arizona one of only seven
states to require employers to provide paid sick leave.
Employees of small employers (under 15 employees) will
be eligible for up to 24 hours of sick leave annually. Employees of larger
companies will be eligible for up to 40 hours of leave. Other important
provisions include the following:
including part-time and temporary employees, must be provided with paid sick
leave. The law provides for a minimum "accrual" of leave (1 hour of leave
for every 30 hours worked) but allows employers to grant employees a
specific amount of leave at the start of the year.
must be given written notice of their rights under the law (see
notices downloadable from the Industrial Commission of Arizona website).
The permitted uses of the
leave are broad, and include not just the employee's own illness but also
illnesses of the employee's family members and leave relating to domestic
Paid sick leave must carry
over from year to year, unless the employer pays its employees for unused
sick leave at the end of the year and provides a single grant of leave at
the start of the year.
Employers who wish to require
employees to provide notice prior to taking foreseeable leave must have a
Leave must accrue beginning
with the first day of employment, but employers may have a policy
restricting employees from using leave within the first 90 days of
must provide employees with a record of the leave they have been provided
and used, and employers must retain those records for four years.
Unused leave does not need to
be paid out at the end of employment.
Employers may not retaliate
against employees for using or requesting paid sick leave.
The new law allows employers to provide the paid sick
leave in the form of "paid time off" that can be used for a variety of purposes,
as many employers do under existing policies. However, these policies must
provide employees with at least the benefits specified under the new statutes.
Many employers may need to review existing policies or adopt new policies in
order to fully comply with the new law.