Last year, a new law became in effect in Arizona that requires almost all Arizona employers to provide paid sick time to their employees, becoming only one of eight states to require this.
What does this law mean?
In 2016, Arizona voted to pass proposition 206, which became in effect on July 1, 2017. Not only did it raise the minimum wage from $8.05 an hour to $10 dollars an hour, it also requires employees, full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal, to receive paid sick time. The new law mandates as many as 40 hours in paid sick leave and with very few questions asked.
Businesses and even nonprofits with at least one employee, including entities that don’t have a headquarters in the state of Arizona, must provide paid sick time to their employees. Exceptions include those employed by the Arizona State Government, Federal Government and sole proprietors. Employers must offer at least 24 hours off annually if they have 14 or fewer workers and 40 hours if they have more than 15 workers. This law will also require businesses to clarify if employees are independent contractors or W-2 employees.
Paid sick leave is completely separate from vacation time. In fact, companies and non-profits, under law, are not required to provide paid vacation time. Paid sick leave can allow other reasons other than being sick or injured, but employers may ask for proof or documentation if an employee is absent for more than 3 days. Employees still need to make a reasonable effort to give advance notice and to not disrupt daily operations.
Record keeping is a big part of this law, as employers are now required to maintain accurate records. All pay stubs must show the amount of paid sick time used and the amount of available sick time left.
If an Arizona business or non-profit fails to meet this law including any record keeping requirements, they may be faced with various penalties and damages. This includes having to pay owed sick time, other damages and attorney fees if an employer is found guilty of not providing an employee with the mandatory paid sick time leave.
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