Beginning July 1, 2017, Arizona joined California in requiring paid sick leave for employees.
The new law was approved by Arizona voters in November 2016 as part of Proposition 206, which also increased the state’s minimum wage. It applies to nearly every business that hires at least one Arizona employee, even if the business’s headquarters is not in Arizona. Employees of the state or federal government or of sole proprietorships are not covered by the new law.
What does the change mean for employers?
The new law requires:
- 24 hours of paid sick leave for employees of businesses with 14 or fewer workers,
- 40 hours of paid sick leave for employees of businesses with 15 or more workers.
Sick leave begins to accrue on July 1, 2017 for current employees. When an employee is hired after that date, their sick leave begins to accrue on the date they were hired. In some cases, however, employees hired after July 1 may need to wait up to 90 days before using their accrued sick leave.
Arizona employers can offer more generous sick leave policies than those required by the law. For instance, an employer with 15 or more employees may choose to offer more than 40 hours of paid sick leave annually, but may not choose to offer less than 40 hours.
How to Prepare for Compliance With the New Law
To meet the requirements of Arizona’s new paid sick leave law, make sure your business pays attention to the following details:
- Clarify whether your workers are employees or independent contractors. While employees must have paid sick leave, contractors aren’t required to receive the same consideration. Make sure you know which group your workers fall into.
- Know when you can ask about a worker’s situation. The law allows employees to use paid sick leave for personal sickness or injury, domestic violence, children’s needs, and other pressing concerns. Make sure you know what is and is not permitted for sick leave use under the law.
- Create a compliant verification policy. Under the new law, employers can ask for documentation of a worker’s reason for using sick leave—but only after three continuous days of absence. Create a policy that complies with the law and ensures you’re asking for documentation in an appropriate and equally applied fashion.
Navigating the frequent changes in employment law can become complex and time consuming. Lean on your recruiter for assistance as they have in-depth market and employment law experience. If you are looking for assistance in understanding what steps your company needs to take to be compliant with the new law, contact the team at TERRA Staffing Group. As Arizona recruiting experts, we can help you find and hire Phoenix’s top talent and work with you to ensure you’re compliant with all laws. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.