Prop 206 : Paid Sick Leave in Arizona

Dear M & M: I don’t understand am I required to pay employees sick leave? – Dan

Dear Dan: On Nov. 8, 2016, Proposition 206: The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act passed. There are two parts to Prop 206 — the first is a minimum wage increase, and the second is mandatory employer-provided sick leave. The second part of Proposition 206 covers requirement for employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees beginning July 1, 2017. Under Prop 206, all employees must accrue paid sick time at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick time per every 30 hours worked (not confined to a work week or pay period).

Employers with less than 15 employees, must provide and allow the use of 24 hours of paid sick time per year, while employers with 15 or more employees must provide and allow the use of 40 hours of paid sick time a year. Under Prop. 206, earned paid sick time may be used by employees for the following reasons: Employee’s own physical or mental illness, Care for employee’s family member who has a physical or mental illness, Public health emergency, Absence due to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking of employee or employee’s family member.

Implementing mandatory paid sick time may present challenges to employers given the many nuances of Prop. 206, including: Part-time and temporary workers are considered “employees”; Employers must post a notice in the workplace that outlines employees’ rights and protections under Prop. 206; Employers are required to retain payroll records for four years; Employers must also provide employees either in or on an attachment to the employee’s paycheck: (1) the amount of earned paid sick time available to the employee, (2) the amount of earned paid sick time taken by the employee to date in the year, and (3) the amount of pay time the employee has received as earned paid sick time; Employers can require reasonable documentation from an employee after three or more consecutive work days of paid sick time used; Employees may use earned paid sick time as soon as it is accrued; however, an employer may require an employee hired after July 1, 2017 to wait 90 calendar days after the start of employment before using accrued earned paid sick time; Employers can include accrual and usage caps on paid sick time in accordance with the mandatory requirements; Paid sick time can be used in hourly increments or the smallest increment of employer’s payroll system used to account for absences or use of time, whichever is smaller; Employers cannot require employees seeking to use earned paid sick time to find a replacement worker to cover the employee’s absence; Employers cannot count the use of paid sick time as an absence that leads to discipline or termination; Employers are not required to pay out unused paid sick time upon termination. Source: Beach Fleischman Consulting Team.

On Thursday June 29, 2017 Cochise College Small Business Development Center partnering with the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a work shop from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. At the new Downtown Center in the lecture hall. You must contact Rachel Norton at (520) 515-5478 or email nortonr@cochise.edu to attend. Seating is limited. There is no charge to attend but you must register. Timothy M. Medcoff from Farhang and Medcoff Attorneys at Law specializing in labor laws will conduct the workshop. 

This article is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of Prop. 206. for more detailed information on Prop. 206, visit the Industrial Commission of Arizona website.

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