June 2017
Ready or Not: Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Has Arrived in Arizona

July 1st is quickly approaching—this means employers in Arizona must soon begin providing paid sick leave under Arizona’s recently enacted paid sick leave law. With this in mind, affected employers should evaluate the new law and revise leave policies to provide for paid sick leave in compliance with this new law.

Effective July 1, 2017, all Arizona employees (part-time, full-time, temporary) accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

For accrual purposes, salaried employees are presumed to work 40 hours per workweek, unless a salaried employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case accrual of paid sick leave is based on the employee’s normal workweek.

The annual accrual of paid sick leave is capped as follows:
  • Employers with 15 or more employees may cap total accrued paid sick time at 40 hours per year;
  • Employers with fewer than 15 employees may cap total accrued paid sick time at 24 hours per year.
Employees may carry over unused accrued sick leave from year-to-year, but the amount of carried-over paid leave is subject to the annual caps.

Employers are not required to pay out accrued unused sick leave at the time of termination.

Paid sick time begins to accrue upon commencement of employment, or on July 1, 2017, whichever is later. While accrual of paid sick leave begins immediately, employers may require an employee hired after July 1, 2017 to wait until the 90th calendar day after commencing employment before using accrued paid sick time.

Employees may use accrued paid sick time in the smallest time increment that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for absences or use of other time. Generally, this means that employers must allow employees to use paid sick time by the hour (i.e., an employee may use 1 hour of paid sick time for a doctor’s visit and then return to work the same day; the employee does not have to use a full day or a half day of paid sick time).

An employee must be permitted to use accrued paid sick time for an employee’s or for an employee to care for a family member’s: 
  • Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; 
  • Need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
  • Need for preventive medical care.
Paid sick time may also be used by an employee if a public health emergency causes the employee’s place of business to close, or the employee’s child’s school or daycare to close. Employees also may use accrued paid sick time to address various issues relating to domestic or sexual violence, or abuse or stalking, including the need for medical attention, services from a victim services program, counseling, relocation, or attendance at legal hearings.

Employer’s must display a required paid sick leave poster in a conspicuous place in every establishment where notices to employees are customarily placed.

Employers with existing PTO policies that meet or exceed the benefits provided under the law are not required to provide additional paid sick time.

If you have any questions about the new paid sick leave law, please contact the authors or your Polsinelli attorney.

To learn more about Polsinelli's Labor and Employment practice, click here.