In the November 2016 general election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 206, which instituted an incremental increase in the state’s minimum wage, as well as mandated paid sick leave for all employees — not just full-time, but part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers as well. All HR professionals and business owners should be apprised to the changes this law will bring and what it means for themselves and their employees.
To assist with complying with the new law, we're providing you with sample paid sick leave policies, not only for employers with over 15 employees, but also for employers with under 15 employees. Feel fee to use these new sample policies in posters, updated employee handbooks, and wherever else you post your HR policies. Of course as always, you should consult with your legal council and benefits advisor to ensure accuracy and applicability to your business,*
Here's a recap of the new law.
Proposition 206: Paid Sick Leave
According to the new law, the paid sick leave portion of this policy will go into effect on July 1, 2017 (the increase in minimum wage began on January 1). Prop 206 requires that employers with 15 or more employees provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to every employee. This amounts to one week of paid sick leave per year, per employee, assuming an eight-hour work day.
Employers with 14 or fewer employees are offered a small reprieve, though they are not exempt from the law — they are required to provide at least 24 hours of paid sick leave, or three eight-hour days. Remember that these are minimum guidelines, so employers can choose to offer additional sick time if they wish.
Legal analyst Jessica Post says that the terms under which employees can use their accrued paid sick leave are pretty broad, covering the usual things like a cold or the flu, but also things like domestic violence. She describes it as a “mini-family medical leave act” (referring to the Family Medical Leave Act — FMLA) in that employees can use their accrued time to care for an immediate family member.
How Paid Sick Leave Accrues Under Prop 206
Paid sick leave is accrued at the rate of (at least) one hour per 30 hours worked. At this rate, an employee would have to work 240 hours to accumulate one entire paid sick day, or 6 weeks (again, assuming an eight-hour work day in a 40 hour work week). Employees can carry unused paid time off over to the following year as long as the amount of accumulated sick time never exceeds 40 hours.
Employees are able to accrue paid sick leave upon being hired or on July 1, whichever is later. However, employees starting work after July 1 will need to wait 19 days before using any accrued time.
Paid Sick Leave Suggestions For Employers
With the help of ThinkHR, one of our trusted partners when it comes to compliance matters, we drafted suggested language surrounding this policy that HR directors and administrators can give to their employees. You can download these sample paid sick leave policies here.
Remember that this paid sick leave policy is very new and employees are likely to have quite a few questions. Do your best to communicate clearly and be patient. Emailed communications (like our downloadable PDF) is an excellent place to start spreading the word and will allow employees to ask questions before the policy goes into effect.
*The JP Griffin Group provides this information as a service to our clients. We make no warranty, representation, or guaranty as to the content, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any of the information provided herein and encourage consultation with legal council and/or your benefits broker before usage of these forms.