New paid sick leave rules effective this summer in Arizona

PHOENIX - Starting this summer, all companies in Arizona must give employees paid sick leave. It all has to do with Prop 206 that voters passed last November. 

Legal analyst Jessica Post says starting July 1, all companies in Arizona with more than one employee must offer paid time off (PTO) to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal. 

When it comes to why an employee can use the time, Post says the law is pretty broad. 

"Employers need to be very careful when implementing this policy," said Post. "While [Prop 206] says 'sick leave', that really covers things like domestic violence. It's also like a mini-family medical leave act and it allows someone to take time off to care for their spouse or their child."

Post says for every 30 hours worked, an employee accrues one hour of PTO.

"Companies with 15 or more employees must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid time off," said Post. "Companies with fewer than 15 employees must allow employees to accrue up to 24 hours of paid time off.  Employees may choose to provide more paid time off to employees, but the 40-hour and 24-hour amounts are required by the statute." 

Post says employees start accruing the time immediately. However, businesses can have a 90-day probationary period for new employees. 

Businesses can't ask for documentation until an employee misses three straight days of work.

According to Post, if an employee has unused PTO, businesses have two options:

1. Cash out (the employee gets a check for unused PTO)
2. Employees can roll the time to the next year 

In January, Prop 206 raised the minimum wage from $8.05 to $10 an hour. 
 

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