Arizona Passes Paid Sick Leave Law

Arizona employees are entitled to paid leave for illness and other reasons.

Arizona has joined a growing number of states that require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. Arizona’s paid sick leave applies to all employers in the state and goes into effect on July 1, 2017.

Who Is Eligible for Paid Sick Leave?

Arizona’s paid sick leave law applies to all private employers in the state. All employees are eligible to receive sick leave, except for casual babysitters or those employed by a parent or sibling.

Employees will automatically begin to accrue sick leave when the law goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Current employees may use accrued leave right away. However, employers can institute a 90-day waiting period for new hires after July 1, 2017. During this time, new hires will accrue—but will not be able to use—sick leave.

How Much Sick Leave Do Employees Accrue?

Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, sick leave accrual may be capped as follows:

  • Employers with fewer than 15 employees may cap accrual at 24 hours (or 3 days) per year.
  • Employers with 15 or more employees may cap accrual at 40 hours (or 5 days) per year.

Accrued sick leave must carry over from year to year. However, employers can choose to pay out accrued sick leave at the end of each year, as long as a year’s worth of sick leave is made available at the beginning of the next year. For example, an employer with 20 employees can make 40 hours of sick leave available at the start of each year and pay the employee for any hours remaining at the end of the year. Employers are not required to pay out sick leave when an employee leaves the company.

For What Purposes Can Employees Use Sick Leave?

Employees may use accrued sick leave for the following reasons:

  • the employee’s own illness, treatment, or preventative care
  • a family member’s illness, treatment, or preventative care
  • the closure of the employee’s place of business, or the school or daycare of an employee’s child, due to a public health emergency, and
  • to seek medical, legal, or other assistance for the employee or a family member relating to domestic violence.

Arizona has a broad definition of “family member,” which includes the employee’s spouse, child, parent, stepchild, stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling. It also includes the grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of a spouse.

Does the Employee Have to Give Notice?

Employees must make a good faith effort to give notice when the reason for the leave is foreseeable. Employers can also require employees to give a certain amount of notice when the reason for the leave is not foreseeable, as long as the policy is in writing and given to employees.

When an employee uses three consecutive paid sick days, the employer can ask for reasonable documentation of the reason for the leave. However, the documentation does not need to specify the health condition that the employee or a family member is suffering from.

Effective date: July 1, 2017

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