New Arizona Law Regarding Employee Sick Time

Becky Cholewka: Hi, everyone. Just want to tell you about a new law that is going into effect here in Arizona July 1st, 2017.It is the paid sick time leave that everyone is now entitled to if you are working as an employee for a company, whether that’s paid time, seasonal, or full-time. Let me go over a few of the new rules so that you know what your rights are as an employee. And employers out there, you can know types of things you now have to put into place for your workforce.

Number one, this rule now goes into effect, again, July 1st, 2017, and each employee will now accrue one hour of sick leave per 30 hours worked. If you are a small business, which means a business under 15 employees, those businesses can cap that paid sick time at 24 hours per year. If you are a larger business, you can cap that at five days, basically, per year, so there is a cap on that. Employees, you are allowed to roll over any accrued but unused sick time to the next year. Your employer will determine whether that’s a calendar year, or whether that’s another time period year that they are introducing into their business.

In lieu of being able to roll over sick time, employers may also pay out that unused sick time by the end of a calendar year each year as well. That way, you can either continue to use that time or get it paid out. For those that are having their time roll over, an employer may also be able to cap how many hours you roll over into the next year, and may also cap how many hours you can use in any given year. For example, if you are rolling over two days of sick time, your employer still may have the opportunity to say that you can only use three days per year.

This sick time can be used not only for the employee, bus also if the employee’s family member needs medical attention as well. You can use it for physical or mental illness, injury or preventative care. You may also use it if there is a public health emergency. You may also use this time to seek treatment, legal advice, to relocate if you are a victim of domestic abuse, violence, sexual violence, or if you have been stalked by someone. Know that you have rights under this new law so that you may take this time when you need to throughout the year.

There are some other requirements that are required for an employer. They do need to put up a notice in your workplace of all of your rights under this new law. Employers, if you haven’t done so, there is a free flyer that you can download right from the Industrial Commission website. It’s A Z I C A.com, and it’s a flyer that looks actually like this. You can just print this off, and post this in either your lunch room, or place where any of your employees can now see what the rules are and what they’re entitled to under this law. Part of this also makes sure that employees have the right to use these benefits. Employers cannot penalize someone for using their time.

If you feel that you have been penalized or there’s been retribution against you in order to use these rights that you now have, you can always make a complaint at the Industrial Commission. Again, that’s A Z I C A.com. Because this is a new rule, employees, your employer may not know how to put this into place yet. I ask that you actually do them a favor and show them this video, or point them to the website where they can get more information about how to make sure that they are complying with this new law.

For example, on your paychecks now, you’re going to be able to see how much time you have accrued, how much time you have used, and how much time you still have left under your paid sick time each year. It’s a great benefit that we can all use now here in Arizona. Let’s just make sure everyone understands what their rights are, and employers are given plenty of opportunity to comply with this law to the best of their ability.

Thanks and have a great day.

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