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All Arizona employees to get paid sick leave - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

All Arizona employees to get paid sick leave

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TUCSON - The second phase of Proposition 206 goes into effect July 1.

Prop. 206 raised the minimum wage to $10 in January. Come July 1, employees will be entitled to paid sick leave.

Michael Boreale, a Tucson business and employment attorney with Boreale Law,  PLC, said the law impacts all companies in Arizona.

"Even if a company has one employee they are subject to the paid sick time statue," he said. 

Boreale said, "prior to this Arizona was, you're paid for the hours you work".

Under the new law, he explained employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. 

He said companies with more than 15 employees must offer employees at least 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. Companies with less than 15 employees must offer at least 24 hours of paid sick leave a year.

Employees can start to accrue time July 1. The law applies to all employees, including part-time, full-time, temporary and seasonal.

Boreale said the law has a broad definition for sick time. 

"It's not just what most people would think of as just being sick. It includes just traditional being sick, having the flu going to the doctor," he said. "It also includes caring for a child or a parent or relative who is sick. It includes victims of domestic violence, so attending court hearings or legal proceedings related to that."

He said employers are allowed to request documentation after three days.

"Whether that is a doctor's note or even court records that would explain the reason for the absence."

He said the new law means additional policies and additional cost for companies.

He said the law does benefit some employees.

"Employees in construction or the restaurant industry, where they did not have this before, now if they are sick, whereas before they would just not be paid for that day, they actually have a safety net."

 He said some employees who already have benefits may be impacted differently.

"A lot of companies are actually choosing to carve this time out because the rules are so restrictive they are just afraid that they are going to inadvertently make a mistake," he said. "They want to have a separate sick leave policy that is compliant with the law, so for some employees that work for larger employers that already have benefits, a lot of times the employers are carving out that 40 hours and setting that aside with more restrictions on how it can be used."

Boreale said he thinks there will be litigation over the law and it will evolve as it is implemented. 

The Industrial Commission of Arizona website has a FAQ section which Boreale said may help those with questions. 

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