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N4T Investigators: Sick Situation - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Sick Situation

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TUCSON – The Industrial Commission of Arizona has received 122 complaints from workers saying their employers owe them for sick time.

Voters passed Proposition 206 on Election Day 2016. It raised the minimum wage and also mandated earned sick time for employees.

When News Four Tucson first spoke to Stephanie she did not want to be identified because she was afraid of retaliation from her boss. She said she filed a sick time complaint with the ICA.

“I just want what I’m owed,” she said, “and for other people to know if they don't know about it.”

Employers with fewer than 15 employees have to give workers at least 24 hours of sick time per year. Employers with 15 or more employees have to give workers at least 40 hours per year. Employees are entitled to at least 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.

Robert Medler is the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Tucson Metro Chamber, which represents about 1,500 businesses.

“In June and May is when really we were hearing from businesses,” Medler said, “of ‘How do I comply with Prop 206?’”

The chamber hosted a seminar series with an employment attorney.

“That math gets complicated,” Medler said, “and you have to have that record keeping perfect, otherwise the business can be held liable.”

Many businesses have chosen to give employees their entire allotment of sick time at the beginning of their year to avoid doing the math.

“I think both employee and employer will understand it,” Medler said, “and it will become much the norm. And so I think it just takes time.”

The industrial commission has not fined any businesses yet. They are focusing on education and letting businesses fix their issues before they are punished.

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