Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants to remind Arizona employees of their rights during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes mandatory paid sick time that can be used in the midst of a public health emergency or to care for a child during a mandatory statewide school closure.

In 2016, Arizona voters approved Proposition 206, Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (Act), raising the state’s minimum wage and providing several protections for most employees in Arizona, including earned paid sick time. In Arizona, employees of businesses with fifteen or more employees accrue a minimum of up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year, which can be used for events including school closures due to a public health emergency. Employees of businesses with less than fifteen employees accrue up to 24 hours of earned paid sick time.

For employers with 15 or more employees: Employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but employees are not entitled to accrue or use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year unless the employer selects a higher limit.

For employers with fewer than 15 employees: Employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but they are not entitled to accrue or use more than 24 hours of earned paid sick time per year unless the employer sets a higher limit.

The reasons for which earned paid sick time can be used in Arizona are spelled out in A.R.S. § 23-373(A). They include but are not limited to:

“Closure of the employee's place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or an employee's need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or care for oneself or a family member when it has been determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider that the employee's or family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of his or her exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the employee or family member has actually contracted the communicable disease.”

Employees are encouraged to speak with their employers and discuss their childcare and family care needs during this heightened sense of community health concerns.

Employees who believe their employer is not complying with this law can contact the Arizona Industrial Commission at azica.gov.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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