Arizona Creates Two Laws to Preempt Sick Leave

Arizona Preempts Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinances
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History behind Arizona’s Preemptive Sick Leave Laws

As Tempe, AZ city counsel members moved toward a city-wide sick leave law (2016), the State legislature took matters into their own hands. They passed two laws that completely disbanded Tempe’s efforts.

The first law specifically preempts any city or county government from passing mandatory sick leave within the local jurisdiction.

The second bill allows the state to withhold revenue sharing funds from any local government that passes any law contrary to state statutes. For most cities and counties, revenue sharing funds constitute a large portion of their annual budgets.

Tempe and 3 other Arizona cities filed suit against the state for attempting to limit their ability to locally govern. According to Arizona State Constitution, one provision allows local governments the right to legislate free of interference on matters of local concern about general welfare.

In addition, a 2006 ballot initiative passed that allows local governments to the authority to pass minimum wage and benefit bills.

Following the passing of SB 1487 in early 2016, another bill went up for voting on the November 2016 ballot: A Statewide Paid Sick Leave law.

It passed. Arizona cities have not stated whether or not they will be moving forward with the lawsuit to mandate further benefits for sick leave within local jurisdictions.

Arizona’s new mandatory paid sick leave law takes effect on July 1, 2017. It also provides paid sick leave to nearly every employee in the state. Sick leave awarded can be as high as 24 or 40 hours each year. Additionally, the new law raises the state’s minimum wage on an ongoing basis.

Preemptive States now Passing Statewide Sick Leave Laws

Arizona is one of several states, including Oregon that have passed preemptive laws against local sick leave ordinances and then followed the preemptive laws with a statewide law mandating paid sick leave. Several other states, including Georgia and Indiana are currently looking at statewide laws that would mandate paid sick leave for employees. 

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated March 27, 2017

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