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Minimum Wage

Arizona Minimum Wage Law

Prop. 206 FAQ: What you need to know about Az's minimum wage increase

Dylan SmithTucsonSentinel.com

Whether you're a small business owner or an hourly worker, here's what you need to know about the provisions of Arizona's minimum wage increase, which will go into effect on Sunday, Jan. 1, after the state Supreme Court declined to block the measure approved by 58 percent of voters in November.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, close political allies of Gov. Doug Ducey, had filed suit in an attempt to block the law from taking effect at the beginning of the year. The state's justices declined to put the measure on hold, but may still hear a case over Proposition 206.

The "Fair Wages and Healthy Family Initiative" was passed 58-42 last month, and will gradually increase the hourly minimum wage to $12 over the next four years, as well as require mandatory paid sick leave. Arizona's minimum wage in 2016 was $8.05 per hour.

The nitty-gritty:

Phased-in minimum wage increases

The basic minimum wage will increase over four years:

                                 $10 minimum wage beginning Jan. 1, 2017

                                 $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2018

                                 $11 on Jan. 1, 2019

                                 $12 on Jan. 1, 2020 

Tipped employees can still be paid up to $3 less per hour, if the employer can demonstrate that the wage plus tips equals at least the prevailing minimum wage:

                                 $7 minimum wage beginning Jan. 1, 2017

                                 $7.50 on Jan. 1, 2018

                                 $8 on Jan. 1, 2019

                                 $9 on Jan. 1, 2020

Paid sick leave

Beginning on July 1, employers must provide paid sick leave. Businesses with 15 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. Leave is accrued on the basis of one hour for each 30 hours worked, up to the cap.

Business with fewer than 15 employees must provide up to 24 hours of accrued leave. Full and part-time workers are eligible, as well as temporary employees.

Businesses not engaged in interstate commerce, with less than $500,000 in annual revenues, are not required to provide leave. Businesses are not required to pay out accrued leave to fired employees.

Employers cannot discipline workers who use leave, or retaliate against employees who report violations of the law.

Paid sick time can be used in these situations:

                                 Physical or mental illness of employee

                                 Time to care for physical or mental illness of a family member

                                 Public health emergency

                                 Cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking

The law does not bar employers from offering more generous sick leave benefits. Employees can waive the benefits if they are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.


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