Overview of Paid Sick Time Laws in the United States:

Updated on October 13, 2020

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Who is covered? Note: City/county paid sick time laws cannot cover state government workers, and city, county, and state paid sick time laws cannot cover federal government workers. Workers employed by an employer in Arizona are covered. State government workers, but not local government workers, are exempted. Individuals employed by a parent or a sibling and individuals performing babysitting services in the employer's home on a casual basis are also exempted.
Can sick time be used to care for loved ones? Yes: children; parents; parents of a spouse or registered domestic partner; spouses; registered domestic partners; grandparents, grandchildren, or siblings (of the employee or the employee’s spouse/registered domestic partner); and any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship
How is “child” defined? Biological, adopted or foster children, stepchildren or legal wards, a child of a domestic partner, a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, or an individual to whom the employee stood in loco parentis when the individual was a minor
Can sick time be used for specific “safe time” purposes (related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking)? Yes, when the worker or the worker’s family member is the victim
Can sick time be used under the law to bond with a new child and/or deal with a family member’s death? Note: It is possible that other laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or a state equivalent, could provide eligible workers with unpaid leave for these purposes. No
Can sick time be used when a worker’s place of work or child’s school/place of care is closed by public health officials for a public health emergency? Yes.
Rate at which workers earn paid sick time? 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
Do workers have different sick time-related rights based on the size of their employer? If so, based on what employer-size threshold(s)? Yes. Workers in businesses with 15 or more workers can earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. Workers in businesses with fewer than 15 can earn up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year.
Amount of paid sick time that can be earned under the law per year? (Note: All of these paid sick time laws make it clear that these laws establish a minimum requirement, and employers can provide greater or more generous paid sick time benefits to their workers.) Workers in businesses with 15 or more workers: 40 hours. Workers in businesses with fewer than 15 workers: 24 hours.
When do workers begin to earn paid sick time? At the commencement of employment. Earned paid sick time can be used as it is accrued, except that an employer may require a worker to wait until the 90th calendar day after commencing employment before using accrued earned paid sick time.
Does unused sick time carry forward to the subsequent year? Workers are entitled to carry forward unused paid sick time, but employers aren’t required to allow annual accrual or use of more than: 40 hours of paid sick time a year (for businesses with 15 or more workers); or 24 hours of paid sick time a year (for businesses with fewer than 15 workers). In lieu of carryover of unused earned paid sick time from one year to the next, an employer may pay a worker for unused paid sick time at the end of a year and provide the worker with an amount of paid sick time that meets or exceeds the law’s requirements that is available for the worker’s immediate use at the beginning of the subsequent year.
Private Right of Action to go to Court? Yes
Are there waivers/ exemptions for workers covered by a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? All or any part of the law doesn’t apply to workers covered by a CBA to the extent that the CBA explicitly waives the requirements in clear and unambiguous terms.
What Agency or Official Enforces the Law? Industrial Commission of Arizona
For the statewide paid sick time laws: can cities in the state pass paid sick time laws that are broader than the state law? Yes (under litigation)
Statutory Citation(s) Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 23-364 and 23-371 et seq.
Additional Notes For more information, see https://www.azica.gov/frequently-asked-questions-about-wage-and-earned-paid-sick-time-laws.
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