Arizona’s new sick leave law could raise prices for consumers
PHOENIX — Arizona’s new law regarding sick leave could affect the price you pay for goods and services.
James Garcia with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says the new requirements mean businesses large and small will be shouldering more costs.
“They’ll probably pass along those costs to their customer base,” he said.
The new sick-leave or paid-time-off (PTO) requirements apply to just about every Arizona business, including those not headquartered here and non-profits. The only exceptions are people employed by the state or federal governments, and sole proprietors.
Companies with 15 or more employees must offer at least 40 hours of PTO time a year. Companies with 14 or fewer employees only have to offer a minimum 24 hours. The requirements apply to full- and part-time workers, as well as seasonal and temporary workers.
Companies can incur $150 daily fines for retaliating against workers who exercise their rights. The law also allows use of the paid time with few questions asked.
Garcia says while consumers’ prices may rise thanks to the increased business costs, lower-wage workers do benefit financially; they will not lose income from taking a day or two off if they’re ill. “Many in the [Hispanic] community are struggling at minimum-wage jobs, or lower-income jobs,” he said.
Under the law, an employee earns 1 hour of PTO for every 30 hours worked. Employees will begin accruing sick leave on the day they were hired or July 1, 2017, whichever is later.
The new requirements were passed as part of Proposition 206, which also raised Arizona’s minimum wage.