Arizona and Washington Pass Paid Sick Leave

November 14, 2016

Voters in Arizona and Washington approved measures requiring employers in their respective states to provide paid sick leave (PSL). They join California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and an ever growing patchwork of cities and counties. The Arizona PSL law entitles employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked to a maximum of 40 hours per year, unless the employer sets a higher maximum.

Employees of smaller businesses (those with fewer than 15 employees) may only accrue 24 hours per year. The leave can be used for illness, to care for a family member, a public health emergency, or an absence related to domestic violence. Leave time must be carried over to the following year but is limited by the above caps. Washington’s PSL law entitles employees to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Like the Arizona law, sick leave may be taken for illness, to care for a family member and for leaves related to domestic violence. Leave time must also be carried over, but can be capped at 40 hours. Neither law requires a payout of unused sick time upon separation of employment.