Arizona Leave Laws
In Arizona, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. See the AZ Industrial Commission’s pamphlet, “The State of Arizona’s Labor Law: Your Wages and Working.” If an employer chooses to provide such provide vacation benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. See A.R.S. § 23-350(5).
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
Wages include vacation pay when the employer has a policy or practice of paying employees for this time (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23-350(6)).
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
Not addressed by state statute. This depends on the employer’s contract and policy. The Arizona Attorney General has recognized that employers may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” leave policy requiring employees to use vacation by a set date or lose it, so long as employees have a reasonable opportunity to use the leave. AZ Atty. General Op. I80-120.
- Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination
Wages due on separation include vacation pay if the employer has a policy or practice of making those payments (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 23-350(6) and 23-353).
An employer would also likely be free to implement a policy or enter into a contract that caps the amount of vacation leave an employee can accumulate over time.
Neither Arizona’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding an employer’s ability to deny or restrict the payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment.
Vacation and Paid time off (PTO)
Employers in Arizona are not required to offer vacation time or PTO to their employees. Employers are not required to pay out unused PTO if the employer has a written policy informing employees that unused PTO will be forfeited instead of paid out.
Employers are required to provide Paid Sick Leave (PSL) pursuant to the Healthy Families and Fair Wages Act.
This state law also requires that all employees must be allowed to accrue and then use paid sick leave for a wide range of reasons outlined in the law, such as employee’s need for medical care, dealing with a mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition or to care for a family member (biological, foster or adopted child, spouse, partner, parent, grandparent or grandchild, sibling or family member equivalent).
Accrual rate and cap and Carryover rules
Employees accrue one hour of earned paid sick leave per 30 hours worked. Limit depends on business size. Employees start accruing paid sick time when they start the work.
– Employers with 15 or more employees: Maximum time accrued is 40h per year
– Employers with less than 15 employers: Maximum time accrued is 24h per year
Paid Sick Leave (PSL) never has to be paid out upon separation.
Arizona has a law, that is underpaid sick leave law, that provides Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims’ Leave and Public Health Emergency (Quarantine and Isolation Leave). It applies to all Employers.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
Arizona has no additional laws regarding Maternity and Paternity leave. Expecting and new parents are entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Disability Act. For more information, look under the section Federal laws, Family and Medical Leave Act and under General Information, Maternity, Paternity and FMLA.
Employees are entitled under the Arizona Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act to use earned paid sick time during paternity or maternity leave for the following reasons:
– Medical care for the mother or a baby
– Mental illness such as postpartum depression
– Mother’s physical illness or disability related to pregnancy or an infant’s illness (low birth weight)
– The health condition of a family member applies to fathers who need to care for a spouse or a premature infant.
Jury Duty Leave
Employers must allow employees to take job-protected unpaid leave when called to perform their jury duty. The employer is not allowed to require employee to use vacation or sick leave while on leave.
No federal or state law requires an employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.
Employers are required to provide up to three hours of paid leave to their employees unless they have at least three hours before or after work to finish their duty.
The employee is required to provide a notice prior to the day of elections.
Employers have the right to choose the hours used for voting leave.
Military Leave (National Guard Leave)
Members of state military forces or National Guard members called up by the state for training or duty have the same leave and reinstatement rights and benefits guaranteed under USERRA. Employers may not dissuade employees from enlisting in the state or national military forces by threatening economic reprisal. Public employees may be granted paid military leave under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 38-610.
In addition to the federal USERRA, Arizona law provides unpaid leave for National Guard and U.S. military members when called to active duty or to attend training
Employers cannot discharge members of the National Guard or prevent or obstruct employment.
The law provides members the right to retain their previous or higher position, without losing seniority when they return from duty as well as vacation rights.