The Arizona Supreme Court has unanimously upheld Arizona Proposition 206, which, effective January 1, 2017, increased Arizona’s minimum wage to $10.00, and requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees beginning July 1, 2017.
The statute, known as the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, is the result of a 2016 voter proposition. It has been highly contested by numerous business organizations; however, with this decision, employers must take immediate steps to ensure that they (i) are compliant with the minimum wage requirement already in effect, and (ii) prepare for the policy and recordkeeping changes that will be required for the addition of paid sick leave benefits beginning July 1.
While legislative efforts may be forthcoming to make changes to this law, permissible changes are limited because it was passed by voter initiative. So, a higher minimum wage, as well as paid sick leave for all Arizona employees, is now a reality that employers must acknowledge.