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Arizona PTO Laws: A Comprehensive Guide on AZ Paid Time Off Law

Arizona paid time off (PTO) laws are the regulations that govern how various types of leaves for employees in the state are allocated and managed. If your business is located in Arizona, you must understand these laws to ensure that your employees have access to paid time off for various personal and family-related needs, promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Read on to understand Arizona law on paid time off and how to ensure compliance and fair treatment in the workplace.

As of 2024, no specific laws exist for paid time off in Arizona except paid sick leave. As an employer in the state, you must know the types of leaves considered as PTO and the rules around them.

1. Sick leave

In Arizona, employers with fewer than 15 employees must allow accrual or use of 24 hours of paid sick time annually. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.

This is the general classification of the employers for mandatory sick PTO. It covers all employees – full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal staff. There can be exceptions, such as freelancers and government employees.

Employers can select between two methods to provide sick leave. They can provide a lump-sum sick time off, providing the full required sick time at the beginning of the year. Alternatively, they can adopt the accrued sick time off model, where employees earn sick time at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked.

Calculating sick time pay should be at the employee’s regular hourly rate or a minimum wage, whichever is higher, irrespective of whether the employee is salaried, paid, or hourly.

Arizona PTO law clearly states that employees should be able to use accrued sick leaves for mental or physical illness, injury, health condition, public health emergency, exposure to infectious disease, and situations related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

The PTO law includes a comprehensive definition of family members for whom an employee can use sick leave, such as spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings.

2. Vacation leave

Arizona has no paid time off laws that mandate employees to provide vacation leave to employees. Still, most businesses offer vacation leave as part of the package to attract and retain employees. Employers have the discretion to establish their vacation policies.

Arizona is one of the few states that allow “Use-it-or-lose-it” policies. However, if vacation leave is offered, employees must be provided a reasonable opportunity to use it.

3. Bereavement leave

There is no state mandate for bereavement leave in Arizona. Employers can choose to offer bereavement leave. If you provide bereavement leave for the employees, you should provide all the information regarding its policies in the employment contract and employee handbook.

While there are no Arizona PTO laws mandating bereavement leave, the employer must follow any established policies if offered during employment.

4. Jury duty leave

Under federal labor law, every employee is protected when serving on jury duty in Arizona. Employers must provide unpaid leave for jury duty and pay a wage of $50 a day for the first 3 days of jury duty. Employees cannot be required to use other types of leave for jury duty and must be reinstated to their position upon return.

If the company has five or fewer employees, and one employee is already serving jury duty, the court must postpone another employee’s jury duty.

Violation of any of these provisions by an employer can result in a Class 3 misdemeanor.

5. Military leave

Unpaid leave must be provided for National Guard or U.S. military members. In Arizona, employees have rights under federal (USERRA) and state law, including protection against employment discrimination due to military service.

No employer can dissuade an employee from enlisting in the military by threatening economic harm. The Arizona state law extends all the rights provided by the USERRA. Public employees can be given paid military leave by their employers.

6. Voting leave

Employees should be paid time off for voting in primary and general elections. In Arizona, employees must be given three consecutive hours to vote. Employers may specify the hours during which employees can take this leave. Giving paid time off for voting can result in a Class 2 misdemeanor.

7. Holiday leave

Arizona law does not provide holiday leave on paid time off. As a result, private employers in the state are not required to provide paid or unpaid holiday leave. If you offer holiday leave, you must follow the established policy or employment contract you share with the employees.

8. Maternity, paternity, FMLA

There are no specific state laws for maternity/paternity leave in Arizona. Employees are entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Disability Act. Arizona does follow the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which provides protections for pregnant women against discrimination.

Under FMLA, employers with more than 50 employees should provide leave for employees for medical reasons. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons.

What is the accrual vacation system of employers in Arizona PTO law?

PTO laws in Arizona allow accrual of sick leaves, but there is no other mandate for employers to provide vacation leave, paid or unpaid. Consequently, there is no state-mandated system for the accrual of vacation leave.

Employers can set their policies on the accrual of vacation leave. Employers providing accrual of vacation time should give access to the policies. These policies should provide information on how vacation time is accrued. Employers are also free to cap the number of annual vacation days accrued.

However, no limit can be put on accrual of sick leave. Clear instructions on how employees earn vacation time should be provided in contracts and the employee handbook.

Sick leaves should be allowed for carryover. Employers can also decide whether employees can carry over unused vacation time to the following year. Arizona allows employers to implement “use-it-or-lose-it” policies.

These policies require employees to use their vacation time within a certain period or lose it. Whether accrued vacation time is paid out upon an employee’s termination depends on the company’s policy. Arizona PTO law doesn’t mandate payout of vacation time on termination.

What happens to roll over (carry over, brought forward) leaves?

In Arizona, the state’s paid sick leave laws outline the handling of rolled over (or carried over, brought forward) leaves, particularly for sick leave. But there is no provision for other types of leave rollover. Their policies are at the employer’s discretion.

Arizona PTO payout laws mandate to allow employees to roll over unused sick time. The rollover amount is up to the employee’s total yearly eligibility. Depending on the employer’s size, it can be 24 or 40 hours a year.

Another essential rule is while sick leave must be rolled over, employers in Arizona are not mandated to pay out unused paid sick leave upon the termination of an employee.

Arizona allows “use-it-or-lose-it” policies, so employers can ask employees to use their vacation time within a certain period or forfeit it. Whatever policies an employer decides about the rollover of vacation time should be clearly outlined in employment contracts or employee handbooks.

Also, the payout of unused vacation time upon termination is not mandatory and depends on the employer’s policy.

Payment of accrued, unused vacation on termination

An employer in Arizona can independently decide on the policies regarding the payment of accrued, unused vacation time upon termination of employment. This includes paid sick leave, as PTO laws in AZ do not mandate sick leave payout on termination of an employee.

All policies regarding accruement and payment of vacation time should be clearly stated in the employee handbook or employment contract. If an employer has a policy or practice of paying out accrued vacation time upon termination, they are generally expected to apply this policy consistently to all employees.

When an employee leaves the company, whether through resignation, termination, or retirement, the decision to pay out will depend on the agreed policies.

To avoid misunderstandings, employers and employees in Arizona need to understand and communicate the company’s policy on this matter.

Arizona State Holidays for 2024

There are no laws mandating employers to provide holiday leaves to employees. Private employers can legally ask employees to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year holidays. In Arizona, employers are not required to pay extra for working legal holidays.

Here’s a list of state holidays for 2024:

Holiday

Date

New Year’s Day 2024

Monday, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. / Civil Rights Day

Monday, January 15

Lincoln / Washington / President’s Day

Monday, February 19

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27

Juneteenth

Wednesday, June 19

Independence Day

Thursday, July 4

Labor Day

Monday, September 2

Columbus Day

Monday, October 14

Veterans Day

Monday, November 11

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 28

Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 25

How can Truein help with Paid time-off management?

Truein is a time and attendance management solution designed for automation and efficiency in workforce management. Its AI-backed facial recognition technology ensures attendance and work hours are recorded accurately for all employees, whether full-time, contractual, or distributed. 

Its robust leave management features automate paid time-off tracking, reducing manual effort and potential errors. It uses centralized data storage to ensure that all stakeholders can access accurate records of PTO accruals, usage, and remaining balances.

As a mobile app, Truein acts as a self-service portal, allowing employees to access their PTO information, such as PTO balances, submit time-off requests, and check the status of their requests.

This approach promotes transparency and ease of access in the PTO approval workflow. Managers can receive notifications of leave requests, view them in the context of team availability or company policies, and approve or deny them directly within the platform.

For compliance with Arizona PTO laws and company-specific PTO policies, Truein offers customizable policy templates. You can customize policies, including accrual rates, maximum carryover limits, and other unique rules per your requirements.

Additionally, you can integrate it with existing payroll systems, ensuring that PTO is accurately reflected in payroll processing.

Conclusion

Arizona PTO laws are regulations every employer should adhere to in their policies. Employees must also familiarize themselves with these laws to ensure fair treatment in the workplace. Employers should create documents and resources that provide instructions and information on types of leave and what state laws and company policies are around them.

Employees should know that while some leaves, such as sick leave, are mandated by state law, others, like vacation and bereavement leave, are determined by individual employer policies.

Truein can be an essential component in PTO management as it can help both parties to be on the same page regarding leave policies. It will make it easier to follow them accordingly to maintain a harmonious work environment.

FAQs

1. How many sick days do employers have to provide in Arizona?

It depends on the size of the employer. If an employer has fewer than 15 employees, they must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year, while those with 15 or more employees must offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.

2. Which employers have to provide sick pay in Arizona?

All Arizona employers must provide sick leave PTO to their employees. The Arizona Paid Sick Leave law mandates it. However, specific eligibility and requirements may vary depending on the size of the employer’s workforce.

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