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Insights from ICA Hearing on Prop 206 Paid Sick Time Law

Posted By Cindy Hesch, Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Insights from ICA Hearing on Prop 206 Paid Sick Time Law

By Erin Norris Bass

On August 8, 2017, the Industrial Commission of Arizona held a hearing to take public comments on its proposed rules interpreting the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, better known as Prop 206.  During the hearing, the ICA answered a number of questions regarding the paid sick time (PST) law.  A few insights from those answers:

  1. If an employer already provided more than the required amount of PST at the beginning of the year and some employees used all of their PST before July 1, 2017, the ICA opined that an employer must provide additional PST as of July 1, 2017.  The ICA stated that the employer’s obligation to provide PST begins July 1, 2017, regardless of what PST it provided before that date.
  2. The ICA said that employers must allow employees to use PST for scheduled working time outside of the employee’s regularly-scheduled shift, such as scheduled overtime. The ICA also said that employees could use PST if they would have worked “call in” time but-for needing sick time, based on an estimate of how long the employee would have worked.
  3. The ICA said it would consider whether employers can implement a policy that requires employees to use all paid time off—e.g., PST and vacation time—before taking unpaid time.
  4. The ICA said that employers can require employees to use PST when out on FMLA leave.
  5. The ICA expressed concern at employers converting previously-accrued vacation time to PST to comply with the law (in contrast with providing additional paid time off that an employee could use for both vacation or sick days).  It said it would further consider the issue, and suggested the employer may need authorization from the employee to convert PTO.
  6. The ICA also said it would consider providing a sample PST policy.

 

Although the ICA’s comments provide guidance, employers should proceed cautiously when making decisions based on them.  The ICA’s comments and proposed rules do not have the force of law, and a court could ultimately interpret the Act differently. 

The ICA’s next likely step in the rulemaking process will be to submit its proposed rules for review by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC).  The GRRC then has 90 days to review and approve the rules, in whole or in part.  The rules take effect 60 days after the GRRC’s approval. 

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