Arizona’s paid sick leave law recently took effect, but there are many questions about how it really works. While many see the new law as a win for employees rights, companies still retain a number of rights over the leave and how it can be used. One such issue that caused questions for many employees throughout the state is the difference between sick leave and paid time off, and how to differentiate between the two.
Some employees face frustrating changes to their paid time off allotment, such as companies re-categorizing generic paid time off days as solely sick leave. For instance, a company may have previously allowed employees 25 days of paid time off per year, before the new law took effect. Now, in the wake of the new law, rather than offer additional days of sick leave, the company may convert five of the existing days of paid time off to sick leave.
In this instance, some employees may actually lose some of their paid time off unless they choose to claim sick leave when they do not need it. This concession in the law may have helped it get signed into law, but it is creating headaches for those who see it as an excuse for employers to reclaim some paid time off from employees by re-categorizing days rather than offering additional sick leave. While the frustration is understandable, this type of policy change is allowable under the new law.
If you believe that your employer is abusing their authority and attempting to unfairly skirt rules or mistreat employees, do not hesitate to consult with an attorney who understands how to use the strength of the law to protect your rights and fight for your fair treatment.
Source: azcentral.com, “Arizona’s new sick-leave law: Will you really get more paid time off?,” Russ Wiles, July 08, 2017