Arizona Employee Leave Laws

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State Employment Laws

Arizona Employee Leave Laws

Employers may provide employees with various types of paid or unpaid leave as part of their overall compensation packages, including vacation time, personal leave and sick leave. Employers have some flexibility when it comes to establishing or negotiating employee leave policies. However, federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) require covered employers to provide employees with leave in certain situations.

In addition to federal leave laws, Arizona has employee leave laws regarding:

  • Jury Duty;
  • Voting leave;
  • Victims leave; and
  • National Guard leave.

This Employment Law Summary includes a chart that provides a high-level overview of Arizona’s employee leave laws, and suggests compliance steps for employers.

Overview of Arizona Employee Leave Laws

Jury Duty Employers must allow employees to take unpaid leave if called to serve as grand or trial jurors. An employer may not require an employee to use vacation or sick leave for any absence related to jury service.An employer may not discharge or demote an employee due to the employee taking leave to serve as a juror.
Voting Leave Employers must provide employees with up to three hours of paid leave to vote in a primary or general election, unless they have at least three hours before or after work to do so.Employees must apply for leave prior to election day. Employers may designate the hours that employees may be absent.
Victims Leave Employers with 50 or more employees must allow unpaid leave to employees who are crime victims. Leave may be taken to attend a criminal proceeding or to obtain an order of protection, so long as the employee provides his or her employer with proper documentation. Employees may choose, or employers may require, use of available accrued paid leave.Employers may not dismiss, demote, refuse to hire or employ, or discriminate against employees for taking victims leave.
National Guard Leave 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. Employees must:

  • Be reinstated to their previous positions or to higher positions without losing seniority upon return from leave; and
  •  Retain vacation rights (however, employers do not have to consider the period of leave when determining eligibility for vacation and the amount of vacation employees are entitled to).

Employers cannot discharge members of the National Guard or prevent or obstruct employment.

Compliance Steps

It is important for Arizona employers to understand when their employees are entitled to take time off from work, and the legal protections associated with such leaves. Employers that violate state or federal leave law requirements may be subject to government investigations, fines, employee lawsuits and significant penalties, fees and damage awards.

To minimize these risks, employers should review applicable federal and state leave law requirements and determine whether they have any compliance gaps to correct. This compliance review may be complex, especially in areas where federal and state leave laws overlap.

As part of the compliance review, employers should confirm that:

  • Employee handbooks and written policies and procedures have been updated to accurately describe employee leaves;
  • Human resources personnel, as well as managers and supervisors, are educated on how to administer employee leaves and receive ongoing training;
  • Employee leaves are administered on a consistent basis, and employees are educated on leave rights and requirements;
  • Recordkeeping systems accurately track and document employee leaves; and
  • Required notices and posters regarding leave laws are provided.

For more information visit EMPLOYEE BENEFITS or contact a SW Risk Specialist at 1-866-924-7976 (SWRM).

State Employment Laws provided by Southwest Risk Management, LLC

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