/ Modified jun 30, 2017 4:51 p.m.

Episode 144: Sick Leave Takes Effect in Arizona

Plus: local reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court's travel ban changes and the U.S. Senate health care bill.

July 1 is the start of mandatory sick leave for workers in Arizona, even those who work part-time schedules.

The change was included in a voter-approved initiative last November. The first provision of the initiative was an increase in minimum wage on the first of the year.

The law calls for workers to accrue sick time based on the hours they work, said Barney Holtzman, an employment lawyer in Tucson.

The more they work, the faster they'll earn the time. The law allows businesses that already offered the minimum sick leave required by law to continue their practice, but it has meant changes in bookkeeping for Green Valley Cooling and Heating, said company President Pete Perves.

The company already offered sick leave, but now it has different regulations to follow in terms of reporting, and had to change its employee manuals to reflect the changes, he said.

The only exception is that state and federal workers are exempt from the new policy, in part because other laws apply to them, and because the statewide initiative that voters approved carved out that exception.

Also on the program

  • Health Care: Judy Rich, president and CEO of Tucson Medical Center discusses the impact of the proposed U.S. Senate changes to health care policy. Dr. Daniel Derksen, of the University of Arizona's College of Public Health, says it could raise health care costs for all Arizonans.

  • Travel Ban: The director of the Tucson chapter in the International Rescue Committee, Jeffrey Cornish, talks about the impact of the changes to the federal travel ban, especially what it means for Tucson, which is a hub for receiving refugees.

  • Sick Leave: Tucson employment lawyer Barney Holtzman spells out what the new sick leave policy for Arizona workers requires employers to provide.

  • Providing Sick Leave: President of Green Valley Cooling and Heating, Pete Perves, says the company, which already had a sick leave policy for all workers, still had to make some changes to comply with the new law by July 1.

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