Arizona’s new paid sick leave law took effect on July 1, 2017, ensuring that nearly every worker in the state receives paid sick leave.
Full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees alike will now receive a minimum of 24 hours of paid sick leave if their employer employs fewer than 15 workers.
Employers with 15 or more employees are required to offer at least 40 hours of paid sick time each year.
Note, however, that it was stated that the new law applies to almost every worker in the state.
The facts are decidedly less clear on whether the new law will apply to union members.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are a union worker left wondering whether the new sick leave law will apply to you.
Does the New Law Apply to Union Members and Employees Covered Under Collective Bargaining Agreements?
The short answer as to whether the new paid sick time law applies to union members and collective bargaining-based employment contracts is a resounding, “Maybe.”
There is a provision in the new law that indicates employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) are not immediately covered by the new law if an existing CBA was in place before the new law took effect on July 1, 2017.
If such an agreement was in place, then a union member may not be subject to the terms of the new paid sick law until their current agreement expires.
Keeping this provision in mind, the law also states that the new law will not apply to workers who are covered under a CBA if the agreement itself waives the new law’s requirements.
That said, waiving the requirements will require clear and unambiguous language, which is why such agreements should not be agreed to unless the CBA has been discussed with an Arizona employment lawyer.
How Does Arizona’s Status As a Right-to-Work State Impact the Paid Sick Leave Law?
Finally, do keep in mind that Arizona is a right-to-work state.
Such states guarantee as a fundamental right that no citizen in the state can be forced into a union.
You have the individual right to refuse to join a union or resign from one, and you cannot be fired for making such a decision.
Having said that, if the union negotiated a CBA on behalf of union members and employees who are non-union alike, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will still apply to you.
Keeping this in mind, the answer to whether paid sick leave will apply to union members can be answered by looking to the terms of the union’s agreed upon CBA.
The terms of a CBA are often far-reaching, and this general rule is proven here.
If you are curious about the terms of your union CBA and what those terms will mean for your paid sick leave now that Arizona’s new law has taken effect, talking to an Arizona employment lawyer is a great place to start.
Contact Tyler Allen Law, PLLC for a legal consultation to discuss your union CBA and whether the new paid sick leave law will apply to you.