Big changes coming for Arizona workers, in terms of sick time at work

Come July 1, big changes will take place when it comes to sick time at work.

Under new state law that is due to take effect, employee-friendly rules mean paid sick time, and no more so-called "Mommy Notes" for the boss when you're sick.

Under the new voter-approved law, every employee will be able to accrue 24 hours of sick leave, or 40 hours for a bigger businesses. Some say this was overlooked, as everyone was focused on the minimum wage raise.

"We had opposed Proposition 206 in it's entirety," said Mike Huckins with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. "I think administratively, this was the worst part for our employers."

Huckins said a new provision of Prop 206 could hurt small businesses. Employers will be required to provide paid sick time to all employees starting on that date, including part-timers, temporary and seasonal workers.

"Putting new mandates on small businesses is something that we have thought for a while now should not be done," said Huckins. "It's going to put the squeeze on even more."

"I think it's still catching people off guard, employers as well," said Attorney John Balitis. He has been helping to craft new sick time policies for businesses across the Valley, and said they need to be prepared for the new sick time law, or they could face penalties.

"If a worker takes some time off under Prop 206 and then within three months after that is suspended, laid off, separated, there's a presumption that's going to pop up that that adverse employment action was a result of him or her exercising that right," said Balitis.

Employers would have to have documentation to prove the worker wasn't fired within the three-month window because they took time off, or they could face fines of at least $150 per day, plus any money owed to the employee. Balitis said that will have to be sorted out with a court case, which he is pretty confident will happen.