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Prop. 206 takes effect Saturday

Posted at 9:23 PM, Jun 28, 2017

Prop. 206 has two prongs: raising the statewide minimum wage to $12.00/hour by 2020 and mandating all employers to offer paid sick leave. The first piece went into effect at the beginning of 2017, and the second piece goes into effect Saturday, July 1st.

Employees will start to earn paid sick time, getting one hour for every 30 hours worked. For companies with 15 or more employees, they will be able to accrue 40 hours of paid sick time -- which equates to five standard, eight-hour work days. For companies with fewer than 15 employees, they will be able to accrue 24 hours of paid sick time -- which equates to three standard, eight-hour work days.

Rocco DiGrazia is the owner of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria and currently has his own system in place. He said he'd prefer not to change it because he thinks it's fair and works well, but understands he will have to start Saturday.

"It's not that different," he said. "But you know, on a worst case scenario basis it would have cost me about half as much a year as this one would."

Despite his personal feelings about the matter, he plans on embracing the change.

"This is the new reality, and I'm dealing with it," DiGrazia said.

Robert Medler, the Tucson Metro Chamber's Vice President of Government Affairs, explained this change could cause some confusion for both employers and employees in the weeks to come.

"If you have the standard, 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, 8-5, it's easy," Medler said. "If you are a part-time worker or have a different relationship with your employer, that gets a little bit more complicated."

Businesses are required to have an employment poster with updated information on the laws, including both tenets of Prop. 206.

"Big picture, 30-thousand foot legalese, complying with Prop. 206 is on that poster," Medler said.

And whether employers are in support of the new mandate or not, the voters said yes back in November, and the employers are legally required to comply.

"The time for speaking out against it, if you had an opinion, was prior to the vote," DiGrazia said. "Now it's the law. So you have to do what you have to do."

Medler was more blunt: "It's the law in Arizona, starting Saturday. Businesses need to comply."

Sick time could be referring to a personal illness, a sick family member, roommate, anyone close to the employee, according to Medler. He continued to add that that this guarantees workers they'll have time to take care of themselves and their families.