This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Arizona.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Arizona.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
In the United States, no federal or state law requires employees to receive paid or unpaid vacation time.
It’s up to Arizonan employers whether to to provide vacation time (paid or unpaid) to their employees. However, if they agree to do so, they’re legally required to follow whatever is stated in employees’ contracts or company policy.
Use It or Lose It policies for vacation time are legal in Arizona. There’s no law prohibiting companies from resetting employees’ vacation time quota at the start of each year (though there’s also no legal requirement to offer PTO in the first place).
Use It or Lose It is, however, prohibited for sick leave. Arizona laws entitle employees to paid sick leave, and accrued sick leave cannot be forfeited on a particular date.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
Unused PTO (including sick leave) does not need to be paid out upon termination of employment (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired or is laid off) in Arizona.
Outstanding PTO is only required to be paid out if promised by an employment contract or a company’s PTO policy.
Paid sick leave is mandatory in Arizona, with employees entitled to 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
In companies of 15 or more employees, sick leave will accrue up to a total of 40 hours. In companies of less than 15 employees, sick leave accrues up to a total of 24 hours.
Unused sick leave carries over to the following year, and cannot be forfeited if not used by a certain time (though employees can stop earning additional sick leave if they’re at the limit mentioned above).
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Arizona must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following state holidays are observed in Arizona:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. / Civil Rights Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Lincoln / Washington / President’s Day|
|Last Monday in May||National Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus Day|
|November 10||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
Arizona law does not require employees to receive paid or unpaid leave for state holidays. There is also no requirement for additional pay or compensation (such as 150% pay or compensatory time off) for working on Arizona state holidays.
There are no Arizona state laws governing paid (or unpaid) maternity leave. The only requirement for employers is the 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave required by the FMLA.
Like maternity leave, there are no Arizona state laws for paternity leave, however the FMLA applies for fathers too, giving them the same entitlement to 12 weeks of unpaid and job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of their new child.
There is no state law requiring employers to offer paid or unpaid bereavement leave in Arizona. The choice of whether to allow employees time off for the death of a close family member, along with how long and whether or not this leave is paid, is up to the employer’s discretion (however they are legally required to follow what’s laid out in the employment contract and company policy).
There’s no requirement to pay employees for their time spent serving a jury summons or serving on a jury under Arizona state law. However, employers cannot require employees to use their own PTO (e.g. vacation time, sick leave or personal days) for jury duty, and when the employee returns from jury service they must return to their previous (or higher) position, and cannot lose seniority when serving jury duty.
Arizona law entitles employees up to three hours of paid leave to vote for primary and general elections.
The law states that employees must get three consecutive hours to vote either between the opening of the polls and the start of their shift or the end of their shift and the polls closing.
This means if an employee usually starts their shift at 9am, and the polls open at 7am, they are entitled to start work at 10am while receiving one hour of paid leave (the time they would usually have worked from 9-10).
If the employee’s shift starts at 8am, they would be entitled to two hours of paid leave.
Arizona law gives members of National Guard, Arizona National Guard, and the United States armed forces reserves the right to take unpaid leave for active duty or to attend camps, maneuvers, formations, or armory drills. Members of the National Guard can take unlimited time off.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Arizona, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Arizonan employers with 50 or more employees must allow unpaid leave for employees who are victims or domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in order to attend court proceedings.
State employees in Arizona are entitled to 5 days of paid leave for donating bone marrow, and 30 days of paid leave for donating an organ.
Anything not covered in Arizona state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.