$12 minimum wage: Closer look at Arizona Prop 206

Across the United States, there have been recent proposals to increase the minimum wage in many states.

The so-called "fight for 15" has taken root in some states -- California and New York have plans to reach that $15/hour figure while others are looking at large increases of their own.

Arizona's Proposition 206 does just that, aiming for a $12 figure through several increases over the next few years. The state's current minimum wage is $8.05.

READ: Full text of Proposition 206

But such a move wouldn't come without potential downsides. Detractors say the proposition would actually hurt low-wage workers because businesses would be less able to afford their wages, leaving them jobless.

Supporters argue the proposition's gradual increase to $12 dollars over the next four years would give employers enough time to adjust.

If the measure were to pass, the minimum wage would move to $10/hour Jan. 1, 2017. Then, it would be $10.50 in 2018, $11 in 2019 and $12 in 2020.

After 2020, increases would be based on cost of living as measured by the consumer price index.

The minimum wage for tipped workers would be $3 less than the figure for other workers, while individual towns, cities or counties would be able to set a higher minimum wage than the state's minimum if they choose

Maybe surprisingly, the majority of the language in the proposition actually relates to paid sick time.

Employers would be required to provide employees one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of work. Those who employ 15 or more people would have a minimum cap of 40 sick hours per year while those with fewer employees would have a minimum cap of 24 hours of paid sick time yearly.

Those hours could roll over year-to-year if they did not reach the cap, but employers could count general paid time off toward paid sick time.

Employees would begin accruing paid sick time under these rules on July 1, 2017, and new employees would have to wait 90 days after starting a new job to use their paid sick time.

Under the proposition, paid sick time would include: mental or physical care, even if it is preventive; care of family who need mental or physical care; closure of the place of employment due to public health emergency; or absence necessary due to domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse or stalking if for medical, counseling, relocation or legal reasons.

If an employee were to be gone from work for three days or more, documentation of the illness would be required.

Employers would also be required to maintain payroll records of wage, hours and sick time of each employee going back four years. If they were found to be in violation of that requirement, they could be fined $250 upon the first offense and $1,000 upon subsequent offenses.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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