Arizona Preempts Cities and Towns Regarding Wages and Non-Wage Benefits

The Arizona Legislature recently passed HB 2579, which amends Arizona Revised Statutes section 23-204. The Legislature has stated that the regulation of employee benefits, including non-wage compensation, paid and unpaid leave and other absences, and meal breaks and rest periods, is of statewide concern. Thus, it prohibits cities and towns from enacting ordinances that create any obligations for employers in these areas. The amendments specifically state that non-wage compensation includes fringe benefits, welfare benefits, child- or adult-care plans, sick pay, vacation pay, severance pay, commissions, bonuses, retirement plan or pension contributions, and any other amounts promised to an employee above minimum wage. This is great news for employers, as they will not encounter a patchwork of sick leave and other obligations as they do business throughout Arizona.