PHOENIX — State lawmakers are moving to undermine the ability of cities to require employers to provide things like sick leave to local workers.
And they’re doing it in a back-door way.
Legislation set for a House vote Monday would leave undisturbed what businesses have finally conceded they cannot do: Preclude cities and counties from setting minimum wages higher than what the state requires. That’s because the 2006 voter-approved minimum wage law specifically permits such local options, and it was upheld last year after a lawsuit by the Flagstaff Living Wage Coalition.
Instead, HB 2579 seeks to narrow the definition of exactly what are “wages’’ to include only the cash compensation paid.
More to the point, the legislation specifically says that certain things are not wages. That includes everything from fringe benefits like health insurance, sick pay, maternity leave and vacation pay.