Tucson Metro Chamber Strongly Opposes City Council Mandatory Paid Time Off Proposal


Tucson Metro Chamber Strongly Opposes City Council  Mandatory Paid Time Off Proposal

Tucson, AZ (December 22, 2015) – Yesterday, December 21, the Board of Directors of the Tucson Metro Chamber unanimously voted an “Absolute No” on the proposed Mandatory Paid Time Off ordinance the Tucson City Council is proposing that a stakeholder group consider.  If the stakeholder group is indeed formed, the Chamber will actively engage in persuading that committee to recommend to the Council that it not go forward with this ordinance.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors implores the City Council to end the discussion on Mandatory Paid Time Off immediately.  With a looming $42 million general fund deficit this next fiscal year and projected $63.3 million deficit over the next four years, the Council’s attention must be on growing Tucson’s economy and giving business a reason to come to Tucson, grow in Tucson and stay in Tucson.  The climate for business in Tucson is not good at the present time; without a robust business-led economic upturn, these deficits will only grow larger.

The Board of Directors, along with a growing multi-industry coalition, believes mandating paid sick leave is a gross intrusion into the employer-employee relationship by a municipal government.  In order to ensure consistent expectations for both workers and industry, policies affecting that relationship must be made at the federal and state level.  A patchwork of regulations at the municipal level is nearly impossible to comply with and can result in irreparable harm to job creators by adding to business expenses, complicating work schedules and requiring another layer of regulatory compliance.

The ordinance, cleverly named “Safe and Sick Time,” would require all employers to provide paid time off for employees, regardless of their employment status.  The City would mandate that for every 30 hours worked, an employee would earn at a minimum 1 hour of paid time off.  If an employer has fewer than 10 employees, employees could accrue up to 40 hours.  If the employer has more than 10 employees, that accrual would be up to 56 hours.

This ordinance is ill-conceived and will in turn hurt those it aims to help.  The underlying issue is this: you can’t ask an employee if they were actually ill, a likely HIPAA violation.  So in reality, so called “Safe and Sick Time” is really just mandatory paid time off.

For questions or further information, contact Robert Medler, vice president of government affairs, at 792-2250 x 129 or rmedler@tucsonchamber.org.