Tag Archives: paid time off

Chamber of Commerce organizations continue their assault on worker’s benefits in court

The Chamber of Commerce organizations lost their battle to overturn Prop. 206, the 2016 minimum wage and paid time off initiative in court, but they are not done using their lickspittle servants in Arizona’s Tea-Publican controlled state legislature to try to reverse citizens initiatives voters approved for paid time off and worker’s benefits.

Howard Fischer reports, State seeks to block cities from regulating private workers ‘benefits’:

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking a judge to rule that the word “benefits” in a voter-approved measure is not the same as “fringe benefits.”

And the goal of this judicial war of words is a bid by Brnovich to block local governments from telling private companies what benefits they have to offer their workers.

Assistant Attorney General Rusty Crandell, writing on behalf of Brnovich, is trying to preserve a 2016 measure [HB 2579] adopted by Republican legislators to block local governments from telling private companies everything from how much time off they will offer workers to vacation mandates and even how far ahead of time workers need to be told of schedule changes.

Note: Both the Minimum Wage Act, Prop. 202, approved by voters in 2006, and Prop. 206 approved by voters in 2016, provide for local governments being able to require “benefits” for employees. Prop. 206 was specifically designed to supersede HB 2579 by mandating paid time off benefits.

I explained this lawsuit last year. Arizona sued for unconstitutional attempt to preempt the Arizona Minimum Wage Act.

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AZ Supreme Court unanimously upholds Prop. 206

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a challenge brought by our corporate overlords in the Chamber of Commerce organizations to the voter-approved Prop. 206, the minimum wage initiative, raising the state’s minimum wage and providing for paid time off regulations. The Arizona Capitol Times  (subscription required) reports, Supreme Court upholds minimum wage law:

The justices rejected arguments by a group of plaintiffs, led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, that Proposition 206 led to an unconstitutional mandate for the government to spend money. Attorneys for the chamber argued that expenses caused by Prop. 206, which raised the minimum wage to $10 per hour on January 1, violated the Arizona Constitution’s revenue-source rule.

Adopted in 2004, the rule requires ballot initiatives to identify funding sources for any new government spending.

Chief Justice Scott Bales announced the ruling in a brief order released Tuesday afternoon. A lengthier written opinion will be released at a later date.

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UPDATE: Arizona Supreme Court declines to stay Minimum Wage initiative, Prop. 206

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Arizona Supreme Court declines to block Prop 206:

RaiseTheWageWithout comment the state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a last-ditch bid by the business community, with support from Gov. Doug Ducey and legislative leaders, to delay the effect of Proposition 206. That measure, approved earlier this year by voters on a 58-42 margin, raises the current minimum wage of $8.05 an hour to $10 at the beginning of 2017.

The same initiative eventually increases that to $12 an hour by 2020. And beginning July 1 it requires employers to provide workers with at least three days of paid sick leave each year.

Thursday’s ruling does not end the matter.

The justices have agreed to consider claims by initiative foes that the measure violates a constitutional provision that requires all ballot proposals that result in new state spending to have a dedicated revenue source. But that won’t occur until February, meaning the $10 requirement will remain in place at least until then — if not beyond.

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Court upholds the will of the voters on Minimum Wage initiative (Prop. 206)

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley today denied the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s attempt to prevent the Minimum Wage initiative (Prop.206) from taking effect as scheduled on January 1. The Chamber, of course, will appeal.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Superior Court judge refuses to block minimum wage hike:

RaiseTheWageMaricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley rebuffed arguments by business interests that Proposition 206 should have been split into two separate measures, one to set the minimum at $10 an hour and the other to require that employers give workers at least three days of paid personal leave.

Kiley also said there was no merit to the claim that the initiative violates a state constitutional provision which requires any voter-approved measure to have a separate source of revenues to cover the costs.

The judge said it may be that the state’s Medicaid program will increase what it pays to private contractors that offer nursing home and in-home services that now need pay workers only $8.05 an hour.

But he said nothing in the initiative actually mandates the higher expenditure. And he pointed out that both Arizona law and the contracts with Medicaid providers have provisions which say the state does not have to spend money it does not have.

Today’s ruling is unlikely the last word.

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Court refuses to enjoin the minimum wage initiative; hearing set for Tuesday

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley refused a request by Chamber of Commerce organizations to immediately block the voter-approved hike in the minimum wage from taking effect as scheduled next year. the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Judge refuses to block minimum wage hike:

RaiseTheWageKiley said there’s no basis for him to even consider whether to delay enforcement on the law, much less decide its constitutionality.

If nothing else, the judge noted that the challenge was filed only a day earlier. He said that means those defending the law — including both the attorney general’s office and Proposition 206 supporters — have not had a “fair opportunity” to respond to the allegations.

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Kiley did agree to consider the legal arguments in depth this coming Tuesday.

Kiley rejected claims by challengers that leaving the law in place before the full-blown hearing on its legality will cause hardship for employers.

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Chambers of Commerce sue to overturn the will of the voters on Minimum Wage Initiative

RaiseTheWageThe incoming Speaker of the House, J.D. Mesnard, just happened to suggest on Monday that there appears to be legal grounds for someone to sue to overturn the Prop. 206 minimum wage hike approved by voters, but it won’t be him (wink, wink). House speaker mulls minimum wage lawsuit:

As to litigation, Mesnard said at this point he’s moving to take the case to court.

“I’m not spearheading anything,” he said. “Until today, I had no legal staff on hand,” Mesnard said, saying others may have to take the lead.

Mesnard does not need to file a lawsuit when he has the masters he serves in the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to do it for him. Mesnard’s feigned knowledge of a lawsuit was political Kabuki theater. He was coordinating with the Chamber and he knew full well when he made his “suggestion” of a lawsuit that the Chamber was prepared to file a lawsuit to overturn the will of the voters this week. Suit filed to block minimum wage hike:

Unable to defeat it at the ballot, business interests are now trying to get a judge to void the voter-approved hike in the state minimum wage.

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