Some states have laws that require employers to grant employees time off for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member with a serious illness, or for the employee's own illness, but Arizona does not have such a law for private employers. However, most Arizona employers with 50 or more employees will have leave obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). There is additional information and details on the FMLA.
Parental leave. State employees are entitled to take “parental leave.” Parental leave is defined as any combination of annual leave, sick leave, compensatory leave, or leave without pay taken by an employee due to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or adoption. An agency head will approve a request for parental leave subject to certain conditions, including the following:
• An employee is entitled to 12 weeks of parental leave for childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or adoption unless the agency head approves a request for a longer leave.
• An employee may take sick leave only for periods of disability.
• An agency cannot require an employee to exhaust all paid leave before taking unpaid leave.
• If the leave qualifies for FMLA leave, the agency must count it as FMLA leave.
• The employee must be returned to the position he or she occupied at the start of the leave. If the position no longer exists, the agency must conduct a reduction in force (AZ Admin. Code R2-5-411).
State employees may also take up to 40 hours of sick leave annually to care for a sick dependent child, spouse, or parent (includes stepparents, parents-in-law, grandparents, or anyone standing in loco parentis (“in place of a parent”) (AZ Admin. Code R2-5-404).