July 2021 Arizona HR Legal Updates

Arizona’s New Law Provides Second Chances to Those with Criminal Convictions

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Arizona.

What happened?
On April 1, 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2067 into law.

What are the details?
The bill, in effect starting August 27, 2021, allows courts to issue an order for a “Certificate of Second Chance” for individuals “whose judgment of guilt” is set aside after a criminal conviction.

This allows individuals who receive the certificate the opportunity to apply for and obtain occupational licenses in Arizona as well as providing additional protections to employers. Individuals who may not have been eligible for certain state licenses, now have the opportunity to apply for and obtain occupational licenses in Arizona.

Employers who hire individuals with the certificate will receive “all the protections” provided under Arizona’s limited liability statute (A.R.S. Section 12-558.03) for hiring individuals with criminal convictions. Employers who conduct background checks on these candidates will find a notation next to the conviction, explaining that a court vacated or dismissed the individual’s criminal charges and that it issued a Certificate of Second Chance to the individual.

The bill can be read here.

An article on the bill can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers will not need to make any changes but should be aware of the bill for their new hiring processes.

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Arizona Passes Amendment for Pregnant Worker Protections

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Arizona.

What happened?
On February 4, 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2045 into law.

What are the details?
Effective July 19, 2021, the bill amends the Arizona Civil Rights Act (ACRA) to add additional protections to pregnant workers in Arizona. It expands discrimination because of sex to include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

The law expressly states, “women who are affected by pregnancy or childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work ….” This allows the state attorney general to investigate charges of pregnancy discrimination regardless of whether the woman can show she was treated differently than other employees with a temporary disability.

The bill can be read here.

Articles on the bill can be read here and here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers may need to update their workplace practices to ensure that employees are not discriminated against due to their pregnancy status or related medical issues.  

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Glendale Passes New City Ordinance on LGBTQ+ Protections

Update Applicable to:
All Employers in Glendale, Arizona with 5 or more employees.

What happened?
On May 25, 2021, the Glendale City Council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in public places, housing, and many workplaces.

What are the details?
The ordinance, effective September 22, 2021 (120 days after adoption), will prohibit discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, veteran’s status, marital status, or familial status. It also extends protections to housing and public places, including everything from hotels and bars to bowling alleys and movie theaters. The ordinance also applies to all businesses with five or more employees. It also exempts religious organizations, religious schools, charter schools, single-sex sports or recreation leagues, and single-sex areas, such as gender-specific gyms.

People will have 90 days to report alleged violations and to ensure compliance, Glendale City will impose civil penalties on violators. For a first violation, the city manager will attempt to resolve the issue through mediation, before issuing a fine. For a second or third violation, the city manager has discretion whether to mediate or impose a fine.

The ordinance can be read here.

An article on the ordinance can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the law to ensure they remain in compliance.

April 2021 Arizona HR Legal Updates

Arizona Passes COVID-19 Liability Protection for Businesses        

Update Applicable to:
All businesses fitting any of the following descriptions:

  • A person who furnishes consumer or business goods or services or entertainment;
  • Educational institutions and school districts;
  • Property owners;
  • Nonprofit organizations;
  • Religious institutions;
  • State and local government agencies;
  • Developmental disability service providers;
  • Health care professionals; and
  • Health care institutions. 

What happened?
Arizona Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1377 on April 5, 2021, creating COVID-19 liability protection for employers in the state.

What are the details?
A “provider” is presumed to have acted in good faith if the provider relied on or reasonably attempted to comply with published guidance, such as that provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A civil action may not be brought against persons or providers identified below unless the claimant can demonstrate the person or provider acted (or failed to act) with willful misconduct or gross negligence. Furthermore, the claimant must establish the claim with “clear and convincing evidence.” This is a higher bar than the “preponderance of the evidence”—i.e., “more likely than not”—standard generally applied in civil cases. A “provider” is any of the employers or individuals who fit any of the descriptions described in the “Update applicable to” section.

Healthcare professionals and institutions acting in good faith cannot be held liable for injury or death sustained while providing an array of services related to the pandemic, such as screening, assessment, diagnosis, or treatment related to the virus. Additionally, they are protected from similar claims resulting from services that are not specifically COVID-related, such as delayed or canceled non-urgent or elective surgery, or an act or omission relating to nursing care or by a healthcare provider due to a lack of staffing, facilities, equipment, supplies, or other resources.

The protections established by the statute do not apply to workers’ compensation claims.

An article summarizing the bill can be found here.

The bill can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Arizona employers should continue to make good-faith efforts to conform with safety guidelines provided by local officials and state regulators, to ensure protection under this legislation.

November 2020 Arizona HR Legal Updates

Arizona Voters Legalize Recreational Marijuana Usage

What happened?
The voters in Arizona have passed Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which legalizes the possession and use of marijuana by adults age 21 and over for recreational or non-medicinal use.

What are the details?
Proposition 207 includes language allowing employers to maintain drug-free workplace policies. However, employers should be mindful of the existing protections that are still applicable to employees who use medicinal marijuana. Specifically, employers may not discriminate against any person who uses marijuana for medical reasons as permitted by state law because of “positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the used, possessed or was impaired on the premises of the place of employment during the hours of employment.”

Employers are not required to “allow or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sales or cultivation of marijuana in a place of employment. “Additionally, the Prop. bars any operation of vehicles, boats, or planes while impaired by marijuana in any way.

An article going over the Proposition in more detail can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers with employees in Arizona may need to communicate their workplace policies to their employees to reinforce the employer’s expectation of employee conduct.

July 2020 Arizona HR Legal Update

Arizona Issues Executive Order Limiting Restaurant Capacity

What happened?
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has issued Executive Order 2020-47 mandating that restaurants with indoor seating to operate at less than 50% capacity.

What are the details?
Executive Order 2020-47 places multiple new standards onto restaurants. Effective on July 11, 2020, restaurants will need to limit 50% of indoor dining, maintain six feet of separation between parties in all directions, erect barriers (glass or plexiglass) between tables, booths, and bar tops, as well as eliminate indoor standing rooms where customers could otherwise gather. Though not required, the state is

encouraging restaurants to move to a reservation system to help reduce the amount of customers congregating in waiting areas.

County and health departments will have the authority to enforce the executive order. Violations of the executive order can result in the immediate closure of the business. Local law enforcement and the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control also have the authority to suspend business licenses.

The executive order can be found here, via download.

What do employers need to do?
Restaurants in Arizona should immediately change any policies needed to come into compliance with the new guidelines.

June 2020 Arizona HR Legal Updates

Arizona Implements Enhanced COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

What happened?
Governor Doug Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-40, placing new requirements on businesses related to COVID-19 spread prevention.

What are the details?
On June 17, 2020, Governor Ducey announced that guidelines from a previous executive order (2020-36) would now be required. The law requires basic precautions be taken from each business and include:

  • Ensure physical distance for all employees
  • Providing facemasks for all employees
  • Requiring usage of facemasks where physical distancing is not possible
  • Requiring symptom checks of employees before their shift
  • Requiring that sick employees stay home
  • Creating policies in the workplace to promote increased employee hygiene
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace For a more detailed breakdown of each requirement, please click here.

For more information on Executive Order 2020-40 and Executive Order 2020-36, please use the following links: EE2020-40, EE2020-36

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the new required guidelines and update any policies that do not fit with the guidelines provided in EE2020-36. Look to purchase facemasks for employees who are required to use them.