Employers are not required to offer paid sick leave to employees. Upon termination, the employer has no legal obligation to pay out unused sick leave, which means the employer’s written policy will control. While the law requires a variety of unpaid leave of absences, paid leaves of absence, such as paid maternity or paternity leave, are not required by law.
Many employers choose to combine vacation, sick leave, personal days, and floating holidays into a single “paid time off” or “PTO” policy. This makes it easier to administer employee time off and a single policy for accumulating and using PTO will often suffice.
The AZ law provides a remedy, if the company policy is to pay the PTO as wages and if they have a history of making that payment to other employees upon termination.
23-355. Action by employee to recover wages; amount of recovery
A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, if an employer, in violation of this chapter, fails to pay wages due any employee, the employee may recover in a civil action against an employer or former employer an amount that is treble the amount of the unpaid wages.
B. This section does not authorize a county school superintendent to issue a warrant in violation of section 15-304 or in violation of any other provision of law.
I suggest your recourse is to discuss this with the AZ Dept of Labor.
Karen Axsom, Director
Phoenix: 800 W Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85007 - Phone:(###) ###-####br />Tucson: 2675 East Broadway, Tucson AZ 85716 - Phone:(###) ###-####br />
When wages owed to an employee are no more than $5,000.00 and the accrual of those unpaid wages does not exceed one year, the employee may file a wage claim with the Department as per A.R.S. § 23-350 et seq. which states:
6. "Wages" means nondiscretionary compensation due an employee in return for labor or services rendered by an employee for which the employee has a reasonable expectation to be paid whether determined by a time, task, piece, commission or other method of calculation. Wages include sick pay, vacation pay, severance pay, commissions, bonuses and other amounts promised when the employer has a policy or a practice of making such payments.
Upon receipt of a claim, the Department will notify the employer of the claim and investigate the case. After investigation of the claim, the Department will provide a written Determination which can only be appealed to Superior Court.
An employer who does not comply with a Determination within ten days after the Determination becomes final is liable for triple the amount of the unpaid wages found to be owed. Employees also have the option of filing in the civil courts; however, they cannot file with both the State Labor Department and the civil courts.
Please let me know here, if you have other questions, need more information or clarification in this regard.