Arizona Lawsuit Joins PSL Docket

Add another entry to the PSL litigation docket. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and a host of other plaintiffs last week filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona and a host of other defendants seeking to enjoin implementation of Arizona Proposition 206. Arizona voters approved that proposition by a nearly 60% margin in November. It raises the minimum wage in Arizona to $10 per hour on January 1, 2017 and requires most Arizona employers to provide paid sick leave beginning July 1, 2017.  saguaro-232762_640

The plaintiffs claim that the proposition violates the “Revenue Source Rule” of the Arizona constitution because it will lead to increased costs to the state and it does not identify a revenue source to fund the additional cost, essentially an unfunded mandate. It also alleges that the proposition violates the “Separate Amendment Rule” of the state constitution because the ballot question “cobble[d] together” distinct issues, denying voters the opportunity to vote on the minimum wage and PSL issues separately. The complaint also alleges that the proposition does not address the increased costs to Arizona business, especially those with tipped employees, although it is not clear to which legal argument this relates. The suit was filed in Superior Court in Maricopa County.

The Arizona lawsuit is the fourth pending case to directly challenge a paid sick leave law. The others are pending in Oregon, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh. A PSL-related case is pending in Alabama. My recent post about these cases is here.