Today in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee, over 100 community members and advocacy groups signed in to speak in opposition to HCR2028, which would make it difficult for workers to prove their employer fired them after using paid sick-leave, asking for a wage increase, or requesting health benefits.
Just over a year ago Arizonans passed prop 206 with 58% of the vote, receiving more votes than any other proposition on the ballot in 2016. Prop 206 asked the voters if they support increasing mini wage and providing earned paid sick leave to minimum wage workers. Arizonans responded – YES.
Since Prop 206 enactment, unemployment in Arizona has dropped from 5% to 4.5%, which is the lowest unemployment rate in Arizona in 10 years. Additionally, Arizona has added 42,500 non-farm worker jobs to its economy since 2016, a growth rate of 1.5%, which is greater than the average U.S growth rate of 1.4%.
Speaker J.D. Mesnard of Legislative District 17 had repeatedly stated that he feels voters were unaware of this provision when they voted for Prop 206 in 2016…that’s hard to believe.
“I was fired for missing work. I was sick and was fired. If you’re the employer you have resources and lawyers, if you’re the employee you have to do it on your own time and your own money. If you are in fear of retaliation you won’t speak up because you need to feed your kids or pay for your house…you will go without speaking out [against the employer]” – Community Member and Veteran
A number of community members strongly spoke in opposition to removing this provision. Arizonans have already stated that they believe that our workers need to be protected from employer retaliation.
To assume voters are blindly voting is an insult to Arizonans and to our system of government. Should we hold special elections everytime politicians disagree with the outcomes of the election? Or if business stakeholders disagree with the will of the people? That’s a slippery slope and once again shows that the AZGOP does not represent voters, but rather their personal interest and the interest of their donors.
HCR2028 passed the Commerce and Public Safety committee along party lines of 5 Ayes and 3 Nays.