Law to ban cities from mandating employee benefits dead

By Howard Fischer| Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

State lawmakers cannot block local governments from mandating that private employers provide workers with even more fringe benefits than required in law, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled.

In a brief order August 28, the justices refused to disturb a decision by the state Court of Appeals which concluded that when voters adopted the first minimum wage law in 2006 they wanted to give local governments the power to go above and beyond the bare minimums of that initiative. And that, the appellate judge said, includes not just wages – now $11 an hour – but also any requirements for benefits, whether that’s time off or even health insurance.

The decision paves the way for local governments to consider what kinds of requirements they want to put on private employers, above and beyond what already is mandated statewide.

It also is a setback for the Arizona Restaurant Association and its Republican allies in the state Legislature who sought the curbs.

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