Arizona Labor Laws

March 13th 2024

This article covers:

What are Arizona Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Arizona Minimum Wages $14.35 per hour
Arizona Overtime Laws 1.5 times the regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week
($21.53 for minimum wage workers)
Arizona Breaks Laws Breaks not required by law

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Arizona?

In Arizona, several key regulations are set in place to govern the hiring process and ensure a fair evaluation of employees and the elimination of prejudice. Here’s what you need to know about your rights and the restrictions placed on employers during the hiring process:

  • Discrimination is Prohibited: The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in hiring based on race, gender, disability, and other personal characteristics. This means that employers must evaluate candidates based on their abilities and qualifications, not their identity.
  • Inquiries About Health and Disability are Restricted: Employers are not allowed to make in-depth inquiries about a candidate’s health or disability during the hiring process. They are only allowed to inquire about a candidate’s ability to perform the work required by the job.
  • Blacklisting is Prohibited: Employers are not allowed to make agreements with other employers that prevent candidates from being hired elsewhere. This practice, known as “blacklisting,” is illegal in Arizona.
  • Medical Marijuana Cardholders are Protected: Employers are not allowed to refuse to hire or terminate contracts with candidates who are registered medical marijuana cardholders.
  • Credit Checks Require Permission: Employers must have written permission from candidates before conducting a credit check.
  • Drug Testing Must be Job-Related: Employers are not allowed to perform drug testing unless it is necessary for the job in question.
  • Hiring Undocumented Workers is Prohibited: The Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWL) prohibits employers from hiring undocumented workers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has established guidelines in Arizona that prohibit discrimination in employment and termination practices on several key grounds, including:

  • Biological sex
  • Race and national origin
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age for individuals between 40 and 70 years
  • Pregnancy, child, or spousal support withholding
  • AIDS/HIV status
  • Gender and gender identity
  • Disability 

It is also illegal to provide bonuses, and merits, or to deduct wages based on any of these criteria. In cases where Arizona State law and Federal law overlap, employers must comply with the law that provides greater benefits to employees. 

Arizona operates under the principle of employment-at-will, which means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, without notice or cause. This principle applies to employees who do not have a written contract or agreement specifying the terms of their employment. There is a crucial exception to this rule: terminations cannot be based on discrimination or retaliation against an employee. This means that employees cannot be terminated based on factors such as race, gender, religion, or their participation in a protected activity, such as reporting workplace harassment or discrimination. 

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Arizona?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Arizona that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • Right-to-Work Laws – As a right-to-work state, Arizona protects employees from coercion and discrimination in the workplace, these laws guarantee that employees have the right to work without being forced to join a union. The state offers protection from forced unionization by disallowing the firing of employees for choosing not to join a union, even if the company unionizes. It also provides the freedom to resign from a union without fear of retaliation from employers and ensures nondiscrimination in hiring as an employer cannot use union membership as a basis for accepting or rejecting job applicants.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws – Employees who report illegal or unethical behavior are protected under whistleblower protection laws. Arizona recognizes the important role that whistleblowers play in ensuring accountability and transparency in both the public and private sectors. Employees in the public sector are protected against retaliation, termination, and discrimination if they report any unlawful practices, mismanagement of state funds, or abuse of authority. In the private sector, employees are protected by the state only when reporting violations of Arizona statutes or the Arizona Constitution. 
  • Background Check Laws – Employers must comply with strict regulations when conducting background checks on potential hires. Under Arizona law, employers in the public sector must abide by the Ban the Box legislation, which prohibits asking about or researching an applicant’s criminal history before making a job offer. For recent offenses, an employer may reject an applicant if they have a felony conviction in the past 7 years or a misdemeanor conviction in the last 5 years. Any convictions older than this cannot be considered. Private sector employers in Arizona are not required to follow Ban the Box, but if they choose to conduct background checks, the easiest way is through the Arizona Department of Public Safety‘s central repository. However, only businesses with legal authorization can access this information. Without this, employers often have to resort to less comprehensive methods like online searches, court records, and references from previous employers.
  • Employee Monitoring Laws – Employers must comply with laws regarding the monitoring of employees in the workplace. In the State of Arizona, recording a conversation between two or more parties requires the consent of at least one person in the group. This makes Arizona a one-party consent state. However, video recording, such as with CCTV cameras, does not require the same level of consent. It is important to note that these cameras should only be placed in public areas, avoiding spaces where employees may expect privacy, such as bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and changing areas. Employers have the responsibility of clearly communicating their video surveillance policy to their employees in advance. 
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws – Arizona gives employers the discretion to conduct drug and alcohol testing, provided they have a clear policy in place. Employees must be aware of the testing policy and any changes that may occur. Employers are authorized to conduct random drug testing and a variety of bodily samples can be used for testing, such as breath, hair, blood, urine, and saliva. Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana, employers can still test for it and take disciplinary action if an employee’s work is impaired by its use. However, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) protects employees who use medical marijuana. To conduct these tests, employers must use laboratories of either the Arizona Department of Health or those certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.
  • Sexual Harassment Training Laws – Despite being a progressive state, Arizona currently has no regulations mandating sexual harassment training for employers and employees. It is crucial to remember that while the state may not have any specific training requirements, employers can still be held liable for instances of harassment that occur in the workplace. As such, it is in the best interest of both employers and employees to prioritize and actively address this issue.
  • COBRA Laws – Employees who lose their health insurance coverage due to job loss or reduction of hours are protected under COBRA laws. Arizona follows the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) but goes one step further by offering its coverage for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees through Mini-COBRA. COBRA, on the other hand, only applies to companies with 20 or more employees, making Mini-COBRA an essential addition for small business owners in the state. Mini-COBRA provides former employees with continued access to health coverage from their former employer for up to 18 months following termination, and an additional 11 months in case of disability. 
  • Expense Reimbursement Laws – Employers are required to reimburse employees for necessary job-related expenses.  Travel expense reimbursement in Arizona is reserved for state employees and officials, including those working for public institutions and agencies. This coverage encompasses airfare, car or railroad travel, as well as meal and lodging expenses, as long as the claims are made using the proper forms.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – In accordance with the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are expected in Arizona to keep accurate records of their employees’ employment history for certain durations of time. From basic information such as name and social security number to timecards and payroll records, Arizona has specific retention requirements which serve in cases of audits, legal proceedings, or tax purposes. Records must be kept as follows:
    • For 1 year: Retain all records related to employment and employee I-9 forms. This includes full name, date of hire/termination, remuneration, bonuses, and place of work.
    • For 2 years: Hold on to documents related to basic employment and earnings such as timecards, billing records, and pay stubs.
    • For 3 years: Store records of payroll agreements, bargaining agreements, sales, and purchase records.
    • For 5 years: Preserve records of job-related injuries.
    • For 6 years: Keep annual reports for benefit plans.
    • For 30 years: Retain records of toxic substance exposure.

Arizona Payment Laws

To start off, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in Arizona?

At present, the state’s minimum wage stands at $14.35 per hour. It’s worth noting that for those under 20 years of age, there’s a separate minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the initial 90 days of employment. Additionally, full-time students in Arizona are entitled to a minimum hourly wage of $12.20, which equates to 85% of the regular minimum wage.

In industries where tipping is a common practice, Arizona employers are granted the opportunity to pay their employees a wage that is up to $3 lower per hour than the state minimum ($14.35). However, this provision is only valid if the combination of hourly wage and tips earned equals the regular minimum wage. Equality in the workplace is also a priority in Arizona. The state’s equal pay rate prohibits variations in pay for the same job based on gender. Both male and female workers should receive equal compensation for the same job, assuming their work quality and quantity are the same. 

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Arizona?

Not all workers in Arizona are entitled to the state’s minimum wage. Exceptions include:

  • Domestic workers, such as babysitters
  • Employees working for family members
  • Employees of the Arizona or federal government
  • Employers whose businesses earn less than $500,000 per year and are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

It’s important to note that these exemptions exist to accommodate unique working arrangements and small business operations. However, it’s always advisable to check with local authorities to confirm if the minimum wage provisions apply to your specific circumstances.  

What is the Payment Due Date in Arizona?

The Arizona Office of Labor Law sets strict guidelines for wage disbursement by employers to ensure the fair and timely compensation of workers for their hard-earned labor. To meet these requirements, payments must be made to employees at least twice a month, with no more than a 16-day gap between each payout. Wages must be promptly distributed, with no more than 7 days elapsing between the end of the pay period and the payment. If payday falls on a non-working day, employers must ensure that payments are made on the preceding workday.

What are Arizona Overtime Laws?

Arizona defines a workweek as any consecutive 7 days. Part-time employees, as defined by state law, work no more than 30 hours in a workweek or less than 130 hours in a month. Typically, full-time employees in Arizona work 40 hours in a workweek. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) considers full-time employment to be any work schedule exceeding 30 hours a week. Employees must clarify their employer’s definition of full-time hours to ensure an accurate understanding of pay and benefits. 

Arizona labor laws dictate that employers must compensate employees for their waiting and on-call time, during which they are actively on duty. However, travel time, meetings, training, and lecture time are not mandatory to be compensated. If an employee is dismissed before the end of a workday, they will only be paid for the hours they worked.

Arizona overtime is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to FLSA, any work done over 40 hours per week is considered overtime. Unlike some states that also have daily overtime regulations, Arizona does not specify daily overtime. Hourly employees are entitled to 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for overtime work. It is important to note that Arizona follows both federal and state regulations, with state law taking precedence where there are discrepancies.   

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Arizona?

The FLSA states that salaried employees earning over $684 per week are exempt from overtime pay. Learn more in detail about Arizona Salaried Employees Laws and Arizona Overtime Laws.

What are Arizona Time Off/Break Laws?

The regulation of work breaks in the United States varies from state to state, creating a patchwork of policies across the country. In Arizona, there is a lack of state or federal regulation, leaving companies to determine their break policies. Work break policies are determined by employers and can vary from company to company.

The US Department of Labor offers some guidance, stating that employers must pay for breaks that are 20 minutes or less. Breaks that exceed 30 minutes, however, are typically unpaid, unless the employee is required to be on duty during that time.

What are Arizona Breastfeeding Laws?

In Arizona, specific laws for breastfeeding breaks in the workplace are not established, hence federal laws apply. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects non-exempt employees who are nursing mothers. According to federal law, lactating mothers must be granted reasonable break time to express milk for up to one year after the birth of their child. Employers must also provide a private, secluded space for this purpose, not including a bathroom.

What are Arizona Leave Laws?

In Arizona, there are no set laws for required or optional leave. Employers have the discretion to establish their leave policies and benefits. Job seekers need to familiarize themselves with a company’s leave policies before applying.

What is Arizona Required Leave?

Here’s a comprehensive guide to the various types of required leave in Arizona:

  • Sick and Family Leave – Since 2016, Arizona has mandated that employers offer their employees paid sick leave. This benefit can be utilized for a variety of reasons, including personal illness or caring for a sick family member, recovery from injury, psychological counseling, and more. The accrual of paid sick leave is determined by the size of the company. For businesses with 15 or more employees, employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a yearly maximum of 40 hours. On the other hand, businesses with fewer than 15 employees offer one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a cap of 24 hours per year. In Arizona, paid sick leave is a crucial aspect of employee benefits, offering a safety net for those in need of time off for illness or related circumstances.
  • Jury Duty Leave – Employers are not required to pay employees for time off for jury duty, but they also cannot penalize employees for taking this time off. In companies with 5 or fewer full-time employees, jury duty service may be postponed if another employee is already serving.
  • Voting Time Leave – Employers must provide paid leave for employees to vote, but the employee must make the request before election day. All employees are entitled to 3 consecutive hours of voting time between the opening and closing hours of the polls, which can be flexible.
  • Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave – Arizona employers with 50 or more employees are obligated to grant unpaid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This leave is required in cases where the employee must attend criminal proceedings or obtain an order of protection. Unfortunately, Arizona law does not provide either paid or unpaid leave for employees to recover from physical or mental injuries resulting from these incidents. Only legal proceedings are covered under state law. However, there is another option for affected employees. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may override an employer’s decision, as it provides job-protected time off for a wider range of circumstances and injuries. Providing leave for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is a crucial step in promoting a safe and supportive work environment.
  • Organ and Bone Donation Leave – State employees are entitled to 5 days of paid leave for bone marrow donation and 30 days of paid leave for organ donation, both with verified documentation.
  • Military Leave – Arizona, like all other states in the US, recognizes the importance of supporting its military service members. As such, the state’s military leave law mandates that employers, both in the public and private sector, grant military leave to members of the National Guard and Military Reserve Components. In addition to state law, Arizona also upholds the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This act requires employers to allow employees to return to their jobs after military service without any loss of vacation days, seniority, or opportunities for promotion.

What is Arizona Non-Required Leave?

When it comes to non-required leave in Arizona, the following applies:

  • Holiday Leave – Unlike some states, Arizona has no laws regarding paid or unpaid holiday leave. It’s up to private companies to decide whether or not to offer premium pay for working on holidays unless the employee is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and eligible for overtime pay. Public offices, however, must close on state-recognized legal holidays.
  • Vacation Leave – In Arizona, employers are not required by law to offer paid vacation leave. If an employer chooses to offer this benefit, it must align with company policies. It’s important to note that employers may implement a policy denying payment for unused vacation days upon termination or disqualifying employees from using paid leave for failing to meet certain requirements. Employers may also set a deadline for using accrued vacation time.
  • Bereavement Leave – Bereavement leave refers to time off due to the death of a family member or close relative. The state of Arizona does not provide paid or unpaid leave for bereavement, but employers may choose to offer this benefit. If so, the terms must align with company policies.

Here is a table of official US holidays:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

Learn more in detail about Arizona Leave Laws.

What are Arizona Child Labor Laws?

In Arizona, there is no requirement for special forms or written parental consent for minors under 18 to be employed. However, employers must request proof of age from the minor (any legal document will suffice).

When it comes to minors working in Arizona, there are certain general guidelines to follow:

  • Minors aged 13 and under cannot work.
  • Minors aged 14 and 15 may work a limited number of hours.
  • Minors aged 16 and 17 may work, but not in hazardous jobs.
  • During the school year, minors under 16 may not work more than 3 hours a day while school is in session and 8 hours on non-school days.
  • Minors under 16 may not work before 6 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m. on school days and until 11 p.m. on non-school days.
  • When school is not in session (or the minor is not enrolled in school), minors under 16 may not work before 6 a.m. or after 11 p.m. on school days but may work 8 hours a day for a total of 40 hours a week.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Arizona?

In the State of Arizona, minors are not permitted to work in or around hazardous industries or environments. These conditions can be categorized as follows:

Prohibited jobs for minors under 18:

  • Any work involving explosive production or storage, except for retail positions where there are no explosives handling required
  • Motor vehicle driving, unless the minor has a valid license and adheres to no more than 2 hours of driving per day or 25% of total work time and no more than 50 miles driven per day
  • Mining and logging operations
  • Work with power-driven woodworking machines
  • Occupations that expose minors to radioactive substances
  • Meatpacking, processing, slaughtering, or handling of meat-processing machinery
  • Work with power-driven machines, including bakery machines, paper product machines, saws, metalworking, punching, or shearing machines
  • Power-driven machine excavation or tunneling operations (manual excavation and trench work are allowed, provided the surface does not exceed 2 feet in depth)

Prohibited jobs for minors under 16:

  • Working in industries such as manufacturing, processing, construction, and public messenger services. They are also not permitted to work on scaffoldings, roofs, windowsills, or in dry cleaning or warehousing facilities. 
  • In food retail, performing tasks such as maintenance or repair of machines, cooking, banking (with exceptions for counters, snack bars, and soda fountains), and maintenance or repair of power-driven slicers, grinders, cutters, etc.
  • In agriculture, operating tractors without protective gear or seatbelts, operating corn, and cotton pickers, and combines, working in bull, boar, or stud horse pens, and handling dangerous agricultural chemicals.

Child labor laws have provisions for specific exemptions in certain circumstances. These exemptions include:

  • Minors working for family members or relatives provided the minor is over 15 years old and not engaged in work related to mining or manufacturing.
  • Minors working as performers or entertainers in fields such as television, radio, and online, as long as their employing agency provides details on their hours worked and wages.
  • Minors who have completed high school or its equivalent.
  • Minors participating in apprenticeships or career education programs approved by the Department of Education.

It’s crucial to understand the details and limitations of child labor laws to ensure that minors are protected and treated fairly in the workplace. Employers and guardians should be familiar with the exemptions and make informed decisions when it comes to minors working. To gain a deeper understanding of the job restrictions for minors, refer to the official Youth Labor Document.  

Learn more in detail about Arizona Child Labor Laws.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.