Salaried employees are those that are paid on a “salary basis,” receiving a fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently.
In Arizona, the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, passed in November 2016, introduced substantial changes to the rights of salaried employees.
This article will provide an overview of the laws applicable to salaried employees and their employers in Arizona, outlining the rights and obligations of both parties.
This article covers:
- Salaried Employees in Arizona and Overtime
- Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Arizona
- Time Tracking of Salaried Employees Hours in Arizona
- Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Arizona
- Arizona Male and Female Salaried Employees in Arizona
- Break Entitlement for Salaried Employees in Arizona
- Leave Entitlement for Salaried Employees in Arizona
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that salaried employees earning over $455 per week are exempt from overtime pay.
Yet, Arizona state law has a different stance – salaried employees are not exempt from overtime pay but have higher salary requirements.
To be exempt, a salaried employee must earn a minimum weekly salary of $913 assuming their hourly wage is $13.85.
This being said, it’s worth noting that it is a common misconception for employers to assume that salaried employees as per above or those with high-ranking job titles are all automatically exempt from receiving overtime pay.
In reality, many non-exempt employees, such as receptionists, secretaries, and file clerks, are paid on a salary basis.
Assigning an employee a prestigious job title does not alter their eligibility for overtime pay if their job duties do not meet the criteria for exemption as defined by the FLSA wage and hour laws.
The determination of exemption is based on the nature of the job itself, rather than solely on job title or salary status.
Most employers in Arizona have an obligation to pay salaried employees at least bi-monthly with no more than 16 days between payments.
Additionally, these payments should follow a consistent schedule.
In the event of termination, Arizona employers are required to settle all outstanding wages within seven working days or by the end of the upcoming pay period, whichever occurs first.
It’s worth noting that Arizona, being an “at-will” employment state, gives employers the right to terminate salaried employees for any lawful reason.
Salaried employees receive a consistent salary, regardless of the hours they work, freeing them from the need to monitor working hours and enabling them to concentrate on completing tasks within reasonable time frames. However, it can be advantageous to maintain records and timekeeping sheets in situations such as unexpected absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.
Furthermore, tracking payroll and adhering to overtime hour regulations (if applicable based on company policies) can be significant. Although not mandatory, these records provide valuable information to salaried workers concerning time-off tracking and compensation.
Explore further details about time tracking for salaried and hourly employees in the US.
In the case that an employer in Arizona attempts to withhold the wages of an employee, the Department of Labor (DoL) will notify employers about their obligation to comply with Arizona’s wage and hour laws.
The DoL will clearly outline any violations that have occurred and provide guidance on how to rectify them, which may include paying back wages to employees for minimum wage or overtime violations.
In cases where an employer refuses to adhere to Arizona’s wage and hour laws, the DoL will refer the matter to the appropriate prosecuting authorities. Employers will be given a period of ten days to respond to a notice regarding potential prosecution. If an employer fails to respond to two notices, the Department will make a determination based on the evidence available in the file.
In situations where employers refuse to comply with paying damages resulting from a DoL investigation, they can be taken to Superior Court. The Department can seek a judgment against the employer, typically amounting to three times the original owed amount to employees, which is then recorded with the County Recorder’s Office. In such cases, the claimants or employees involved often hire an attorney to assist them in collecting the awarded damages.
When it comes to male and female salaried workers, both federal and Arizona laws mandate that employers must provide equal pay to employees of all genders for performing the same amount, quality, and level of work.
While variations in pay are acceptable based on factors such as years of experience, seniority, skills, and other relevant distinctions, it is prohibited to use discriminatory or unlawful criteria to justify differences in compensation.
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 relating to offered breaks, leaving companies to determine their break policies. As such, 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.
Further, breaks that exceed 30 minutes, are typically unpaid, unless the employee is required to be on duty during that time.
Under the implemented Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act in Arizona, the majority of employees, including salaried workers, are eligible for paid sick leave. The amount of sick leave provided will depend on the size of the employer.
Companies with fewer than 15 employees must offer a minimum of 24 hours of sick time, while larger companies with more than 15 employees are required to provide at least 40 hours of sick leave. Additionally, employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
However, it’s important to note that new employees, defined as those who have been with the company for less than 90 days, are not permitted to use paid sick time.
The Arizona law allows employees to use this sick leave for their own medical needs as well as those of their family members.
Situations covered by the law include public health emergencies, medical care for physical or mental conditions, and addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse, stalking, or similar threats to the safety of the employee or their family members.
Learn more about Arizona Labor Laws through our detailed guide.
Important Cautionary Note
When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.