Many Arizona employees have unrealistic expectations about what their employers are required to provide to them in terms of pay and benefits pursuant to Arizona employment law. These expectatations frequently come from employees' assumptions based on what other employers often provide to their employees. Among the things not required by Arizona labor laws are the following:
- Pay raises and/or periodic reviews - Many Arizona employees wrongfully believe they are entitled to periodic employment reviews and pay raises. This is not true. An Arizona employer must pay the wages promised to employees but without some clear agreement there is no requirement that an employer review an employee's work or provide a pay raise - ever.
- Limits on the number of hours worked - With the exception of certain restrictions that apply to minors, there are no legal limits to the number of hours that an Arizona employee can be required to work per day or week.
- Notice of termination - There is no requirement that an Arizona employer provide a two-week notice, or any other notice, prior to a termination.
- Reason for termination - An employer also has no legal requirement to provide a reason for terminating an employee.
- Severance pay - When an employee is terminated there is no legal obligation to provide any severance pay to the employee. The employee must be paid for the time worked, but nothing more.
- Vacation, holiday, or sick pay - Although most Arizona employers do provide employees with some amount of vacation, holiday, or sick pay, this is not a legal requirement.
- Rest breaks - Again, although many employers provide breaks, they are not required to. This includes periodic rest breaks and lunch breaks. If breaks are provided there may be legal requirements based on federal laws governing what pay must be provided, but there is no requirement that such breaks be given.
- Vacations or holidays off - Employers do not have to provide vacation or holiday time to employees.
- Extra pay for working on weekends or holidays - Arizona employers also do not have to provide any extra pay to employees who work on weekends or holidays.
Although there are no legal requirements that any of the above pay or benefits be provided to Arizona employees, the employer may agree and often does agree to provide many of these benefits. If an employer wishes to change a policy about providing such a benefit it can, but it must provide the employee notice before the change goes into effect. The employee then has the option to continue working under the new standard or look for a job somewhere else.
Of course, employers and employees may also enter into written contracts that may require the provision of certain of these benefits. Violation of such an agreement would give rise to liability. In addition, if an employer refuses to provide benefits, including those referenced in this article, for a discriminatory or retaliatory reason, the employer may also be legally liable in certain circumstances.
Ultimately, determining what is legal and what is not legal in any particular circumstance requires a case by case analysis. If you think you have a legal claim pertaining to your employment, you should discuss the matter with an experienced Arizona employment lawyer as soon as possible.