Arizona Labor Laws - Wage And Hour Laws Applicable To Private Employers

Arizona Labor Laws Are Less Comprehensive Than Many Employees Think

Many employees believe that the laws enacted the State afford many more benefits than is actually the case. While there are some protections afforded by federal law that preclude workplace discrimination and harassment for certain classes of employees and limited medical leave in certain circumstances, the additional protections offered by Arizona labor laws is extremely limited. 

Arizona Minimum Wage Law

Arizona does have a minimum wage that employers must pay. Effective January 1, 2012, Arizona's minimum wage is $7.65 per hour. Under the current law, the minimum wage will be increased every year on January 1st in accord with any increase in the cost of living. The law applied to most employers, but certain exceptions do apply. Employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, but as of now that wage is lower than that required in Arizona.

Arizona Overtime Law

Arizona does not have a separate law governing the payment of overtime wages, meaning that employers must only comply with applicable federal laws. There are federal overtime laws that do require the payment of overtime wages to certain groups of employees, but exemptions do exist and if you have questions in this regard the specific situation should be discussed with an Arizona employment lawyer.

Arizona Labor Laws Regarding Vacation

Neither Arizona nor federal laws mandate that employers provide employees vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide vacation benefits then it must comply with its own policy in all cases. This is typically also true of payment for unused vacation time at the conclusion of employment, meaning that such benefits only need to be paid if it is the employer's policy to do so.

Sick Leave

As with vacation, Arizona law does not require employers to provide sick leave benefits, although an employer may choose to do so and then must comply with its own policies. Certain qualifying employers may also be obligated to provide unpaid time off for ailing employees pursuant to the requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Payment For Meals And Breaks

Many employees are surprised to learn that neither Arizona nor federal law requires that employees be provided a meal or rest break at any time. Federal law does, however, require that if an employer provides such breaks, breaks of less than 20 minutes must be paid.

Labor Laws Regarding Holidays

Arizona law does not require employers to pay extra holiday pay or provide employees with holiday leave. 

Severance Pay

There is also nothing in Arizona or federal law that requires the payment of severance pay upon the termination of an employee's employment. Of course, this may be altered by agreement of the parties or the employer's own policy, but the law does not require severance pay.

Jury Duty Time Off

Arizona law does not require employers to pay employees for time off when they are complying with jury duty requirements. But the law does mandate that an employer may not discharge or otherwise penalize an employee for complying with jury requirements.